Interview with stand-up comic Gary Owen

Name: Gary Owen

Age: 32

Years in Comedy: 12

Hometown: Hamilton, Ohio

You started doing stand-up while in the Navy. How did a funny guy like you end up in the military?

I just didn't know a lot about getting into college because nobody in my family went, so I didn't know the right steps to take. And the only reason I joined the Navy was because a friend of mine had joined the Navy, too, and he basically dragged me out of my bed one morning.

You became an honor guard. Was it hard to be serious doing that?

I had a hard time, because I didn't take anything too seriously, and I was always trying to make people laugh. [But at a] funeral, it's not the time.

What: Gary Owen

When: Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 2-4

Where: Funny Bone Comedy Club, Easton

Web: gofunnybone.com

Was that job tough?

Yeah ... because when you have access to the White House and you get a speeding ticket, you can't do it. You have to have the cleanest record to be on the grounds. Everyone in the honor guard is between 18 and 25. They're young, so it's natural for young people to get in trouble.

When did you finally decide to try stand-up?

The first day I landed in San Diego, I was calling [comedy clubs] out of the phone book. I didn't know who to call, so I was calling comic book places.

I remember this place called The Comic Castle. And I thought, this must be a comedy club. So I called them and asked them, "Do you have open mic?" And they're like, "Who's that?" It was a confusing phone call. "Open-Mic Man. Is he Marvel or DC?"

Even though you're interested in doing more films, you moved back to Cincinnati a few years ago. Why?

We have three kids, and when we lived in L.A. we didn't have any support. Grandparents save a marriage. You can't ask friends in L.A. to baby sit, because they're like, "We have to get to this party," or "I have this audition." You just want to [be] around some regular folks.