If you like laughing until the vein in you head looks like it's going to burst, then comedian Joe Charles is the man for you. This Marine turned comic lights up the stage with his routines that keep the crowd rolling out of their seats.
For a little over three years now, Charles has been performing at various comedy clubs across America. He has made a name for himself in venues like the New York Comedy Club, the Improv in Hollywood, CA, the Funny Bone in Columbus, OH, and even the Laff Stop in Houston, TX.
Charles claims that he never chose to do comedy, but comedy chose him. It all started a few years back when he witnessed one of his idols, Andrew "Dice" Clay, show up at the Hollywood Comedy Store unscheduled. After that night, Charles went home and started writing. Six months later he was on stage, missing his pants in front of strangers.
The very first time that Charles performed on stage, it was a shocking surprise for him. He decided to do a pratfall on his way up the stage as the crowd was applauding him, a very dicey move he says. It worked because after that the crowd loved him.
"I've never been that scared in my life, Charles recalls. "It was the biggest rush I've ever had."
From that point on Charles was addicted.
He claims that he's been making people laugh his entire life. His influences include Robin Williams, Richard Pryor and Benny Hill, as well as his stepfather, who he credits as the funniest person he's ever known.
Charles loves to see a funny comic on stage because he appreciates the work it takes to get to that point. Even if it's a comic that he doesn't like, Charles is still inspired because, "If this jackass can do it, I know I'm on the right track."
Charles finds just about anything funny, especially physical comedy, but he tries to stay away from highly political humor. However, he does love what Dennis Miller and Jon Stewart have to say about today's world, and he admits that loves it when his material impacts others just the same.
"I've done a lot of things, but comedy makes me feel like I'm serving a purpose," he says. "It is a positive direction, and it is the most amusing thing I think a person can do with their life."
Charles' former occupations include: a hot dog cart worker, a computer geek for the Marines, a tour guide, a minor league ballpark usher, a guitar luthier and a delivery driver. He says that each were directionless jobs.
"Dealing with past employers is one thing, but dealing with comics is another," he says.
"Comics are bitter. Not all of them, but some are the biggest insecure egomaniacs in the world," he adds. "I'm insecure, but I'm no egomaniac. I'm surprised if I ever get a laugh."