Zach Wycuff is a hilarious standup comedian and writer from Cincinnati. As he prepares for a special recording with DryBar he will be headlining a show at Falls City Beer on Thursday, April 6, 2023!
Admission is free and the show will also feature performances from comics Cali Botkin, Ben Flug, and Jack Merrywell.
Zach was the winner of the 2019 Funniest Person in Cincinnati competition. He hosts a podcast called Road Killers where talks with comedians, artists, and performers about their travels.
Zach was kind enough to answer some questions for Louisville Laughs.
Louisville Laughs: At what point did you know you wanted to be a comedian?
Zach Wycuff: I’ve always loved comedy. I would come home on Saturday nights from church (I grew up weird lol) and watch SNL. I think when I discovered it was a real thing you could do and not just for people that live in New York or LA, I knew I had to give it a shot.
You host a podcast called Road Killers where you talk with artists/comedians/performers about their travels. What’s something interesting you’ve learned from this podcast and has it informed your standup?
Great question! People have really interesting food options on the road. I learned you can get Donettes and the chocolate coating is almost like a water sealant, so if you take a bite and dip it in milk, it stores the liquid like some sort of milk water balloon situation. I talk to some truly disgusting people.
I’ve also learned less important things.
You won the 2019 Funniest Person In Cincinnati competition. What was it like to win a competition in the city you started in as an open mic-er?
It was about time I GOT SOME DANG RESPECT. No, it was a great honor and so much fun. There’s an “amateur” and “semi-pro” bracket so in 2019, I got to win the semi-pro bracket as my best friend won the amateur. It was truly the best. It’s so funny that that happened because never have I felt truly like the “funniest person.”
Some of the funniest people are established comedians who don’t compete in stuff like that. Also some of the funniest people don’t do stand up. But it did feel like a really cool moment that’s nice to remember when I go to an open mic and suck. I think to myself, “One time, people got together and heard me speak and thought I was funny. Maybe I can go do that again.”
I heard you on a Love the Bomb podcast talking about a rough show you did for a group of volunteer librarians. What is the best experience you’ve had performing outside of a normal comedy space?
WONDERfUL question. I have a background as a probation officer, where I was trying to keep people out of prison in a system that’s largely not great to those incarcerated. Recently, I got to perform *inside* of a prison and it went great.
I was always very nervous to perform for the population I spent so much time with. Not because of any sort of fear, but I do jokes about my time as a PO and really was nervous they would (very understandably) not be about that. But thankfully, they were really really kind and we all had a great time.
As everyone was leaving, I said to someone, “Thanks so much for coming,” and she said, “Of course. It’s not like we had many options.” And that’s a pretty great point.
Were you always funny growing up? Did standup and performing in general come naturally to you?
I was always the kid in class who was really quiet and would whisper something to my buddy who would repeat it louder and get a big laugh. Maybe I was destined to be a writer. Performance still is very much a learned skill for me, but there really are few things better.
What is your comedy highlight?
Winning the contest with my best friend is pretty hard to beat.
Who were the first comedians you remember watching or listening to?
I always watched Seinfeld reruns growing up. I think the first comedian I saw in a real comedy club was a guy named Heywood Banks (remember that song, “Yeah Toast”?). I was maybe like 16 at the time and he was hilarious. There’s so many jokes you can make about toast.
What are your comedy goals? Who are some people you’d like to work with in the future?
I hope I get to keep doing stand up as long as I’m around. I would love to write for a show, something like a “Crashing” or “Ted Lasso”, and eventually my own original show. The list of people I would love to work with is pretty long, but to name just a few: Mike Birbiglia, Nate Bargatze, Pete Holmes, John Mulaney, Roy Wood, Jr., and Seinfeld.