Hey, did you hear the one about the comedian who got 86'ed from the comedy club? (Pause.) Yeah, it turned out people were dying — dying laughing, that is.
In the case of little Trevor Hattabaugh, a veteran comedian who slays with the best, it turns out the joke's on him. At age 11, this kid's got legs, as they say in show business, meaning he's the real deal. Unfortunately, he won't be able to hone his chops at the local comedy club, the Funny Bone, anymore. Or, at least not until what they're calling "The Trevor Bill" sees the light of day at the Idaho Legislature — which probably won't be until next year, if at all.
The good news is, Hattabaugh will open Saturday for "Late Show With David Letterman" comedian and talent coordinator Eddie Brill at "Minor Offense. Major Laughs. A Special Night of Comedy" at Boise State University.
Brill, who says his comedy is influenced by George Carlin — "He's my hero," he says — isn't coming just for the yuks. He's also coming to support the young comic and to teach a day-long workshop at the Funny Bone for serious comics who just might want to quit their day jobs.
Also on the bill: The Fool Squad, those crazy Greenshow thespian cutups from the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and Pete Peterson, a local funny fave, just back from a comedy tour in the British Isles, where he racked up two comedy awards. Pat Mac, manager of the Funny Bone, will emcee the event.
From party jokes to comedy clubs
Hattabaugh has been telling jokes since he was a wee tyke. His dad and first joke coach, Cary Hattabaugh, would perch his son on a stool at parties and the kid would knock 'em dead.
But he didn't go public until he was 9. That's when Hattabaugh heard about the annual comedy contest at BSU.
"He begged me to find out if he could enter," Hattabaugh's mom, Sam Sandmire, said. When the rules didn't rule him out, Hattabaugh put together a comedy routine. In November 2005, at the age of 10, he won BSU's comedy competition, cracking wise better than his 22 all-adult competitors.
Since then, Hattabaugh has been performing and practicing his mad comedy skills at comedy clubs in Oregon, California and, until his recent ousting, at the Funny Bone.
"I get to make people laugh and make some money doing it," Hattabaugh said during an interview at school recess last week. "It earned my way to a Rollerblade camp, and I got an Apple laptop from my comedy."
Does the funny kid want to be a comedian when he grows up?
Nah, too much work, he said.
"I think I want to be a pro-soccer ball player or a pro-skier. Comedy is kind of my fallback."
To offer story ideas or comments, contact reporter Jeanne Huff at email@example.com or 377-6483.