Great Lessons from America’s Everyday Comedian

Behind the humor, comedians often have great insight into the human condition. C Will Myles, commonly known as America’s Everyday Comedian, is no exception as his academic background of psychology and theater set up a career that goes beyond comedy and includes motivational speeches. Kristi Westbrock of CTC hired C. Willi to make a virtual appearance at a recent all-staff meeting, as she detailed in this ViodiTV interview.

What he does can’t be considered an act, as each performance is based on, as his hashtag says, true stories. And judging from our interview, he has some great wisdom with the way he approaches his work, including:

This method has worked well for Myles, as he didn’t pay his dues in the traditional way. As he puts it, paying his dues occurs with every performance. He combines a sharp memory with his contextual observations of the audience and their community to create unscripted performances that are different from night-to-night. As such, repeat customers are common for this Minnesota-based comedian.

It is clear that a big part of his appeal is his authenticity. As he says, “Some of my funniest stories I tell on stage come from a dark and scary place inside me.”  Unfortunately, some of those stories originate in the final days of segregation in Mobile, Alabama. As he points out (and as documented here), attempts at desegregation brought its own challenges.

C. Willii Myles puts his wallet in his car's cup holder, so he doesn't have to reach into his pants in the event he is stopped by law enforcement.
Wallet in a cupholder – courtesy C. W. Myles

Myles tells a sobering story of a teacher and the low expectations he had for Myles and his fellow students. Myles proved him wrong with a journey that brought him to St. Cloud State University.

And although he now lives in Minnesota, he describes a few of the many times he has been pulled over without cause by law enforcement. It is to the point where he drives with his wallet in his cupholder and he won’t drive home late at night from an out-of-town gig.

Like his comedy, he lives a clean life and emphasizes that he doesn’t drink, take drugs or, even, smoke cigarettes. Myles’ philosophy encapsulates his mother and father’s advice by trying to be the best version of himself.

Interview highlights:

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