Todd Moe spoke with Jan McInnis, who began her career in the corporate world before turning to comedy. She's been a full time comedian for more than 16 years.
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Jan McInnis began her career in comedy in the Washington, DC area after aspiring for many years to be a comedian. “I always wanted to be a comedian. When I was a kid, I told my parents, ‘when I turn 16, I’m going to buy a motorcycle, ride to California and become a comedian.’ My parents didn’t quite share that vision, so I did not do that,” said McInnis. Though she did ultimately get the motorcycle, she first attended Virginia Tech and then went into marketing for about 15 years.
However, she still wanted to try comedy and got her start after going to an open mic and getting hired for that very performance. She worked nights and weekends doing comedy while spending the days at her marketing job, and eventually decided to do comedy full time.
She moved to California 12 years ago. She and her partner Kent Rader do shows for corporations and associations and put together the Baby Boomer Comedy Show as a way to reach their audience. She says that she and her partner have different styles, and said, “I’m more set-up punch, I’ve always liked Rodney Dangerfield, you know, if you don’t like that joke, you’ll like this joke, like three to four jokes a minute. Kent is more Bill Cosby storytelling.”
McInnis and Rader met through a mutual friend. “We started talking about our audience,” said McInnis. “We both are very clean acts with no profanity we don’t embarrass people by the subject matter, and that’s what we both want, and we thought baby boomers.” They decided to appeal to this part of the population, and McInnis says that anyone over the age of 25 and under the age of 200 will get the humor of the show. “It’s kids and family and work and do-it-yourself projects and grandkids, and things that boomers will definitely resonate with,” said McInnis.
McInnis is also an author and has written a book called Finding the Funny Fast: How to Create Quick Humor to Connect with Clients, Coworkers and Crowds. She’s also written a wide variety of freelance pieces for everything from greeting cards to the Jerry Springer show. Her book is geared towards the general public, not just for aspiring comedians.
“The show is different from your regular comedy club,” said McInnis. “It is stand-up comedy, but we’re really gonna hit the topics of the baby boomers and the crowd is going to enjoy it. It’s clean comedy, but it’s funny.”