Sponsor spotlight: Don Friesen — Laughter unleashed at Edmonds Center for the Arts!

Comedy enthusiasts or people who just want a really fun and memorable date night… Get ready to embark on an uproarious journey of laughter as the renowned stand-up comedian Don Friesen takes center stage at Edmonds Center for the Arts on April 12 for the taping of his next highly anticipated one-hour comedy special.

Don’t miss this rare chance to be part of the live taping of a special that promises to be both an entertaining escape and a celebration of the shared hilarity found in life’s everyday moments. As one of the most respected names in the comedy circuit, Friesen’s magnetic stage presence and witty storytelling will captivate the audience, creating an atmosphere of joy and camaraderie. And who knows, you might even see yourself laughing on TV!

Whether he’s poking fun at parenting, technology or the quirks of human behavior, Friesen’s high-octane, self-deprecating delivery is always on point, leaving his viewers in stitches. Beyond the laughter, Friesen’s performances often carry a relatable and endearing charm, making him a beloved figure in the world of stand-up comedy.

Picking up where he left off with his last Showtime Special, Ask Your Mom, Friesen’s kids are adults now, but not necessarily adult adults. Enjoy the ride as he lampoons his post-pandemic struggles with grace and humor, and ultimately acceptance. It’s a relatable, heartfelt and hilarious journey, from a guy who’s just trying to make sense of the ever-changing world around him.

Passive-aggressive interview w/AI

In lieu of a serious interview for this piece, Friesen agreed to be Q and A’d by artificial intelligence (specifically, Chat GPT). The following interview questions are asked passive-aggressively and answered sarcastically…

Oh, so you’re a comedian. That’s cute. How did you stumble into this world of laughter, considering the competition out there is so, uh, fierce?

Funny you should ask…. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in my experience “real jobs” suck. They make you go in for like, what, eight hours at a time? I figured I needed a way to get paid the same amount or more for only working an hour a night. So I cleverly spent years and years doing open mics for free, developing an act……. and now I only have to spend 36 hours a week traveling, 12 hours on booking calls and emails, and another 10 hours on promotions to keep my dream of working one hour a night alive.

Can you enlighten us on how your jokes manage to, well, not offend anyone? I mean, it must be a real challenge, right?

I think my jokes don’t really offend anyone because audiences are typically too distracted on their cell phones to notice that I just insulted everyone’s sensibilities and intelligence.

Your material is quite unique, in a “special” way. How do you come up with those jokes that make people question their life choices without them realizing it?

Not sure I love that you put “special” in air quotes, but yeah I guess it’s just instinct. Some of us have a natural gift of being able to fill people with anxiety and self doubt without even really trying. Thanks.

I heard you have a diverse audience. How do you keep everyone equally unimpressed, yet entertained?

I try to target every joke to a different group, so that at no point is the audience all laughing together, but almost every bit amuses at least one person or group.  It’s a rolling disappointment that leaves people baffled yet curious about why on any given punchline, someone else seems to be having a good time.

Comedy is all about timing, they say. Do you think your timing is so good that people just can’t keep up with your level of, let’s say, subtlety?

Yes, thanks for noticing. My timing is so honed at this point that I’m able to take material that was originally funny, strip away everything universal about it, reconstruct it using random references, distill the humor into almost un-gettable premises, then pound people over the head with the resulting subletly. That’s the key to sublety — pounding people over the head with it… At the end of the day, if you don’t get me, that means you totally get me.

Your humor is quite interesting. Do you believe it’s an acquired taste, or are people just pretending to get it?

I think people are afraid to be the only one not laughing, so I find that if I pause long enough, people begin to think they’re the only ones who didn’t get it, then they laugh awkwardly to avoid potential embarrassment. If you can get the whole audience to do that at the same time, it’s just as good as being funny.

How do you handle the constant pressure of making people laugh when, let’s be honest, some nights it’s probably more like a sympathy chuckle?

Right before I walk onstage, I put in my Airpod Pros — noise cancellation mode — then I start up a really good podcast, and do my act from memory without really giving a crap what the audience thinks.

I’ve noticed your delivery is… let’s say, laid back. Is that intentional, or is it just your natural way of convincing people that your jokes are worth listening to?

When you say laid back, are you referring to that time when I fell asleep during my set? To be fair, I was recovering from the flu, and hey, who among us hasn’t mixed up DayQuil and NyQuil? To your point though, I find that my complete lack of conviction or connection to my material comes across as a caustic indifference that a surprisingly large amount of people mistake as depth and relevance. Who am I to tell them they’re wrong?

Comedy is all about self-deprecation, right? So, on a scale of one to “constantly questioning your life choices,” how deep do you dive into your own shortcomings for material? 

I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition! Wait what was the question again? Oh, shortcomings…. Yes, deep dive, deep deep dive. I’m drowning in the cesspool of my numerous shortcomings, which I scathingly lampoon every night for the amusement of strangers.

People often say laughter is the best medicine. Do you think your jokes are more of a placebo effect, or do they genuinely cure people’s boredom?

Never underestimate the power of a really good placebo. I’m not sure of the science on this, but you could conceivably watch my act immediately after watching someone elses who’s actually funny, and you would still somehow enjoy almost the same healing effects. The human mind huh?  Amirite? Also, the best medicine is actually morphine.

Learn more about Don Friesen’s comedy event at this link.

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