Vienna native Allan Sidley likes to make a room laugh. Despite his stage fright, Sidley got into stand-up comedy seven years ago, and has been bringing laughter to people’s lives ever since. Sidley likes to look at life with the perspective of laughing makes things better.
“I always knew I wanted to do stand-up comedy. I started off by doing improv comedy and classes to learn quick wit. It helped me with stage fright,” Sidley said. “My first stand-up show was pretty awful, but I knew I wanted to figure it out since I loved it.” Sidley also is a sketch comedy writer, podcaster, motivational speaker, business consultant and author.
Sidley describes his humor as all-encompassing literal jokes. “Most people say I am a pretty witty person. I give the audience all parts of me, and sometimes that includes being edgy and dark and corny,” he said. “I like to joke about things, it is a part of my emotional processing.” The joy of being able to make strangers laugh is what keeps Sidley inspired. He describes comedy as a language which can bring people together.
Sidley lost his father when he was nine months old, and for his comedy show at Jammin’ Java on Father’s Day, he wants to celebrate the father that he never knew. “People can expect a community experience from my show. Comedy shares experiences and connects the audience,” Sidley said. “I want people to laugh and groan, to generally have a good time and feel okay about things again.”
The stand-up comedian wants the community to know how important it is to support local acts who are up and coming. “Small, local acts are really funny. We work as hard as famous people and write our own stuff, we are unfiltered. This is our craft we are dedicated,” he said.
Sidley has lots of experience working with other local acts. “I spent three years full-time producing shows and performing comedy. I grew my business from one show a month to 250 plus shows a year,” Sidley explained. “I gave many comedians in Northern Virginia a platform for their craft and helped put Northern Virginia on the map as a local destination for comedy with fun shows.”
Being a stand-up comic and having a successful producing background is not all Sidley has achieved in his career. He recently published a book titled “Daddy Issues”. “Daddy Issues is provocative, edgy and corny, genius and stupid. People have told me it’s like a written comedy album,” Sidley said. “It’s about family and life. The average open mic is 5 minutes, and it is hard to give people a picture of who you are in that time. This book gives you everything about me and showcases it all.”
Sidley describes his book as containing the good, the bad and the in between of his life that can produce laughs and groans from the reader. “It took a combination of inspiration and writers block and depression to create “Daddy Issues”,” Sidley said. “I had always thought about writing a book, but never had the time. It took the pandemic to make me do it. I just set a deadline and made it happen.”
While the comic thinks his book contains what some would call “dad jokes”, he suggests that anyone who likes jokes buy his book. “It took me six months to publish “Daddy Issues”, but it contains six years’ worth of material,” Sidley said. “It belongs on coffee tables and bathroom stalls across America.”
While Sidley is looking forward to performing at Jammin’ Java in his hometown, he is nervous to be hitting the stage again after many months off due to the pandemic. “I am excited to perform at Jammin Java. It is a venue I spent some of my formative years at enjoying shows,” Sidley said. “But I am a bit nervous, it has been over a year of not being on stage. But once the first joke lands, it’ll be great.”
Looking towards the future, Sidley wants to be happy and continue to make others laugh and help them connect with laughter.
For more information on Sidley’s June 20 show at 2 p.m. at Jammin’ Java visit https://bit.ly/3cEdQnQ