LATHROP – Joe Rivera isn’t your typical aspiring comedian.
Rather than sitting on the sidelines and complaining about there not being enough opportunities for local people who want to take the stand-up comedy route, Rivera rolled up his sleeves and went to work. He contacted various non-club venues in Lathrop and the South County hoping to find a place where aspiring comedians could gather.
The effort led to the securing of Texas Buffalo Wings in Lathrop as a regular host of Rivera’s “Chip’s Comedy Club”. Texas Buffalo Wings hosts the next installment on Saturday, Feb. 13.
“I did a lot of comedy shows in Modesto and Livermore, and would get bugged when big and medium-sized acts would come to Manteca and never put on local talent – and that still happens today, unfortunately,” said Rivera. “My main goal for local promoting is to put on any act that wants to perform and have a good time while doing it. Too many local promoters play games with good talent and like to use their stage as a carrot at the end of a string to manipulate them into doing what they want them to do.
“No matter where I’m doing comedy, I will put on anyone, anywhere, anytime – who am I to tell a comedian that they’re not funny enough to grace our small stage?”
The Sierra High School graduate credits the humor of Mike Judge – the creator of Office Space, Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill – the sketch comedy of The State, and the performers of Saturday Night Live for shaping his view of the world of funny and how to share it with other people.
And even though he himself loves gracing the stage and eliciting laughter from those who come out, Rivera also finds enjoyment in promoting the events that showcase other performers as well. he also likes knowing that you don’t have to drive out of town to have a good time.
“It’s a lot of hard work yet it’s worth every single smile, laugh, and round of applause,” Rivera said. “We have had large crowds and small crowds, good comedians and bad comedians. No matter the outcome, it’s always about performing first and foremost.”
While most of his days are spent working full-time as a security officer for a major company, Rivera enjoys using free time building a roster of local comedians that are looking for a place to play – giving him the inside glimpse into the world of booking talent and what it takes to make the roster of those who call the shots.
Performing locally and throughout the area for other promoters is also another hobby.
Chip’s Comedy Club will be performing on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. at Texas Buffalo Wings – located at 16925 Harlan Road. For more information, visit their website at www.myspace.com/chipscomedyclub.
Rivera will also be hosting a guitar competition at Texas Buffalo Wings on Friday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. He cites guitar as a bigger passion for him than comedy. His comedy website, which includes clips from his performances, can be found at www.myspace.com/manacondajoerivera.