He was always the funny kid in school, but after graduating from Salem’s McKay High School, funny hardly seemed a financially viable career option. Funches spent the next few years working at a local bank, but continued to feel drawn to comedy. He began seeking gigs in Portland.
“Once I got a taste of it, I knew this was what I wanted to do,” he said.
Funches was having trouble finding regular gigs when another comedian pointed Funches toward The Lucky Fortune Restaurant. The Lucky Fortune holds comedy nights on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, drawing acts from as far away as California.
At the Lucky Fortune newer comedians are given stage time prior to the featured acts, providing an opportunity for Funches to hone his comedic chops. He has performed at the Lucky Fortune for the past six months. On comedy nights the lounge of the Lucky Fortune is transformed into a comedy club. The lights are dimmed and a precariously small platform is placed on the dance floor. The lounge slowly fills and a DJ plays music prior to the comedy starting at 10 p.m.
Funches and other comedians also perform at the Coffeehouse Café from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. Lari DeLapp, owner of the Coffeehouse Café, has been supportive of local comics, and Funches is very appreciative of DeLapp’s efforts. The Coffeehouse Café shows are growing in popularity: in September they drew a crowd of 50 people.
See for yourself! Watch Ron Funches perform stand-up comedy at one of these local shows: Big Shots Bar & Broiler
November 8, 8 p.m. Coffee House Cafe
November 10, 8 p.m. Lucky Fortune
November 12 & 26,
The Coffeehouse Café and The Lucky Fortune provide polar experiences for the comedian. Patrons of the Coffeehouse Café drink coffee rather than liquor, which Funches says means less heckling. But he doesn’t have a preference for one audience over another. He simply loves to perform, and aims to have enough material so that he can switch directions depending upon the crowd’s response. While hecklers aren’t Funches’ favorite part of the job, he does view dealing with them as a learning experience.
Watch Ron Funches perform stand-up comedy at one of these local shows:
Big Shots Bar & Broiler
November 8, 8 p.m.
Coffee House Cafe
November 10, 8 p.m.
November 12 & 26,
“My job is to make people laugh,” he said. If they weren’t laughing, he doesn’t feel like he succeeded as a comedian.
Funches draws his comedic material largely from personal experiences. He is married and has a four-year old son, and his family is often featured in his act. He avoids overtly political material, but if you listen to his act you may get a sense of his politics.
On stage, Funches is relaxed and interacts comfortably with the crowd. More importantly, he makes them laugh.