Cory Michaelis and Andrew Rivers met at The General’s BBQ in Everett. They weren’t there for the barbecue, but for the laughs.
“It was at a comedy show at a barbecue joint in south Everett, when we were both starting out,” Michaelis told The Daily Herald in 2020. “There were probably 10 comedians. We each did a few minutes, and it just went from there. We became best friends.”
Michaelis, 41, of Everett, and Rivers, 36, of Seattle, have been career comedians for 12 years. Between the two of them, they’ve sold out shows at Steins Taphouse in Arlington, Maltby Pizza & Pasta in Snohomish and At Large Brewing & Taproom in Everett. They’ve toured not just in the U.S., but also the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
Michaelis and Rivers will perform stand-up comedy at the Historic Everett Theatre on July 10.
“It’s nice when you get to work with a friend,” said Rivers, adding that he is recording his comedy album at this Everett show. “If we can combine our draw — our star power — it helps us sell out shows.”
The best friends both have Dry Bar Comedy specials — “Bad Teacher” (2018) and “Laffy Taffy” (2017) respectively — which have garnered 55 million streams between the two of them.
Michaelis’ 2018 comedy album “Collage Dropout” reached No. 1 on iTunes and No. 2 on Billboard comedy charts. Rivers’ “A Pandemic Special” he filmed in October has hit 125,000 streams on YouTube.
Michaelis was featured in Netflix’s “Huge in France” starring Gad Almaleh, while Rivers was featured in the popular “Truth or Drink” Buzzfeed web series.
Rivers always knew he was funny — he can still picture his dad’s proud face after he gave a hilarious speech at his brother’s wedding. But it wasn’t until he was laid off from his marketing job at PBJS in 2009 that he decided to pursue a career in comedy.
Michaelis was a teacher and a coach at Cascade High School in Everett for 12 years before becoming a comedian. He treated stand-up like a hobby before quitting his teaching job in 2016 to tell jokes full-time.
Rivers is a frequent guest on “The Bob Rivers Show,” a podcast presented by the former Seattle radio DJ, who also happens to be his dad. Father and son also have their own podcast, aptly called “The Father and Son Show.”
Michaelis hosts the Everett Comedy Night at Emery’s on Silver Lake. He also teaches a comedy class at Shawn O’Donnell’s restaurant in Everett twice a year.
In addition to shows, they also team up to teach comedy classes at the Tacoma Comedy Club four times a year.
“We’ve been friends for a long time, so if there’s an opportunity to work together, we do,” Michaelis said. “Every time we see an open weekend, we go ‘Hey do you want to do a show?’”
The duo hosts their “Home Skool” podcast every Friday at 7 p.m. The comics open each episode with material that they’ve written together that week. The duo brings on a guest comedian, such as Gabriel Rutledge, Kermet Apio and Mark Normand, to heckle them during their 10-minute set and then do a 30-minute interview.
Their best jokes from their podcast eventually make it to the comedy stage.
“A joke is like a selfie — you need a thousand attempts before you have three worth posting,” Rivers joked. “Except for Cory because he’s beautiful and all of his selfies turn out amazing all the time.”
The General’s BBQ is closed now, but they still have a group photograph from that comedy show 12 years ago. Michaelis and Rivers are standing next to each other in the shot.
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org; @sarabruestle.
If you go
The stand-up comedians Cory Michaelis and Andrew Rivers will co-headline a show 7:30 p.m. July 10 at the Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Tickets are $10-$30. Call 425-258-6766. More at www.yourhistoriceveretttheatre.org.