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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Web Series Shines a Light on the Lives of Unknown San Francisco Comedians

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

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"Everybody's a Comedian is a sad but true depiction of a struggling comedian in San Francisco," says EAC social media coordinator Haley Klarfeld on the new web series based in San Francisco.

Created by Sammy Wegent and Greg Rowan, the series exists not only entertain viewers with this hilarious look at the life of a comedian, but also to expose them to the unknown comedians and actors involved. The project was given a boost by a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, which raised over $7,000 to help fund shooting and editing of the first episodes.

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Everybody's a Comedian stars San Francisco comedian and actor Sammy Wegent in a semi-autobiographical tale of his life. In the show and in real life, Wegent supplements his meager stand-up income by teaching comedy classes. In real life, those classes are through the San Francisco Comedy College, the largest comedy school in America. It features a number of Bay Area comedians and actors, including fellow SFCC staffer Sal Calanni.

Here's the official synopsis:

Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. And Sammy Wegent proves it every day. He's having a tough time paying his bar tab, let alone his dues in the comedy business. But he makes ends meet by teaching comedy to wannabe comedians, bored housewives, and Silicon Valley douchebags. Besides teaching and telling jokes to drunk strangers, Sammy also finds time to date. That is, when he's not trying to win back his ex-fiancée. But Sammy's true love is his career. Or lack thereof. Even after all the hell gigs, weird auditions, and awkward one-night stands, he wouldn't change a thing. Except maybe his major in college.

The writing is witty, and the series offers an honest glimpse into the life of the struggling-to-emerge Bay Area comedian, from lonely late nights, to the search for cheap drinks and good jokes, to the constant battle with the egos of fellow clowns. The show claims to be written in the same vein as those that have portrayed the lives of more famous comedians, like Seinfeld and Louie. But one key element that is likely to narrow its appeal: It's filled with inside jokes from the comedy industry.

Comics who have been without a day job long enough easily fall into the abyss of the comedy world, which, ironically, makes it tough to remember how to entertain regular people. A normal social life no longer exists, because nights and weekends are consumed by comedy, days are spent alone writing or "researching" while the nine-to-fivers are at work, and even Facebook starts to only display updates, grievances, and attempted jokes from fellow comics in your feed. In some ways, EAC captures that life through the show; but in another, it's restricted by the reality of that life of its creators.

Comedians, new or well-seasoned, are sure to love Everybody's a Comedian, for how well it pinpoints the annoyances and struggles they face every day. But that's a narrow demographic, and many of the show's funniest points will be missed by viewers outside of it.

The show's creators are currently working on scripts for the second season. You can follow the series on YouTube, get updates about Season 2 on Facebook and Twitter.

Here's a little preview, where Sammy gives viewers a taste of what it's (really) like to be an unknown comedian:

Awkward Silence is a weekly column covering local stand-up comedy in San Francisco.

Follow Dana Sitar on Twitter at @danasitarSF Weekly's Exhibitionist blog at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Dana Sitar

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