Q&A with Shannon Parkevich of the Poor Comedians Show

From the December 20, 2012 edition

Shannon Parkevich has been doing standup comedy for three years and started the Poor Comedians Show a year ago. She organizes and hosts the monthly show, held every third Friday at the Pour House Tavern in Gahanna, which features some of Columbus and Ohio’s best up-and-coming standup talents. Parkevich spoke with Alive about her show’s success, meeting her boyfriend through standup and why poop jokes and Twitter go so well together.

I consider the first comedy I’ve ever done was when I was 14-years-old and my mom enrolled me in the Miss Whitehall beauty pageant. I didn’t have any talents. I can barely dance. I can’t sing. I can’t juggle. So I did a comedy skit where my dad and I dressed up as Edith and Archie Bunker, sat at a piano and I sang the theme song to “All in the Family” in Edith’s voice.

I started doing standup comedy in September of 2009. I didn’t know anything about comedy. All I knew was that I liked comedians and didn’t even know they wrote set lists and prepared. I thought they just made stuff up off the top of their head. So I wrote a set list out, and rather than putting it on a small piece of paper, I wrote it on a big piece of paper and went up on stage. After that, [Columbus comedian] Anthony O’Connell came up to me and said, “I don’t know you, but I wouldn’t go up on stage with a giant piece of paper. It looks like story time with Shannon.” We’ve been dating ever since. He had me at, “You sucked.” He’s headlining Friday’s Poor Comedians Show. I wanted to showcase him, not just because he’s my boyfriend, but because everyone is always asking for him.

Last October was the one-year anniversary show and was one of the best shows we’ve had. Bill Squire, a comedian from Cleveland, headlined, and he was a hit.

Once there were three people in their forties, two ladies and a guy, who were talking through the whole show. When they were leaving they said they were really sorry, that it was a reunion and they haven’t seen each other since kindergarten. I thought, “What?! I bet you guys have a lot to catch up on; like, did you finally learn how to read? Remember playgrounds and coloring?” How do you remember somebody from kindergarten 40 years later? What inspired these people to get together?

I don’t have a direct, one person who is my comedy idol. I really like people who are at that point where they’re, like, famous, but not the average person would know about them. Ryan Singer is super funny and very odd with his humor. I like that. Tommy Johnagin is one of my favorites. I also like Hannibal Buress, and T.J. Miller is so funny. And, obviously, Louis C.K. is a comedic genius. He can get away with anything on stage.

When you see my Twitter, you’re going to think I am weird. I tweet a lot about poop. Don’t judge me. When I first started comedy, they called me the poop comedian or “poopy” Parkevich.

Follow Shannon Parkevich on Twitter @shannparkevich.

Photo by Meghan Ralston