Greg Coleman always knew he wanted to entertain people, he just wasn't sure of exactly how he wanted to do it. "Growing up I was a sports guy, and I always thought they put sports guys on TV," he explains. "'I'll just play sports, and then one day they'll put me on TV. It will be fine.' I had no idea."
Indeed, it worked for his father, former Vikings punter Greg Coleman, who is currently a sideline reporter for KFAN's Vikings radio broadcasts.
[jump] As a kid, young Coleman was unfazed by his father's career. "I didn't know any better," he says. "Those were my dad's friends, and I looked up to them because of that. Pro sports was a big part of my life when I was a kid, but it didn't seem to come with any special privilege. Everybody I knew, for the most part, had a dad that was in the NFL."
Young Coleman's broadcast career started with an internship at a radio station that eventually led to TV work producing and directing. "I had a buddy at the station with me, and we had really good chemistry, so a lot of times they'd bring us on the show. We created this website, called TwoBrokeBoys.com, and we were sort of the party boys for the station."
The duo would shoot silly interviews with celebrities who were visiting the station. "That kind of got the comedy bug in me," he adds. "Then my buddy ended up getting married and having kids, and couldn't pursue comedy."
By this time, Coleman was working at K-96 back when it was a hip-hop station. Co-workers and soon-to-be fellow comics Tiffany Norton and Miss Shannan urged him to finally give standup a try. "I always wanted to do standup, but I never actually knew how to get started."
Having become a fan of Chris Rock, Bill Burr, and Dave Chappelle, Coleman had the inspiration. "I did everything around it. I did radio, TV, and hosted events. They said, 'Get up there and try it.' So I finally went up."
EVentually, Coleman left the topsy-turvy world of broadcasting for a steady gig as youth-intervention specialist at an area school. "I always had these two interests where I wanted to entertain and be an educator, working in youth development in some capacity," he explains. "My mom was an educator, and my dad was a pro athlete in the Twin Cities, and after that he was an educator. My grandparents were educators. I just enjoy working with kids."
Coleman is part of the Elevate & Elate show at Acme, which features fellow comics Bryan Miller, Mike Lester, and Kjell Bjorgen.
IF YOU GO:
Elevate & Elate
Acme Comedy Co.
708 N. F. St., Minneapolis
8 p.m. Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
For tickets, call 612-338-6393 or visit www.acmecomedycompany.com.