“Right before I started doing comedy I was in community college in Philadelphia,” recalls comedian Big Jay Oakerson. “I was always a huge fan of comedy but never had any thought that I would be able to do it.” However, he knew he was funny. “I had my niche. Some guys are great athletes, some are ladies men; I was the funny guy.” He never gave performing much thought until he ran into an old friend from high school. “This was about a year after we graduated. We started talking, and she said she was disappointed in me. She always thought I’d end up doing comedy. By chance, I was with my buddy the next day, buying sneakers, and I saw a comedy club that was having an open mic. I fell in love with it immediately.” At first, he concentrated on simple setup-punchline jokes, as well as some misdirection. “You’re getting beat up by someone and you say, ‘That’s enough Dad,’” he gives as an example. Today, he’s much more of a storyteller who lets the audience guide him. “That’s what I sometimes advise younger comics to do,” he says. “Learn what it’s like to not have them laugh, and then you can go in a different direction than you thought you were going to go.” 18+; 21+ later shows.