LOGAN – Appropriately, during USU Homecoming Week, an Aggie alum returns to headline two comedy shows Friday night at the Dansante Building.
<p class=”p2″>Bengt Washburn, who performed on <em>Conan on TBS</em> in April and has appeared on the <em>Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson</em> will be featured at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows. He will perform with Cache Valley comedians Mike Grover and Spence Roper.
<p class=”p2″>Washburn spent four years at Utah State University in the late-1980s earning a degree in Art and Logan is where he started his stand up comedy career. He went on to earn a master’s in Art at Indiana University.
<p class=”p2″>“Stand up was a pretty big thing in the ’80s,” Washburn says. “I would do contests on campus and that kind of thing. Once it went well, another time not so well. Pretty bad, another time. I think I did three, maybe four times, in my college days at Utah State.
<p class=”p2″>“Right after that I did some more in Utah before quitting to go to graduate school at Indiana. I gave up comedy for about five years. At that point comedy didn’t seem practical; somehow a degree in art seemed more practical. I don’t know why. Stand up is my backup plan, my safety net.”
<p class=”p2″>He said it was failure at art that got him back into comedy. At some point he said comedy started to pay money and fine art wasn’t paying money. By 1998 he was divorced and he went out on the road full time doing comedy all over the country. He was remarried in 2000 to an Air Force officer when she was at Hill Air Force Base.
<p class=”p2″>Now living in Virginia, he said his art career is currently on hold.
<p class=”p2″>“Mostly in my life now I just do comedy and take care of kids.”
<p class=”p2″>He grew up in Mapleton, Utah “…that’s south of Springville, which is south of Provo. I have to go that far in so people know where my hometown is.”
<p class=”p2″>He said he hasn’t been back to do a show in Logan in about five years.
<p class=”p2″>Most of what he has to share on stage calls on his Mormon heritage.
<p class=”p2″>“It always does, hopefully not in an offensive way. All my comedy comes from my life and that is a part of my life so it comes out on stage.”
<p class=”p2″>Both of Friday’s shows are for mature audiences although the first one, he said, will be PG.
<p class=”p2″>“It’s just that little kids don’t get, or like, what I talk about in the show. The later show is still not going to be raunchy. For me stand up comedy is a place where you talk about real stuff. Real ideas and things in life.”
<p class=”p2″>Washburn has produced three comedy CDs and a fourth one, ”Bengt Over in Europe” will be released later in the fall. They can be previewed at getbengt.com.
<p class=”p2″>Tickets are $10 at the door Friday.