Raymond Wayman doing stand-up comedy in Plattsburgh.
PLATTSBURGH – Raymond Wayman opened with weight loss and online dating.
He veered toward cute baby fat that loses its appeal as people age and admitted his lack of athleticism, the last kid picked at school.
But on Wednesday night, he was the first on stage for the new open-mic nights to be held every third Thursday at Olive Ridley’s in Plattsburgh.The goal is for stand-up to eventually spread throughout the region, with an event planned for Rouses Point.
“I’m not just here to make you guys laugh,” said Joe Portes, standing under the lights on stage.
Portes ranted about vegans who constantly discuss their diet and lifestyle choices with everyone within ear shot and pondered the beyond unhealthy name fast food has earned.
As Shane Cariffe took the stage, he called for rigorous driving tests for the old. He suggested examiners put a car on one end and a horse and buggy on the other and see which one the old person heads toward.
“Let’s keep Yoda off the highway.”
Speaking of highways, Cariffe felt there should be one for people who need to get somewhere and other for people who don’t. The slow road could be dotted with “have-a-nice-day” signs and the fast one, “get out of my way.”
Cariffe also demanded that people stop asking, “How was your day at work?”
“The question should be, ‘What’s your level of hatred for this job today?’”
Wayman said he started the open-mic night so people would have an avenue to try their comedy.
Wayman was often the guy in the group cutting up and making jokes as people told him he was funny.
“I always wanted to do stand up.”
But funny in a group is a far cry from funny on stage.
Wayman found little in the way of stand up in Plattsburgh and jumped across the lake to Vermont to take classes.
He found he could write a decent joke and did a show in Vermont.
“People laugh at your jokes and it is addicting.”
Sign up is 7:30 p.m. every third Wednesday with the show starting at 8. Each comedian gets roughly five minutes.
Wayman believes there is a need for stand-up comedy in Plattsburgh.
“People want comedy.”
It’s the only profession that has to be practiced in front of a live audience to see if one is getting laughs, he pointed out. But over time, comedy acts and comedians improve.
“You don’t know what kind of reaction you are going to get,” Wayman said. “But I used to not be able to talk to anybody and this has me so far out of my shell it’s a little bit scary.”