Since childhood, Paul Hooper wanted to be a standup comedian, though it took him a while to work up the nerve to do it. "Somewhere around the age of 19, I started thinking about it seriously," the Charlotte, North Carolina, native says. "When I was 22, there was a workshop at a local comedy club. I figured that would be a way to ease myself into it. I took it for a few weeks, and then got on stage and that was that." After a few fits and starts, he found his groove. "I killed, which was glorious from beginning to end. I was hooked. There was no turning back." In his early days, he hit the road and partied hard, so much so he got uninvited to join a tour sponsored by Jägermeister. "I got handpicked for the tour, and then I got a DUI," he explains. "One of the organizers said, 'That might present a problem down the road.' So I did a joke about that for a while. I was too big of a drunk to be on the Jägermeister Tour." 18+.
July 30-31, 8 p.m.; Fri., July 31, 10:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 1, 7:30 & 10 p.m., 2009
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