Courtesy of Vince Morris
Jokes involving racial stereotyping are a dime a dozen among comedians, but not many try to use comedy to change the thought process on those stereotypes.
Vince Morris, an East Side Columbus native, is scheduled to perform Friday through Sunday at the Columbus Funny Bone and said he plans to use his comedic material to change how some people think.
Getting his start at an open mic night, Morris said he owes some of his success to pure luck and “basically being a beast” at his job.
“When I first started doing standup, I got lucky because people really seemed to like me and I started getting bookings really fast,” Morris said. “I did a lot of traveling and started moving up the ranks and soon enough started becoming the headliner for the shows instead of the opening act.”
Morris, like many comedians, likes to take experiences from his real life and turn them into material for his shows.
“I get most of my material from my personal experiences of what I am going through right now,” he said.
Recently, much of Morris’ material has been focused on being a dad to his 4-year-old daughter and the new experiences that have come with parenting. Morris also said he considers himself a different type of comedian because he strives to have his material hit on bigger social issues such as racial stereotypes, the economy and ignorance.
“My comedy is to make people think,” he said. “There is always a message with what I say. Sometimes the things I make jokes about are the things that need to be discussed the most, but some (I’m) too nervous to let it out in the open.”
Some students enjoy the push on such topics.
Sabarinath Sankaranarayanan, a second-year in architecture, has heard Morris’ material before and finds the sensitive subjects amusing.
“He’s funny, he talks about racism which is sensitive, but he’s like the black Russell Peters. He makes fun of races and sometimes he isn’t the most electrifying, but I could spend an hour watching him,” Sankaranarayanan said.
Brenden Bishop, a graduate student in quantitative psychology, said he thinks Morris still needs to catch up to other acts in the business.
“I think that he is all right,” Bishop said. “It may be that I was just watching clips and not a whole show, but it seemed like his flow just wasn’t as good as the other well-established comedians I’ve seen like Jim Gaffigan, Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy. He did make me laugh though, and he is definitely funny.”
Morris said he wants his comedy to relate at least in a small way to every audience member.
“Whether it’s being a dad, or agreeing with the racial jokes I make on stage, or even something said on the spot, that’s the point of being a comedian, is to connect with people,” he said.
Tickets for the show, available on Funny Bone’s website and at the door, cost $15 for Friday and Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Morris is slated to perform at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Funny Bone is located at 145 Easton Town Center and the show is 21 and up.