If extraordinary means extremely ordinary and incredible means anything but credible, neither of these are fit terms to describe the work of Ian Harris.
The California native was born with an adventurous spirit set on exploring the realms of humor. This desire to bring laughter to others was so much amplified that it prompted the performer to pack up his belongings and settle in to the city of entertainment, Los Angeles.
Harris has since worked in varying platforms. From owning an MMA studio and being a dad to traveling internationally for comedy shows and doing voiceover work, Harris is a man of many talents.
Harris brought reasoning to his many lines of work and says, “I love MMA and being a teacher and doing voiceovers, but comedy is what I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. When I found out it was an actual job you can do, I thought, ‘I think I can actually do this. I don’t want to do anything else.’” He continues, “These things free up comedy so it does not have to be a job like it was for me for 15 years. Now when I do it, I get to just do it because I love it.”
His love for the art is apparent as he takes his everyday thoughts and transforms them into comical scripts to share with his audience.
Harris says, “I took a couple years off to be home for the first five years of my daughter’s life. I missed comedy so much that it compelled me to get back on stage. I love being able to say things that I thought of and it makes 300 people in a room laugh.”
With his comeback also came the shift of his approach to comedy. Harris went from focusing on saying what he thought people wanted to hear to being transparent with what was going through his head on topics that make headlines.
Shifting from pleasing a full house at a comedy club, Harris moved on to a goal of creating work that meant something to him. Now he goes to towns in dominantly conservative areas to reach the 10 percent that are not-so right winged.
“Bill Maher once said he wanted to go the unreached places. He said that in smaller towns that are made up of conservatives there is that 10-20 percent who aren’t that are starving for anything,” he explains. “They’re constantly surrounded by nativity scenes and religion. I look at it as, although a place may be mainly conservative, that could mean there are 22,000 people there who will like my stuff.”
The ability to be brutally honest in relaying his perception of the world while coating it in comical relief is what draws people of all ages to his work.
There are not too many humorists who provoke their entire audience to think, but somehow Harris is capable of doing just that.
Celebrity bashing. Parenting successes and failures. Politics. Religion.
These are just a handful of the elements Harris references that make him more than just a guy with a mic telling you things he thinks you want to hear. He puts out into the world what matters to him and ties them to tangible situations people can comprehend.
You can expect anything but the sweeping under the rug of the idiocy of mankind.
Though, if you are on the more conservative side or take offense to people poking fun at your self-diagnosed allergies, you may feel personally targeted by the punch line of Harris’s jokes.
It is through his reconstructed approach to comedy that he voices what we are all thinking.
Ian Harris will be in Flagstaff this Saturday, Jan. 27, to promote his latest hour TV special “ExtraOrdinary,” available on Amazon, iTunes and other video on demand platforms. He’ll be taking the stage at Firecreek Coffee Co., 22 Historic Route 66, beginning at 8:30 p.m. with David Smalley, host of Podcast One’s Dogma Debate. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Visit www.ianharriscomedian.com for more information.