Comedian Keith McGill is next act in chamber's concert series

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By Nick Schrager

Keith McGill is coming back to Springfield.

McGill, a Louisville native, is a nationally known comedian whose Jan. 24 show will be the fourth in a series of concerts presented by the Springfield-Washington County Chamber of Commerce at the Opera House.

“I’m a black guy, but don’t let that scare you,” McGill said with a laugh. “I talk about my life in my show, and about the word ‘black.’ You know, you can’t say black anymore. Now, it has to be African-American. I tried to do that, but when I put AA, people thought I was an alcoholic.”

McGill said he has been telling jokes since he was a kid, but at one point he thought about being a civil engineer.

“I was going to try to be a civil engineer, but I was a ‘C’ student, and nobody wants a C average engineer. I could build a bridge, but if 10 people try to go across it, only three of them would make it.”

McGill said he works clubs across the nation performing nearly 200 shows per year, but he mostly works on cruise ships, where he enjoys the travel as well as entertaining his audiences with a show he said is rated PG, and can be enjoyed by most all ages.

“Usually, black people don’t like boats, you know. We’ve just got this whole thing about boats. When I’m on a boat, I always make sure I’ve got a round-trip ticket,” he said.

McGill said his comedy career came as a result of being a “fat kid” and also being smart. He said when you’re a smart kid, people want to beat you up, but if you’re also funny, that gives you a break.

Although comedy doesn’t make him rich, McGill said standing on the stage and hearing applause and laughter is plenty of payment for him.

“You don’t actually get paid much in comedy, but it’s a nice bonus when you stand on a stage and have people laugh at you and get you,” he said. “There’s no better way to know that people get you than to say something and immediately have 300 or 400 people laugh at the same time. Then, you know they get you.”

Local audiences may have gotten McGill’s act when he opened for comedian Etta May at the Opera House back in July. Now, he will be the featured act on Jan. 24 with two shows starting at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and can be purchased at the Opera House.

For more information on the show, call (859) 336-3810, ext. 1.