Comedian alumnus returns to USU, Logan for performance
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 23:09
Bengt Washburn makes people laugh.
An alumnus of USU, Washburn said his time living in Utah played a major role in shaping his life and career as a stand-up comedian.
“It’s part of who I am,” Washburn said of his history in Utah. “Since comedy is kind of a moving commentary of who you are and where you are in life, then this all flavors what I see and how I see it.”
Washburn will return to Logan on Friday to perform at the Dansante theater at 59 S. 100 West. There will be two performances, the first beginning at 8 p.m. and the other at 10 p.m. The cost of tickets is $9.
“I’ve wanted to come back to Logan,” Washburn said. “I haven’t been back for a long time. It’s really beautiful up there.”
A native of Mapleton, Utah, Washburn said he began doing stand-up comedy in high school, where he had his first live performance.
Washburn said it wasn’t until coming to USU in 1986, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in painting, that he realized his knack for jokes could become something more than a hobby.
“Professors like Adrian Van Suchtelen and Chris Terry, they taught me about art,” he said. “That influenced me to go on and get my master’s, and I think all that prepared me for stand-up comedy, because it is an art.”
Spence Roper, a Cache Valley comedian who will perform an opening act for Washburn’s Logan shows, said he has performed with Washburn in the past. Roper said Washburn’s humor, with occasional jests at Utah culture, is sure to strike a familiar chord with locals.
“He’s really funny, obviously, but I think he really appeals to people here in Utah,” Roper said. “It’s funny, but it’s even funnier for us, if you’ve grown up around the Utah culture.”
Cache Valley local and comedian Mike Grover will also perform at the shows.
Washburn said the 8 p.m. show will be rated “PG” while the later one will have content suitable for a more mature audience. Both shows will include content from his most recent album “Bengt Over in Europe,” in which he discusses the cultural shock he experienced in moving to Germany for three years, he said.