"You need to be good at a lot of things to make a living," says comic, columnist, and TV host Michael Somerville. "It's not like the old days where you did some standup and got invited to Carson's couch." Like many comedians, Somerville first did standup in response to a dare by friends. "I talked all about cafeteria food and dorm life, and it actually went really, really well. It was my first show ever. It was a big success, but even then I didn't really consider becoming a comedian." Instead, the Notre Dame graduate went into advertising, but soon had an epiphany. "Andy Richter was the voice of our toothbrush campaign at the time," recalls Somerville, "and he would come in and make more money than I made all month reading this one sentence for a commercial. I thought, 'Well, I can do that.'" He began pursuing standup, and today is one of America's foremost "relationship" comics. His act is a bit different though, a fact he didn't realize at first. "I noticed that I wasn't offending women," he says. "A lot of times in standup one gender will get insulted, but people were emerging from my shows—both sexes—feeling good."
Wednesdays-Sundays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: Aug. 5. Continues through Aug. 9, 2009