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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Two UA comics come home

Paul Goebel performs his comedy act at Gentle Ben?s on Sunday evening. Goebel who graduated in acting and directing from The University of Arizona in 1991 now lives in Los Angeles , Calif.
Paul Goebel performs his comedy act at Gentle Ben?s on Sunday evening. Goebel who graduated in acting and directing from The University of Arizona in 1991 now lives in Los Angeles , Calif.

Two UA graduates, stand-up comedians and Comedy Corner veterans — Paul Goebel and Brian McNett — returned to their roots on Sunday when they performed at Gentle Ben’s Brewing Company.

Besides doing stand-up for about 20 years, Goebel has acted, written and produced various shows throughout his career. He has appeared in “”Not Another Teen Movie,”” “”Will and Grace”” and “”Curb Your Enthusiasm.””

Goebel graduated from the UA in 1991 with an acting degree.

Goebel was the TV geek on the Comedy Central trivia game show “”Beat the Geek”” for two seasons. This love for television trivia gave Goebel the name the “”King of TV.””

On the other hand, 1999 UA graduate McNett became involved in stand-up fairly recently. His interest was first sparked when he participated in UA’s Comedy Corner during his senior year, first as a writer and then as a performer.

McNett, who grew up in Phoenix, has been living in Los Angeles for the past 10 years, where he said he has been doing some version of comedy since he moved but started to focus on stand-up in the last three years. He started out by doing local open-mic nights, and then put together his own act.   

“”It just slowly develops,”” he said of his talent for humor. “”For me it’s just kind of random.””   

Although doing stand-up comedy is hard work, McNett said it has always been a rewarding experience. “”I definitely just like the challenge and the fact that everything you’re doing up there is you,”” he said. “”It’s your job to entertain whoever’s there. Once you get up there and start telling the first joke or two, I usually just get into it.””

Goebel also said that doing stand-up is difficult; there is not a lot of money in the business, so he does it because it is something he enjoys.   

“”I like to make people laugh. It’s what I do,”” he said.     

Goebel compared stand-up comedy to having a conversation where he talks to the audience and they provide instant feedback through laughter and applause.

Goebel said that stand-up comedy is different from other types of performing arts, such as music and theater.

“”With stand-up comedy, it’s just you and a microphone, and when it goes bad you can’t blame the song, you can’t blame the other people in the band, you can’t blame the guy who wrote the thing,”” he said. “”It’s all you.””

On the other hand, when a show goes well, he gets all the credit.   

“”It takes a special kind of person to be able to brave that,”” he said.    

Goebel described his writing process as “”free-form,”” and said he gets ideas for his material from television and pop culture. He also said he likes to attend the shows of other comics to get ideas.

“”The main thing is to stay creative,”” he said.    

Goebel got into stand-up comedy through the examples of others. As a child, Goebel said he enjoyed watching “”An Evening at the Improv”” and Johnny Carson on television. He would then perform some of their jokes for his friends at school, which led him to come up with his own jokes and become the class clown. Goebel attended Flowing Wells High School in Tucson. During his senior year, he began performing stand-up comedy.

During his UA career, Goebel was involved with Comedy Corner for four years and served as the director for three. He also acted in plays such as “”Taming of the Shrew”” and “”Chicago.””

Currently, Goebel lives in Los Angeles where he reviews television shows and writes for Web sites. He also works for a directing school.

On top of that, he has a weekly podcast, “”The Paul Goebel Show.”” Goebel co-hosts the podcast with his friend Jim Bruce, whom he has known since high school.

“”It’s fun to get together with friends once per week and talk about what’s going on in the world,”” he said.

McNett, who is a frequent guest on Goebel’s podcast, said he enjoys being involved because they all know each other so well.    

“”We know how to play off each other,”” he said.

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