Many comics eventually find their way into acting, but Baron Vaughn took a roundabout way into standup. "Standup got me into acting," explains Vaughn, who plays legal assistant Leonardo Prince on the USA Network series Fairly Legal, "and acting led me back to standup." Watching both new and old episodes of Saturday Night Live got him interested in performing, and ultimately led him to enroll at a performing arts high school in his hometown of Las Vegas. In his junior year of college, he decided to give standup a go. Coming from a stage background, Vaughn was immediately comfortable standing in front of an audience, but he stressed a little over his material. "I was really afraid of the audience getting ahead of me, like they would know what was going on before I got to the punchline," he says. Not surprisingly, his comedy influences are all unique performers, guys like Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, and Richard Pryor. "Pryor could get into a character and just stay there, and Steve Martin had this anti-performance style, 'I'm onstage and you're not, but we can talk about that.'" Another major influence was Robert Townsend who, like Vaughn, found his way into standup via acting. In his set these days, Vaughn is trying to open up more about his personal life. "[I'm trying to be] a little less cerebral, and talk more about things I don't fully understand as far as situations I find myself in." 18+.
May 3-5, 8 p.m.; May 4-5, 10:30 p.m., 2012