“We have bands, comedians, and all sorts of different acts come through, and there’s just something about being in the theater that’s magical. It’s great to have this opportunity to see Tommy Ryman,” Sheldrick said.
Named “Best of the Midwest” at Gilda’s Laugh Fest, Ryman has appeared at some of the top comedy clubs, colleges, and festivals across the nation. Ryman’s stand-up comedy has also landed him the No. 2 spot on iTunes comedy charts for his album “Having the Time of My Life.”
“I kind of fell into stand-up comedy. I was going to college for theater to be an actor, and then I had been listening to some stand-up comedians. Mitch Hedberg was one of my favorite comics. I memorized his album. There’s a comedy club called Acme Comedy Company, which is my home club in Minnesota, and I went to their open mic. I had written three minutes of material, performed it, and it went well, so I just kept going back,” Ryman said.
He continued, “I didn’t realize I could make a living at it, but eventually I got hired as a house emcee at that club, and then there were headliners that brought me on the road like Rob Little.”
Ryman grew up in Minnesota and he’s been doing stand-up comedy for almost 17 years. He went full time as a comedian in 2014. Ryman and his wife lived in Los Angeles for five years, but he said they fled LA when the pandemic hit.
“Now, I just go to LA for a couple of weeks at a time. The industry has changed so much that unless you’re on a show or writing for a show, you don’t need to be there. So, now being back in Minnesota is central for me to fly to tour everywhere. I can go to New York more often. When I was in LA, it was all the way across the country,” Ryman said.
Now, he said, you can send tapes in, you don’t necessarily need to be in a room to be in front of people anymore. Technology has changed that with Zoom and other online platforms.
Ryman was invited to be on Nickelodeon’s “NickMom Night Out, and he has a comedy special on “Dry Bar Comedy.” Ryman has worked alongside comedians such as Louie Anderson, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, and Nick Swardson. He has also been featured in “Paste Magazine” and is regularly heard on SirusXM and iHeartRadio.
“It’s just a ridiculous idea thinking that this is my living, traveling around, making people laugh, and then they pay me after, but I just enjoy it. It’s fun to get a group of people to forget about stuff and have a fun evening. I do a lot of storytelling, biographical family stuff, jokes about my dog, my mom is a super-hippie, and I just have an interesting background, so I like to talk about that,” Ryman said.
Ryman performs original material he has written. He is readying to release his third album, “Party Troll” on May 3, and he said his goal is to get to No. 1. Much of what audiences will hear on stage in Fairfield will be from his third album project.
“On the new album, I talk about fleeing LA, which was weird, because I never thought I’d have to flee anywhere. So, there’s a bit about how there’s really no instructions on how to flee the city. I talk a lot about technology, so I have a joke about getting a Roomba. Also, a bunch of bees got in my bathroom, because I bought a new house, so there’s stuff that goes on with when you own a house, and that kind of stuff. Then, there are jokes about my older sister, and a bunch of our pets, too, because we bought a Great Dane and rescued a cat. We have three dogs, a cat and a Hairless Guinea Pig,” Ryman said.
“I just want audiences to be entertained, happy and to have a good time,” he said, “And feel better about themselves, walk out, and start changing the world for the better.”
How to go
What: Tommy Ryman will bring his stand-up comedy to Fairfield
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Drive
Cost: Tickets are $34 for adults and $31 for students and seniors. (Prices include ticketing fees.) To purchase tickets, call the FCAC Box Office at (513) 867-5348 or purchase online at fairfieldoh.gov/tickets.
More info.: Fairfield-city.org and fairfieldoh.gov/tickets. Connect with Tommy Ryman online at tommyryman.com. Part of the One Stage Series, the show is sponsored by the Journal News and Courtyard Marriott and funded in part by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.