What a Relief: Cincinnati Comedian Mark Chalifoux Delivers Zoom Comedy Happy Hour
On March 3rd, UC Clermont hosted a comedy relief happy hour to benefit the UC Clermont Food Pantry. The event was streamed over Zoom and free for all students and faculty. Coming live from his Indianapolis studio, national touring standup comedian, Mark Chalifoux, performed jokes from his album, “Think Fast.” Event coordinator, Jennifer Radt, noted that attendance of the event was appreciatively much more diverse than expected with many students and staff attending.
During the event, a creative touch was added by incorporating a live audience where selected Zoom attendees’ microphones were unmuted to provide jokes and laughter to go along with Chalifoux’s delivery. From start to finish, the jokes contained hilarious punchlines to the obvious amusement of the audience. The diverse set of comedy was relatable for both staff and students. The set was also reliably family-friendly. Following a final joke by Radt, virtual applause ensued, and the intended “relief” was noticeably accomplished for all.
While the showcase was held virtually, the positive response held true to what Chalifoux has always appreciated about comedy. His inspiration to perform stand-up has always been about the audience. “I think for me, it was just that I liked that connection with the audience, and it’s the idea of making somebody’s day better.” Seeing others have a good time and forget about their problems for a couple hours is what has always motivated him to keep going and improving.
Chalifoux got his start while working in sports radio broadcasting. “This comedian guest on the show at the time really encouraged me to try standup because he thought it was funny and that’s how I got into standup.” It was this comedic guest that provided a foundation for his particular brand of comedy. “One of the biggest pieces of advice that he gave me is to write about your life because that is something that’s always going to be authentic to you. You’re not trying to copy other people, or their styles – write about what happens to you. My style has always been kind of personal, I’ve written about when I got married and after I had kids I wrote about being a dad and that kind of stuff.”
Since getting his initial start and honing his craft, Chalifoux now focuses on what he wants the audience to take away from his jokes. “The second most important thing [other than his connection with the audience]would be that the jokes come from a pretty honest place – it’s not just stuff that I’m making up. There are a lot of true stories that I tell in a very funny way, maybe, but they are all coming from a real place.”
In addition to his comedy album, “Think Fast,” you can find him sharing jokes on social media via Instagram and Facebook. And, soon, you may just find Chalifoux on the big screen. “I have a comedy special. It’s my first special that’s going to be coming out in the fall or winter. That’s probably the biggest thing that I’m excited about.” The special is, so far, the most ambitious project of his career. “I filmed it late last year in Utah, so that was a really exciting moment for me because it was a big seven camera shoot. We did two shows that were sold out, so that was really cool.”
Chalifoux is currently working on a second comedy album and hopes to start recording at the end of this year. With the pandemic seeming more and more in the rearview mirror, the plan is to keep testing new material while on tour in the summer and fall. You can keep up with his whereabouts through his website, www.markchalifoux.com, and Instagram and Facebook.