ANDERSON, Ind. — Rob Haney's scheduled Feb. 8 performance at the Paramount Ballroom was canceled Thursday morning by Haney.
Comedy veteran Rob Haney, of Beaver Creek, Ohio, has been in comedy since 1977 appearing on 11 TV shows. He’s a former contributing writer to Jay Leno’s Tonight Show and a contributing writer and frequent guest on The Bob & Tom radio show.
“I’m semi-retired,” Haney, 60, joked. He still does some performances but focuses most of his time running Wiley’s Comedy Club in Dayton. It is Ohio’s oldest operating comedy venue for 31 years. The Herald Bulletin chatted with Haney.
THB: How would you describe your comedic style?
Haney: It has evolved over years. When I first started out I was squeaky clean, almost story-tellerish. One time a lady came up to me after a show and said, “You are just like Bill Cosby, only white and not as funny.” I took it as a compliment. I think when I started writing for Leno and others I developed a different style — quicker and more topical jokes because that’s what the job required. Now, it’s a little of that but different.
I like to think I’m funny. Usually young and old people think I’m funny.
THB: Who was the first person to tell you that you were funny?
Haney: I do remember a teacher writing a comment on a report card that she enjoyed my sense of humor and how funny I was, but maybe I should knock it off, but not worded quite like that.
When you start making people laugh and people start paying you to do it and ask you to come back, that’s when I started thinking maybe I am funny.
THB: What three words describe you best?
Haney: I mean well.
THB: Did you always know you would be a comedian?
Haney: I was never the class clown in the sense of, “everyone look at me.” I was more of the “snide remark in the back of the room” type. I was kind of a fat kid, so to develop a certain amount of self-esteem and self-protection I was first to make fun of myself. Most of my life, people said, “You were funny,” but it wasn’t until later on that I thought about doing it for a living. I was in college to be a teacher. It’s when I did student teaching that I realized I didn’t really want to teach, I wanted an audience.
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