A passion for comedy, unassuming personalities and the love of their Midwestern roots are qualities shared by both Chris Barnes and Maggie Faris, the comedians appearing this weekend at Goonie’s Comedy Club in Rochester.
Headliner Chris Barnes, from Milwaukee, was hooked the first time he hit the comedy stage in 1980. “I grew up watching (Bill) Cosby, Flip Wilson, Richard Pryor, you know” said Barnes about his childhood influences. It’s “the love of being on stage” that keeps him in the comedy business. “It gets in your blood” said Barnes.
Barnes describes his act as “doing a lot of improv.” “I’m kind of an animated character, a lot of facial expressions, I’m real physical, you know?” Barnes added. He asked a recent audience member “what do you do for a living?”. “Nothing” replied the man. “Oh really, well how do you know when you’re done?” Barnes enjoys working at Goonie’s “because it kind of has that college town atmosphere” and “it’s kind of middle class to me and they’re (Goonie’s audiences) a smart group of people.”
Also appearing at Goonie’s is Maggie Faris. Her website “Extreme Maggie, mediocre comedian,” is indicative of her down to earth personality, in spite of a lengthy list of awards, exceptional credits on both stage and television, and an impressive list of comedians she has worked with including Doug Stanhope, Kathleen Madigan and Louis Black.
Faris loved comedy as a kid but never thought she could do it herself. She watched the comics at Acme Comedy Club in Minneapolis and thought at the time “that looks easy. I’ll bet I can do that.” Now Faris admits”it’s a lot harder than it looks.” “The first time I did it (stand up) I died a horrible death,” Faris said. But she thought about it for six months and in 1999 she went back and got a few laughs and that’s when she got hooked.
According to her website “…Faris is noted for her ceaselessly cheerful personality and seemingly endless series of quirky, intelligent jokes dissecting our fears and social barriers,”