Authenticity is key

Stand-up comedian Brendan Gay will bring the laughs to the Panida Theater on Nov. 18

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Reader Staff

For nationally touring stand-up comedian Brendan Gay, humor is simply a conduit for sharing stories about a muse he knows best: himself.

“It’s all coming from me,” Gay told the Reader when asked what inspires his style of comedy. “There’s no secret to it, right?”

Gay’s authentic craft will be on full display as he performs Friday, Nov. 18 at the Panida Theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the laughs will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance online and $15 at the door.

Stand-up comedian Brendan Gay. Courtesy photo.

Gay said he draws on his experience as a “Black guy who grew up poor in a rich white neighborhood” when he writes his material, as well as his more recent experiences performing stand-up in 48 of the 50 states. Whether it’s observations about minority culture or quips on life as a millennial, Gay has an arsenal of personal insights he uses to weave his comic web.

“My identity comes from my growing up and being different,” he said, “and then experiencing so much around the U.S.”

Gay is nearly seven years into his comedy career, which came only after achieving his ultimate goal of becoming a successful medical device salesman after college. While the money was good, the gig wasn’t fulfilling.

“It’s tough, right?” he said. “You get everything you wanted, that you worked hard for, and then once you get it you’re like, ‘This is not it.’”

Gay tried stand-up comedy and “really never looked back,” he said. He has since recorded a comedy album; embarked on a “52 x 52” tour, during which he visited 52 cities in 52 weeks; become the producer of a podcast; and earned top spots in several comedy competitions, including TruTV’s Comedy Breakout initiative at The New York Television Festival, the Make Me Laugh USA Competition and NBC’s Stand Up Diversity Showcase.

“It wasn’t glamorous at first. There was a lot of bombing,” he said. “It was a grown passion. I think that was important — at least for me in my comedy journey. This wasn’t a thing that I was completely obsessed with right away. It grew into a passion.”

Those who take in Gay’s Panida show are guaranteed to “leave laughing and thinking differently,” he said. 

“I’m just trying to be myself up there — with jokes,” he said. “If you come to see my show, you’ll really get to know me and how I relate to the culture we’re living in today.”

Brendan Gay Stand-Up Comedy • Friday, Nov. 18; $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-263-9191. Get advance tickets at

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.