‘Last Comic Standing’ comedian to play Gloria Theatre in Urbana

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Comedian Tommy Ryman can find the humor in a lot of things, from Roomba vacuum cleaners to owning a pet rat to having a hippie new age mom.

The “Last Comic Standing” semifinalist will bring his style of biographical comedy to Urbana’s Gloria Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The show is appropriate for all audiences and presented by the Gloria’s Stars on Stage series.

Already a working standup comedian with nothing to lose, Ryman auditioned for “Last Comic Standing” season eight with no real expectations and made it to the top 25. He called it a fun opportunity and it gave him wider recognition to tour more, has released albums and become a favorite on Dry Bar Comedy, a website that streams a variety of comedians and their concerts.

“Most of my stuff is biographical storytelling, no politics and nothing too wild but relatable to everyone. These are jokes, simple and fun of what I think is funny,” said Ryman.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Ryman described himself as a goofy kid, but not a class clown, who was interested in theater and acting, but never thought of standup comedy. Influences such as “Saturday Night Live,” Conan O’Brien, Louie Anderson and especially fellow Minneapolis comic, the late Mitch Hedberg, steered him into comedy, which he prefers to do clean to appeal to a diverse audience.

Ryman is spending some of the summer on the road, and said he’ll mix some of his classic bits with some newer material. He’s also looking forward to playing the Gloria.

“It’s really neat to see these older venues,” he said. “I’ve played a lot of theaters, clubs and big amphitheaters and the Gloria staff has been cool and very supportive. A theater like the Gloria is as close to being an ideal setting as there is for my show.”

This area has seen a lot of standup comedy shows recently, from professionals to regional and amateurs. This first Stars on Stage series was created to showcase various music genres and entertainment like comedy, which fits the area’s demand for it.

“We have worked hard to renovate the Gloria to be a performing arts venue as well as a state-of-the-art cinema and are so pleased to be able to bring quality performances to the region,” said Staci Weller, CEO of the GrandWorks Foundation, that is helping renovate the Gloria.

Weller added that local students from the Urbana Youth Center will attend this performance as a way to get them further exposure to all different career paths, which is part of the organization’s mission to also back to the community.

The Stars on Stage will present diverse musical act B2wins on July 22 and three other shows through the end of 2023.


What: Comedian Tommy Ryman

Where: Gloria Theatre, 216 S. Main St., Urbana

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 10

Admission: $19-39

More info: gloriatheatre.org/ or 937-653-4853

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