Billy Kelly is a comedian who prides himself on delivering content that is suitable for people of all ages. He recently announced two shows at Manhattan’s People’s Improv Theater, which will take place on Saturday, April 22 and Saturday, May 6 at 3 p.m. Tickets cost an affordable $15 per person.
Billy aims to be the go-to comedian for clean jokes and absurdly humorous fun. On April Fool’s Day, his video depicting a couple who tricked their mailman by taping envelopes together to create a 10-foot-long train went viral. Billy is a musician as well as a comedian, and he has created family music that has earned him high praise on NPR (National Public Radio) and even Grammy nominations. He is hopeful that his stand-up comedy routines will attract families with children aged 8 and up, as he discussed in a recent interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How would you describe your brand of comedy, and what are some of the topics you discuss?
Billy Kelly (BK): Hopefully funny! Beyond that, it is weird and squeaky clean. Some recurring themes that I’ve noticed in my comedy writing are bird watching, cave-people, earthworms, and impersonations. I seem to come back to those subjects again and again unintentionally. Oh — and the supermarket. I think a lot about the supermarket and that pops up in my act pretty often.
MM: How long does the show run and what can audiences expect?
BK: The show is in the neighborhood of 45 minutes long. I want to say that the audience can expect to laugh, but I don’t want to build up expectations too much here.
MM: What was your childhood like, and do you think it influenced some of your routines?
BK: I had a great childhood! Very happy. I recently wrote my parents a letter to thank them for the happy childhood. They called to thank me, and that was nice because it was the first time we had spoken since I moved into my own apartment at age 2. But seriously, folks! My childhood was lovely, and my parents’ sense of humor totally influenced my stand up. They have that classic Irish humor — quite dark at times and self-deprecating — and they passed it along to me, along with the ability to sunburn at night.
MM: What sorts of jokes do you consider to be the funniest?
BK: I recently saw Paula Poundstone perform live and her ability to work spontaneously with the crowd was inspiring. Lots of spontaneous, funny things can happen when you engage the audience and “spontaneous funny” is the best kind of funny. When something spontaneous and funny happens at a show the audience laughs AND the comedian laughs. I think when the comedian starts laughing it adds to the overall humor of what just happened and now you are in a comedy feedback loop! There is no escape! Except for stopping laughing! Which everyone eventually will! But it was fun while it lasted!
MM: After this show, what is next for you?
BK: In the long term, I plan to do a lot more family comedy shows, adding new jokes & bits and interacting with the audience more*. (*See Paula Poundstone comments above.) I just want to keep performing for people and to hopefully keep improving. I am only at this a few years and the more I learn about performing comedy the more there is to learn. In the short term, after this show, I will leave the theater and go find my car. I think I parked on 25th Street?
[Featured Image by Billy Kelly]