Fresno native funnyman Dino Archie has headlined and opened for popular comedians at the Brea and Irvine Improv venues throughout August and September. Comedy-goers will have a final chance to see the standup comedian as a headliner in Irvine on Oct. 9, before he heads out on a Canada tour.
The winner of the 36th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition, Dino has appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party.” Backstage SoCal caught up with Dino for a Quick Q&A:
Is comedy your passion or did you naturally fall into it?
Dino: Both. My family is very funny so making people laugh was currency growing up.
What qualities of other comedians do you most admire?
Dino: Originality and the willingness to take a risk.
Backstage SoCal has seen you do a mixture of personal stories, observations and absurd jokes on stage. What is your writing process like?
Dino: It’s all three. I’ve also had a hard time sitting down at a coffee shop and writing pure jokes. Things will happen to me or I’ll see something and start laughing. I might mention it to another friend, usually a comic, and if we start laughing I know that’s something funny. Then I bring it to the crowd. Switching between those different styles of joke-telling keeps it fresh. Still, I want the show to be something you have to see and can’t categorize.
Do you have any backstage routines?
Dino: I try to keep it pretty loose. I bring my Bluetooth speaker and some water; really exciting stuff. I like to party.
What challenges do you face as a current comedian?
Dino: You’re competing with the phone. We’re all addicted to it, so the show has to be good enough to make you forget about all the shit you can get to instantly on your phone.
When interviewing comedians, they often talk about “comedy breakthroughs” they’ve experienced in their career – basically when they realized they were funny. Have you experienced this “breakthrough?”
Dino: Yes, I was a year into comedy. I did a show in my hometown, outside at a baseball stadium, at a Mixed Martial Arts festival in an Octagon to a thousand drunk pissed off people. They were mad because most of the fights had been cancelled, so they called my friend and I to do an impromptu show. And nobody likes a surprise comedy show, and they hated us. It was like the movie ‘Gladiator;’ they heckled, threw things and oddly I wasn’t bothered in the least. I walked out of the Octagon and into the stands and did 25 minutes. I knew this was the life for me.
Can you tell us a story of your most treasured career moment so far?
Dino: Probably the Octagon outside show, but doing ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ was a really cool moment. Doing comedy on a late night talk show was always a goal of mine and being able to do that felt like an accomplishment. I was asked to do it so that felt even better than auditioning and Jimmy has a lot of respect for comedians. They bring the crowd into a separate room that looks just like a comedy club; my mom and best friends came. They said I had the biggest guest list to date (laughs).
If you could sum up why people should come see you live, what would you say?
Dino: Because I need them to. Also, I’m a professional but still unknown so it will feel like discovering your new favorite band. It’s only $10 in advance. If that doesn’t sell you nothing will.
Where: Irvine Improv, 527 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 9