'Last Comic Standing' winner Rod Man finds funny in everyday life

April 24, 2017 at 9:16 AM

Layer 0.jpgThe inimitable Rod Man will bring his unique delivery, infectious vocal inflections and everyday-life comedy to the Chicago Improv in Schaumburg on April 20-22 .

Rod Man, winner of Season 8 of NBC's "Last Comic Standing," said his conversational style developed as a natural evolution of his personality and comedy.

"When I first started, a comedian friend of mine said, 'They listen to everything you say. It's not just the set-up and then the punchline,' he said. "I'm telling a story, but it's just like me talking. It's like we're having lunch. We're going to laugh, if that's your thing.

"I always say in my show, 'I can't tell you where to laugh.' I just put it out there and you do what you want with it. I know it will be funny, but I don't know what people will do with it. Everybody finds different things funny."

Rod Man's laid-back style betrays more than a hint of Southern charm, but he says it's purely incidental and a natural byproduct of his Atlanta roots.

"I'm from the South," he said. "I guess if I have Southern charm, that's why. People ask where my accents is from. Even though I'm in California now, my accent ain't gone nowhere. It works for me, so I guess you can say, 'Yeah, I got that.'"

Rod Man's bits on everyday experiences, such as the irony of self-checkout at a retail store, and his more off-color stories, like his obsession with breasts, take Seinfeld's everyday-life stories to a new level of absurdity.

"It's like Roseanne (Barr) said on ('Last Comic Standing')," he said. "I'm everyman. I'm almost famous, but I try to treat my life like everybody else's. I wash my car and talk to people at the grocery store to see what's going on."

That awareness brings out some hilarious observations.

"I try to find the absurdity in the things we do," he said. "Why am I checking myself out at the grocery store? How am I supposed to remember fruit codes?"

Rod Man, whose real first name is Rod and chose his moniker as a stage name in his early days, started in comedy fresh out of high school in about 1995, he said. So he's been at it for a while, he said.

"Nothing happens quickly," he said. "'Last Comic' came along and people said, 'Where has he been?' You have to grind it out and finally get a break. I'm still on my introduction. Me and my audience are liking each other. We're going down the road together."

Rod Man started at open mic nights hosted by Earthquake at the Uptown Comedy Corner in Atlanta. He discovered the club by searching the Yellow Pages, he said.

"That is very true," he said. "I had seen Def Comedy Jam on TV. I went to the Yellow Pages and found Uptown Comedy Club. I started doing mostly urban comedy. Now my comedy is for everybody, three generations -- grandmas, their kids and their kids' kids. It's like a smorgasbord of people. I'm excited about my future. It's looking good."

Rod Man's run at Chicago Improv marks his second visit to Chicago, he said. The first one brought 19 inches of snow, "so I've been a little reluctant to come back," he said. "That's why I'm coming in the spring."

Contact: 847-240-2001; www.chicago.improv.com

Rod Man

When: April 20-22

Where: Chicago Improv Comedy Club, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg


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