Michael Jr.: Comedy on the Road Less Traveled

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Michael Jr. realized for the first time he was funny in the sixth grade. He was a quiet kid who grew up in a home where grown-ups did most of the talking. So, unless he could make everyone laugh, he didn’t say anything.

As a teenager, Michael made a pact with his childhood friend not to curse. They both agreed cursing was not an intelligent way to communicate. “If I hear you curse, I get to hit you in the chest as hard as I want to and you’ve got to stand there and take it,” said his friend. The no-cursing pact that Michael made with his friend has followed him throughout his career. “I have no idea why we made that pact,” recalls Michael. At the time he knew nothing about God.

One night Michael was in the movie theater with some friends. The film projector broke and the 400 people in the audience became disgruntled. With the encouragement of his friends, Michael jumped up and took center stage in the theater. He told a joke and kept it clean. He recalls everyone in the theater laughed. When he saw the reaction of the audience to his joke, he said it was “the ultimate high.” In hindsight Michael admits that God was shaping him as a teenager to one day perform clean comedy.

Michael’s first big break came when comedian George Wallace took him to the legendary Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, home of Jay Leno and The Tonight Show staff. The club’s owner slipped Michael onstage and a week later Michael was performing at the “Just for Laughs” comedy festival in Montreal where he became the first comedian to ever appear live via satellite on The Tonight Show. His appearance on the The Tonight Show helped launch Michael’s career on the comedy circuit.
Michael became a Christian later in life. In fact, he was already getting recognition within the industry when he realized something was missing. After a show one night, his manager invited him to attend church. Although he felt church was only for sick or dying people, he decided to take his manager up on the offer and go to church. Throughout the service, Michael listened intently to what the pastor had to say and he recalls “it made all kind of sense.” However, he decided to first read the Bible cover to cover before making any decision. After he completed reading the Bible in its entirety, Michael turned his life over to the Lord. He also realized that God had made him funny for a reason. “Comedy is just the seasoning that gets people thinking about Jesus,” shares Michael.

He says, “Sometimes comedians I don’t even know will come up to me after a show and ask, 'How do you keep your act clean?'" Michael says he tells them that “you can’t just be acting clean – you’ve got to be clean.”    

His versatility allows him to perform at comedy clubs, major universities and even church events. “If I’m in a club, my material has to be clean enough to work in a church. If I’m in a pulpit, it has to be funny enough to work in a club,” shares Michael.

Michael is taping a solo comedy special at Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas on September 9, 2011.  Gateway Church has over 16,000 members.  Bypassing the traditional stage, Michael will film in front of a live audience. 

“Comedy is the tangible evidence of hope,” says Michael. Over the past decade, Michael has been a staple in the world of comedy, performing hundreds of shows across the country.  His versatility has changed the comedy rules with his groundbreaking hilarious alternative to comedy.  Michael attributes his success to “keeping it clean.”  His motto: Catch ‘em with comedy, keep ‘em with truth.

He says people will come to see him in a church and then he catches them with Truth.  “I want people who have the wrong idea about church to know that it has changed.  Church is fun and relevant,” says Michael.  For more information, please visit www.MichaelJr.com

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