|Meet the Artist: Bob Smiley
|Written by DeWayne Hamby
|Tuesday, 24 December 2013 08:51 AM America/New_York
Comedian Bob Smiley releases his newest DVD, Mullets on Fire (622306019090, $14.99), Feb. 15 through Crown Entertainment (www.crownentertainment.us). The video captures Smiley’s live performance at Roseville, California’s Bayside Church.
How did you come up with this DVD’s amusing title? The title Mullets on Fire is the punchline from one of the bits I did. ... The feature presentation is strictly stand-up—fast-paced story form. There are messages in there. I end with a story about how much God loves us unconditionally. I tell a story about listening to my son playing trombone and how bad it is, but how I love it because he’s playing it for me. Maybe we’re not playing the song how God created us to play the song. He still loves us. We’re His children. There are quite a few inspirational things in there.
I’m also doing some bonus features. They will have a question-and-answer period. After the concert, I go out and take questions from the audience. If they have questions about a bit from the past, I’ll also do the bit. A second bonus feature will be cartoons to go with some of the bits from my first CD.
You’ve been touring as a comedian for a long time. What is that like? Well, my hotel shampoo collection is extensive. When my kids were young, I would bring them shower caps from hotels and tell them they’re space helmets. When I first started, I simply wanted to use comedy as a vehicle to get them in, get them laughing and then let me share scripture or my testimony. The thing I’ve seen is not only are people receptive to that and that plan is still working, but also [what] I’ve learned is just simply laughter is a huge healing tool. ... I did a show at a Christian coffee house one night for no money. I had a dad come up after and said he and his teenage son had not spoken. … When they heard I was coming, the week leading up to it, they were able to share old bits from that old DVD and laugh. It really kind of started the healing process. They had more in common than all the problems. I’ve seen families laugh together. There could be tragedy walking through the door, but God uses laughter and joy to show that He’s not given up on them.
How hard is doing stand-up comedy night after night? I’ve done a show for eight people and 82,000 people. I’ve done a football stadium. I did a show in the middle of a racetrack, and I had to stop my jokes while the cars raced between me and the audience. I did a show for a church called “55 and Better,” but no one in the audience could remember being 55. This lady kept talking to me through the whole show. She would ask questions and I would answer her. At the end, she stood up and gave me a big hug. It was the perfect end to a show. I feel like I’ve seen every situation a comic could be in.
What is the key to demonstrating confidence and yet remaining humble? I love my job and I have the confidence that God has blessed me. I realize that God has given all of us individual talents to use to glorify God. That’s the whole reason He gave me that talent to begin with. He’s going to equip me with the ability to do my job well. The humility comes from the fact that God would even use me. I’m just so grateful to do stand-up and to do it well enough to do it this long. I think a lot of people do stand-up comedy and put us up on a pedestal where we don’t belong. To me, I say words into a microphone and people laugh.