"It was just inside of me," says Kevin Bozeman of going into standup comedy. "It wasn't like I saw Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor or Jerry Seinfeld and said, 'Oh! That's something I want to do." It was while watching Def Comedy Jam in college that Bozeman started to think that maybe he too could make strangers laugh. Looking back, he thinks that majoring in communications was subconsciously part of a bigger plan. "I think everything I've ever done has been a tactic to get where I am now."
Bozeman also played college basketball for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater but, like most Division III players, he was not able to land a pro contract. After a series of undemanding and unchallenging day jobs, he turned his attention full-time to standup. He remains a huge sports fan, but it's the one subject he doesn't really make jokes about.
"I'm a huge sports fan," he says. "Like an uncomfortable sports fan. It's uncomfortable to be friends with me sometimes, that's how much I love sports." He mostly follows the big three -- baseball, basketball, and football -- though as a Chicago native he also tries to keep up with hockey's Blackhawks. "I'm a United States guy, so I followed the World Cup as best I could, too." But the subject of sports is rarely a joking matter. "I get fired up about sports so much, I don't even find humor in it. I do find humor in a lot of other things, like my shortcomings as a person."
Occasionally, Bozeman will write a post for his sports blog, but only when he's inspired. "I mostly write it during the football season," he explains. "That's the time when everyone is excited. But if something strikes me during the course of the year, I'll write about it." He's thinking of channeling his interest in sports into a podcast. "I have name for it, and I have it all ready to be packaged, I just haven't jumped on board yet. I just want it to have a unique voice. I don't want to be out there in podcast limbo. I want to have great topics to talk about and interesting people. I'm not sure if I want it to be all sports either."
Onstage, Bozeman has a unique voice, drawing humor out of his everyday life experiences, including parenting. "That's what most of my time goes to," he says. "I have two boys, and I put a lot of time and energy into my kids. I also dabble in politics and current events. It's things that I find interesting, but not necessarily the dynamics of things."
For example, Bozeman can't figure out why some people get so riled up over national politics. "It's such a flawed process. It just really amazes me how people lose friends over their political beliefs. But for these same people politics doesn't directly affect them." He explains: "Their day-to-day lives are still there, and it has nothing to do with who is in the Oval Office. The local politicians that work in the neighborhoods, those are the ones that have the influence. Those are the ones you have to get after. The people that get paid the least attention are the ones that directly affect you."
Bozeman also draws inspiration from his family. Although he wasn't a class clown growing up, he nevertheless turned to humor to get attention. "I had to be funny to get noticed," he laughs. "My siblings are very funny," he adds. "They always try to give me material. They're not funny in a standup sense, but more in an everyday kind of setting. I actually watch what they do and get more material hanging out with them as opposed to them trying to give me material directly."IF YOU GO:
Kevin Bozeman Acme Comedy Co. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis, 612-338-6393 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday $18 www.acmecomedycompany.com Got a tip? Email us at Dressing Room.