Comedian Ben Bailey, courtesy Pam Loshak

 

Stand-up comedian Ben Bailey has a simple goal for audiences who come to his shows: “I want them to laugh until they forget about the things that suck.” When college is stressful and life is exhausting, comedians like Bailey perform to bring just a bit of humor into our everyday lives. If the show is funny enough to give you a major stomach workout in the process, that’s all the better.

Hailing from New Jersey, Bailey shared, “I have always been a comedian.”

Whether at home or with friends, the desire to make people laugh was a natural part of Bailey’s life. Eventually, Bailey turned his sense of humor into his profession, though he didn’t always plan to work in comedy — he admitted, “I fell into my career.” Opportunities came, so he eventually moved to Los Angeles and quickly started making progress in sharing his comedy with others. He has since gone on to consistently perform stand-up comedy at clubs and festivals, and soon he will be visiting us again in Salt Lake City. Bailey’s passion for comedy was clear in our conversation. He finds there is something special about getting to write your own material, basing it off of “any random thing that strikes me as funny.” Bailey is now touring nationally as a headliner traveling all over as part of his “Ben Bailey Live & Uncensored” series.

As Bailey has found success as a stand-up comedian, he has also earned recognition for other projects. He hosts the podcast “Tall But True,” where Bailey and his guests tell true stories from their own lives. It brings him some added joy even because of the quality time spent with friends and family while recording. Bailey has had several acting gigs and television appearances, most notably, he hosts the game show “Cash Cab,” currently airing on the Discovery Channel and DiscoveryGo. In the series, Bailey picks up unsuspecting pedestrians in his yellow cab, which is actually the set of a quiz show. Along the way, contestants try to win money as Bailey navigates the crowded New York streets, asks questions and keeps a sense of humor along the ride.

Bailey has built a prosperous career through hard work, dedication and a willingness to take risks. He moved to Los Angeles in hopes of following his dreams. Today, he is content and grateful — he said, “I’m happy, but I do still have goals.” Currently, that means pursuing more acting opportunities. Even with his various successes, he is looking to explore new territories and avoid plateaus.

At the end of our interview, Bailey offered advice to students balancing a busy workload and exploring an uncertain future. He said, “You have to work really hard,” but also offered encouragement: “You can do it. Whatever you are dreaming of doing, you can do it.”

Ben Bailey will be performing at the Wiseguys Comedy Club in Jordan Landing on Jan. 25 and 26. Attendees must be 21 or older. To purchase tickets or learn more about this performance, visit wiseguyscomedy.com. To watch a video of Bailey’s stand-up, click here.

a.raasch@dailyutahchronicle.com

@AbigailRaasch

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