Funny bone

  • By Sarah Koenig Enterprise reporter
  • Tuesday, December 23, 2008 12:32pm

There’s a lot of funny folks out there, but few of them are lucky enough to make a living from comedy. Kermet Apio, Mountlake Terrace father of two, is that lucky.

He’s a professional comedian who’s performed all over the country and on TV shows like A&E’s “Evening at the Improv” and NBC’s “Comedy Showcase.”

He appears in Seattle at clubs like Comedy Underground and Giggles. Locals may remember him as a regular guest on the NPR radio show “Rewind” and the TV show “Almost Live” (both now defunct.)

Apio will do a benefit show next month in Edmonds for Terrace Park school, where his daughter attends. The Enterprise caught up with him recently to talk about what the life of a funny man is like.

When you go to parties and tell people what you do for a living, do they say, “Tell a joke!”?

They do, a lot, and it’s really weird because I don’t do jokes per se. I’m not good at telling them because I don’t remember them that well. It’s really awkward.

Do you ever get tired of being funny?

No, you don’t – it’s fun to be funny and when you have a bunch of comedians for best friends, it’s nonstop. We all make our friends laugh and our friends make us laugh.

It’s amazing to think that’s how you make a living, in laughter. It’s an odd way to make a living but it’s really rewarding.

How did you get into comedy?

When I was working for United Airlines I met a guy who did open mic and I went out with him one night and he said he could get me on (the open mic stage).

What was that first show like?

It was scary. Your first time is really scary because you’re worried about how bad it could fail, but I ended up doing better than I thought. The audience happened to like the few things I said.

If it had been silent I may never have done it again. Just a few laughs was enough to say: I’ll keep doing this.

So comedy is your full-time job?

Yes. I quit my day job in 1990, so it’s been about 18 years. I was working for United Airlines out of college and I was basically counting liquor bottles, inventorying what came off the plane.

Where do you get your material?

My whole act is my life, it’s just reactions from my life and stories like about growing up in Hawaii or being married and a father of two. I don’t do observational humor all that well.

As in, “Why do vacuum cleaners have that light on the front?”

Yes, it’s really hard for me to sit at a notebook and write about a coffee mug.

Has being a father given you more comic material?

I have written a lot of fatherhood material. The only problem is that almost every comic who has kids has talked about them so it is very important to me to come up with unique angles that aren’t too familiar but still relate.

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