12/02/2015 07:40 GMT | Updated 13/04/2015 06:59 BST

Never Too Late To Get Into Comedy


"Reality TV and Me"

By Jeff Hysen

I'm a Reality TV star. I'm not Honey Boo Boo and I wasn't on one of those "naked" shows. I appeared on a cable channel called RLTV. You likely have RLTV, it's in over 30 million homes, but it's of those channels that you don't know you have. I was asked to appear on a program called "Second Act", about people starting a new career midway through life. Hopefully this is midway.

I thought that the show would simply be biographical. Instead, there had to be a storyline with highs and lows so the producer proposed this:

"Jeff Hysen is a man in desperate need. He is deeply unsatisfied with life, close to retirement age, and fearful of becoming irrelevant and worthless."

That made me sound like I was ready to blow my brains out! That's not a storyline, that's a suicide note. Fortunately, the truth was good enough: I did two shows in 1987, "life intervened" but I never lost interest in comedy. In 2009, when my sons were older, I tried again and haven't stopped.

I learned that Reality TV is highly structured. They told me where to sit and suggested what to say. They took me clothes shopping and made me model ugly suits just to get funny reactions. Events were shown out of sequence. They tried to get my wife to say bad things about me. She's more than capable of that, but not on TV.

They promised to make me look like an inspirational figure and they did. I love being a comedian, but it isn't heroic. I'm just a guy who got off the couch but on Reality TV, that somehow makes me a hero. I learned that if you want reality on TV, go watch the news... except for FOX.


Jeff is a husband, father and attorney. Jeff has become a comedy favorite in the Washington, DC area. View his bytestories profile here.

"The Stand Up Journey of a 57 Year Old"

By Ron Hailes

What makes a sane 57 year old decide to become a Stand Up comedian. Madness? Mid life crisis? Well more late than mid. The reason is simple, there is no greater joy than to entertain people and I can't sing, have no musical ability at all. So Stand Up it had to be.

I was convinced I was a real funny guy and, although that was true, there is a major difference between being a funny guy and a comedian. The problem is sometimes you find this out at a really bad time - like your first gig.

Lucky for me I did a course and found out that although, yes I was funny, I was miles away from being a great stand up comedian. In fact, I am still miles away from being a great stand up. One year into my journey I class myself as just average... but with huge potential well that's my opinion and I am sticking to it.

The course was with 12 other hopeful's for 6 weeks. It was frightening, enlightening and straight out scary. We didn't all make it to graduation, as some us just fell away. My journey in the course started off Ok and actually got worse - mid course I reverted to my Master of Ceremonies persona because it is something I am comfortable with and do a lot of. My teacher wasn't happy, he sat me on a chair like a dunce and made me take control. Embarrassing as it was, it was a massive turning point for me as from that day forward it all clicked. So we all got ready for graduation the start of our massive rise to fame!


By Ron Hailes who is a sometimes writer, stand up comic and MC. These are his passions but they don't pay the bills. He works in radio which he enjoys. Apparently he has often been told that he has the right look for radio. View his bytestories profile here.

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