When Bret Ernst arrives in the Twin Cities, he'll be in the midst of getting ready for the taping of his one-hour special later this spring. "I don't want it to be too tight, where it sounds too prepared," he says. "I like it loose, more of a storytelling style." When not doing standup, Ernst is acting as well as working on his podcast, simply called Bret Ernst. Ernst discovered a knack for making people laugh back in grade school. "I went to 14 different schools growing up," he explains. "When you're the new kid, they make you stand up in class and introduce yourself. I looked forward to that, and doing book reports in front of the class. I'd try to make them funny." It wasn't until much later that he discovered standup. At first, he had aspirations of being a pro football player, and had a respectable career at Division II CW Post on Long Island, now LIU Post. "A couple of guys from my team went pro. No one major," he says. "The best players I played with, though, were in high school in south Florida. Football in south Florida is ridiculous." Ernst played a few seasons of semi-pro ball, and was invited to a combine held by the Arena League's Orlando Predators, but a hurricane canceled the trip. "Plus, comedy was really gnawing at me." He still follows football and is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, which is odd for someone who grew up in New Jersey and Florida. "When I was six or seven, I was watching the Super Bowl with my dad, and he was rooting for Dallas," he recalls. After his parents divorced, young Bret immersed himself in the Cowboys as a way to connect with his father. Years later, he discovered his dad was not a Cowboys fan, and wasn't even really a football fan. He had just bet on Dallas a few times. "I had put so much into Dallas, though, that I never looked back." 18; 21+ later shows.
Thursdays, Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., March 28, 9:45 p.m.; Sat., March 29, 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: March 27. Continues through March 30, 2014