Richard Reese
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Richard Reese

Omaha, Nebraska, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2000

Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Established on Jan, 2000
Solo Comedy Spoken Word



The best kept secret in music


"Comedian Reese remains close to roots, despite expanding career"

Since the fifth grade, Richard Reese has wanted to be a comedian, but he didn't have the guts back then.

He wanted to jump on stage during high school talent shows and make the crowd wet themselves with laughter. But again, this wasn't his time. Shortly after graduation, however, he started pursuing his dream.

"Finally in 2000, I said ‘forget it' and did three minutes," Reese said. "My whole family and friends were there, I had a great show and I was hooked after that."

With a side job at the Gap, he continued writing jokes and satirical songs. When he entered a talent competition in Las Vegas, Reese performed among singers, dancers and other comedians at the MGM Grand. The event was televised, providing him with exposure and a chance to work out his nerves. Reese took home a trophy from the showcase and a new confidence in his career.

Reese typically jokes about mainstream topics such as relationships, pop culture, drugs and alcohol, family and even some politics and race. Mostly, his jokes are exaggerations on everyday occurrences.

"I put a cartoon filter over everything that happens," Reese said. "Every funny story that someone tells you, they've added something extra and that's what I try to do."

Reese draws inspiration from comedians such as Steven Wright, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Charlie Chaplin. The most important lesson he has learned from them is the find his own style.

"For the most part, I try to be myself," Reese said. "Audiences are smart and can tell whether somebody is being real or fake now. I can't go up there and try to be smooth on stage. ‘Cause I'm not."

Reese performs regularly at Duffy's Tavern, even though he thinks it's one of the hardest rooms for comedy. The room is not only huge, but extremely loud, scattered with TVs and pool tables. While it may be tough to get the audience's attention at first, Reese believes that Duffy's crowds are some of the most sincere he's run across.

"I rarely try new stuff if I haven't tried it at Duffy's first," Reese said. "It's a college crowd and they're really honest. If they think its funny, they'll laugh, but you won't get a courtesy laugh at Duffy's."

When Reese does travel, he is a busy man. He has visited Chicago, Denver, New York, Las Vegas and many other places. He says he picks up a new state every year he is touring. While he doesn't have any shows in Lincoln until October, Reese will perform at the Funny Bone in Omaha from Sept. 8-11.

Of all his hilarious qualities, Reese estimates that his ability to be unpredictable might be the most helpful to his comedy.

"I would have to say the funniest thing about me is my tendency to take a 180 on certain situations," Reese said. "Maybe it's the nervousness, but I always respond in a way you would not expect someone to respond."

With the wheels turning in Reese's comedy career, he doesn't plan on calling it quits any time soon.

"Comedians in the Egyptian times got fed to the lions if they weren't funny, and that's kind of true today," he said. "I'm going to continue however far stand-up takes me." - Daily Nebraskan

"Flat tire can't keep Omahan away"

Richard Reese's tire went flat just hours before the start of Amateur Night in Norfolk.

When the Omahan finally made it to the Johnny Carson Theatre, his act was anything but.

Reese, whom the audience declared the winner of the event Tuesday night, nearly didn't make it to Norfolk in time. His car blew a rear tire on the way to Fremont, and the wheel was corroded on too tightly for him to replace with the spare.

"I'm just like 'Disaster, we're not going to make it,' " Reese said. "Finally somebody came by with a mallet - I don't know, he was sent from God - knocked the tire off and put the donut on. Went back, got another car, headed here and got here roughly 20 minutes before the show started."

Reese had called ahead to make sure his spot was still open, and he ended up in the final slot by default in the 18-person field. The 26-year-old, who said he's been doing comedy since 2003, wasn't about to miss his opportunity because of some car trouble.

After all, he said, comedy is his career. And the chance to meet with Eddie Brill, the chief talent scout for David Letterman, for a one-on-one consultation about his routine would be a huge break.

It was a prize Reese never thought he would win, adding that he thought "at least two or three" others had a better shot.

"It's very surprising," Reese said. "Comedians are more critical about their sets themselves so I really thought it was just alright."

Reese said he tried to think positively about his place in the final slot. He reasoned that at least people might remember him more when they voted.

But waiting for nearly two hours behind the stage - watching fellow comedians enjoy varying degrees of laughter - was draining.

"That's the biggest stage I've ever been on," said Reese, who has performed in bars and comedy clubs throughout the Midwest. "It's overwhelming. I didn't see (a win) coming at all."

Though Reese had one of the most balanced routines - including bits about former NFL quarterback Michael Vick adjusting to being a "receiver" in prison and video-game ducks making fun of the size of his tiny television - he saved his best for last. Reese's 45-second spiel about "The Last Reality Show," incorporated a plethora of current show titles in its plot summary, drawing a loud ovation from the crowd.

After the show, the comedian kept busy signing autographs and posing for pictures with people. In addition to his consultation with Brill, he said the prestige of the win would help him continue to do what he loves.

Heck, he even got a Great American Comedy Festival trophy out of the deal.

"It's a dumbbell," Reese said with a laugh. "It's awesomeness is what it is." - Norfolk Daily News

"The Comedian in the Jetpack"

In June of 2000, Richard Reese took his first tentative—but eager—steps into the brutal, addictive world of standup comedy on the stage of what was then Jokers Comedy Club in the Old Market. After just a few minutes of performing a tight set of long-practiced material, he got his first positive public response. After that, he was hooked.

“My best friends and family filled the audience to watch me do a whopping three minutes,” Reese says of that first small step into a larger world. “It went really well, which I guess is the reason I’m still doing it 17 years later.”

Born in Chicago, Reese moved to Nebraska in 1994 to live “the good life.”

“My mother and I moved from Chicago in 1994 to get away from the rising crime rate in our neighborhood,” Reese says. “I grew up in Lincoln. I’ve lived in Omaha for about 10 years.”

Inspiration came from Reese’s comedy heroes Steve Martin and Buster Keaton. They helped set him on the road to comedy, but it was the Prince of Pop who inspired him to be an entertainer in the broader sense.

“From an entertainment standpoint, I love the innovation that Michael Jackson was able to create during his peak,” Reese says. “When I got to Nebraska, I started typing jokes and stories onto an old IBM computer with a green monochrome monitor. Little did I know, I would perform stand-up comedy for the first time on stage six years later.”

“Intellectually silly” and “a bit unpredictable” is how Reese describes his style.

“I definitely like to experiment when given the chance. I have some wordplay and one-liners in my act, and I like to touch on current events every so often.”

Other than the usual career hurdles, Reese says he has taken a pretty smooth but circuitous ride along the “scenic route.”

“There have been the usual roadblocks you face when pursuing a career in entertainment,” Reese says. “I didn’t get my first paid work at a comedy club for three years…two years after that when I received my first standing ovation. Three years after that I got my first road gig at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago…another four years after that I recorded my first comedy special independently…another two years I recorded another one. Another year when I recorded an album. [This year] I’ve had more paid gigs than any other year of stand-up. Like I said, the scenic route.”

Comics have their reasons for performing, but one that comes up frequently is the healing power of public self-expression.

“For me it’s definitely therapeutic to speak my mind in front of people,” Reese says. “It’s a thrill to be able to think of something in your head and have an audience respond to it accordingly. Sometimes that response is a laugh, sometimes it’s applause, and, unfortunately, sometimes it’s silence. That’s just a part of the rush that comes with public speaking.”

A regular at the Omaha Funny Bone, Reese also performs at comedy clubs and theaters around the country. One day Reese hopes to find himself writing for film and television.

“That would be awesome,” he says. “But mostly I would like to be the first comedian to perform for the Super Bowl halftime show.”

Visit for more information. - Omaha Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Richard Reese has been dishing out the laughs with the best of them for
years. He’s accumulated much experience over that time -- including
being voted “Most Entertaining” at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and
winning the Great American Comedy Festival in 2008. Followed by those
escapades were the release of two comedy specials entitled “Smoke, Jokes
& Lasers (2013)” and “Always Laugh Forever Before You Die Yesterday
(2015).” In 2016 his album Jetpack Tuxedo arrived on digital platforms
to pleasing reviews. As a tenacious agent of humor, Mr. Reese brings an
original and unpredictable approach to his show. 2018 saw the release of
his first book, "SKYAIKU." Creatively witty and intelligently silly,
this comedian/filmmaker continues to delight audiences near and far.

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