Huntingburg comedian specializes in good, clean funAugust 15, 2019
By ALLEN LAMAN
HUNTINGBURG — No sex, no drugs, no race relations and no politics. When Clint Hall of Huntingburg tells jokes, he keeps them clean.
Some people would say the 49-year-old has been a comedian his entire life. He started doing stand-up professionally about 10 years ago, and last month, he was crowned the winner of the Clean Comedy Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee. That contest and seminar attracted budding comedians from across the country.
As a child, he cracked jokes with his classmates, and he’d always wanted to try a routine in front of an audience. After watching the 2010 documentary “I Am Comic,” Hall was inspired to take the leap.
“I’ve always liked entertaining people,” Hall said. “There’s plenty of bad stuff going on, so why not make people happy? I like performing. I like making people happy.”
Hall draws on his experiences working in an office — he is a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of Indiana — his family life, and his experiences of living in small towns when he composes his jokes.
He also touches on his previous experiences as a professional wrestler, or anything that strikes him as funny. Hall embraces his nerdiness on stage.
At first, the process of writing and testing out material on audiences was terrifying. He took a stand-up writing class in Louisville, Kentucky, to learn the basics. He drove to open mic nights in Louisville, Indianapolis and Evansville to hone his craft.
“You build up material, you build up a set and hope that somebody sees you and lets you on stage to pay you,” Hall said.
Southwestern Indiana is somewhat disconnected from a large stand-up scene. But Hall makes it work — testing out material at St. Benedict’s Brew Works’ theater stage in Ferdinand on spoken word nights. He has future performances lined up at Gutty’s Comedy Club in Greenwood, Simplicity Furniture in Evansville and The Princeton Theater.
Hall said the country is currently in a divisive time, and he chooses to avoid the topics listed at the beginning of this story for a few reasons.
“There are plenty of people that do the other comedy and do well at it,” Hall said, noting he doesn’t raise issue with the non-clean comedy style. “For me, when I started out, I decided right away that I wasn’t gonna do any jokes that I would be hesitant to tell my children.”
He also doesn’t want to turn off an audience if they disagree with his beliefs, and he’s found many venues will only hire clean comedians.
Hall was lucky to find his way into the Clean Comedy Challenge — all the spots were filled when he initially signed up, but a dropout afforded him the opportunity to join the 25-contestant field. It marked his first entry into the Nashville seminar and contest, which brought in comedians from Canada, Florida, Texas, New York and more.
The competition tasked the performers to deliver routines that were just three minutes long on the first two nights, followed by a two-minute run on the third night. As a finalist, Hall ended his run with a five-minute routine on the last night before claiming the trophy.
Touring comedians and industry professionals critiqued Hall’s work along the way, and he said the whole experience was one of validation of growth. He doesn’t need to be a superstar, but one day, he’d like to be able to make a decent living as a comedian.
“If it doesn’t work out, I’m having a lot of fun, anyway,” Hall said. “It’s a pretty cool ride.”
Hall lives in Huntingburg with his wife, Angie, where the two are raising their grandson, Greyson Denton.
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