Cy Amundson loves Minneapolis -- just ask him. The Minnesota-bred comedy dynamo, who has a The Half Hour special premiering tonight on Comedy Central, is an esteemed graduate of the ever-beloved institution Acme Comedy Co. and an unabashed fanboy of the Minneapolis scene.
“I’m really proud of the community and proud to be from there," he gushes. "There are people here who would blow the doors off of every scene. I am who I am because of Minneapolis and Acme.”
Amundson is one of three Minneapolis comics that have netted national acclaim this year, and the second one this week. Mary Mack delivered a transcendentally funny appearance on Conan last Wednesday, and local firebrand Steve Gillespie appeared on the show last April.
This all feels like a long-time coming for Amundson, who made his television debut on Conan in 2012. The 32-year old’s standup is a maelstrom of keen social observation, deft storytelling, and surrealistic pranksterism that is bolstered by his joke writing and hysterical act-outs.
“The last few years has been a refocusing of the way I approach comedy. I started letting myself be a little more vulnerable. The start of it was my bit on my OCD,” Amundson explains. “I had never talked about that onstage, or really in my life. To let people in on that -- it was really crazy to see the response. I started getting a different sort of laughter.”
It’s an evolution Minnesota audiences were witness to with Amundson’s frequent visits and headlining weeks at Acme since moving.
“The ability to let myself be vulnerable early in sets has changed the way my entire performances go. It almost makes me mad it took me so long, to figure it out.”
While standup remains Amundson’s stock-in-trade, he’s kept himself occupied with writing and voiceover roles in shows like Family Guy and American Dad. But Amundson sees The Half Hour as a sort of benchmark. He’s been tailoring the set for the last four years, and stresses how the opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I’ve submitted a number of years in a row and you get notes and you get feedback,” Amundson explains. “That long process made me feel really good about how I got it.”
The Half Hour, featuring Cy Amundson, airs tonight at 11:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.