Local comedian Chris Warren told a joke that almost put him in jail. While doing standup in Spokane, Wash., in 2003, Warren made a rough joke about Hillary Clinton, and it caught the attention of the Secret Service, who sent two members to speak with Warren. “I was public enemy number one for telling a joke,” he says. “It was the good cop/bad cop scenario. They told me to never tell the joke again, but then they asked me to tell the joke. I told them and they started cracking up!”
Though his days on the Secret Service’s blacklist are over, Warren continues his comedy through The Brickwall Comedy Show, a daily comedy radio show he co-hosts with fellow full-time comedians Alex “Beans” Elkin and Benjie Wright. Broadcasting live on All Comedy 1450 Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 6 pm, The Brickwall Comedy Show is a three-hour laughing event. “This radio station is the centerpiece of comedy in Eugene,” Warren says. Comedic open mic nights are popping up all over Eugene, like Thursdays at the Green Room or Wednesdays at Mulligan’s Pub and even on campus, but All Comedy 1450 and The Brick Wall Comedy Show are the town’s only source for “professional” comedy, as Warren puts it, where making people laugh is a full-time job rather than a hobby.
“It just comes with experience,” Elkin says. “We’ve all done the $20 and a beer payment. The difference with us is that you’re guaranteed a good show.”
Warren, Elkin and Wright started All Comedy 1450 on Nov. 1, 2012, and took it on live air in February. “We bought our own station because we were tired of being fired from all the other stations,” Elkin says with a laugh. The radio shows are completely improvised with little to no planning, but no one would ever suspect it as the three comedians banter about everything from the news to Miley Cyrus’ recent disintegration to the State of Jefferson in northern California. You can hear it in their voices that they really love their jobs.
“For me, combining my love of radio with my love of comedy just gives me a boner,” Warren says.
There’s an undeniably rich chemistry between the three and Warren and Elkin use it for their comedic advantage. “Chris and I play this thing called ‘Comedy Ping Pong’ where he’ll say something and I’ll just jump on it,” Elkin says. “Punch after punch, tag and tag — we’re the only two that can do this,” Warren says. “I don’t use the word ‘magic’ often …” Elkin adds.
On Oct. 1, you can see the magic in person. Warren, Elkin and Wright will perform at Cozmic where they’ll be able to say all the things they can’t say on air. And beginning in October and running until November, they’ll host the Quacken Me Up Comedy Competition in partnership with the University of Oregon Stand-Up Society comedy group. “We’ll take 40 students, crush 37 of their dreams and give prizes to the top three,” Elkin says.
Want to flex your comedy muscle? These comedians welcome the community. “We have an open-door policy on the show and we’re not about pushing people away,” Elkin says. “Come on in, just don’t bring a gun.”