Squeaky clean, not shock valuePublished 10:51pm Wednesday, July 21, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
For a lot of comedy fans, Rich Praytor is like a breath of fresh air in a world of stink.
The squeaky clean comic is not trying to push the envelope or create shock value. He just wants everyone in the room to be laughing, not blushing.
Praytor will perform at Hope Community Church in Niles Friday at 7:30 p.m. with an opening act from local entertainer James the Magician.
The Colorado Springs, Colo. comic got his start performing in clubs, coffee shops and bars in Los Angeles.
“I wanted to stand out amongst other comedians,” Praytor said. “I wanted to stay clean. I didn’t want anyone to be embarrassed at my show.”
And a funny thing happened — he got noticed.
“It’s amazing,” Praytor said. “A lot of people would come up to me after my shows and say ‘thank you for being clean.’ It was like a breath of fresh air during the show between filthy acts.”
Praytor isn’t fully against edgy comedy.
“If it’s something funny and it’s dirty, I can appreciate it,” he said. “But if it’s dirty just to be dirty, it gets old really fast. They’re just going for shock value.”
The comic also isn’t afraid of sharing his faith in his comedy.
“If you surround something with humor, people will accept it,” he said. “If a person were to go to a comedy club and start preaching, it wouldn’t be well received.”
Praytor pokes fun at Christians and the misconceptions of the faith.
“I try to break down those stereotypes in a funny way,” he said.
Praytor, who has been featured on Comedy Central, NBC, CBS and ABC, also shared the stage with Dane Cook when he was in Los Angeles.
“Dane is really a low-key guy, but when gets on stage, he goes crazy,” Praytor said. “He’s a really good guy.”
But out of the hundreds of shows Praytor’s performed, one performance in Colorado Springs sticks out in his mind.
“We did the show and it was great, but a couple days later I got an e-mail from a woman who had brought her autistic son to the show and he had never laughed in his life,” Praytor said. “But the night he was there he laughed for the first time.
“It’s really inspiring that humor affects lives in a positive way,” he said.
It’s not always easy for Praytor to keep his humor clean when so many other comics are finding success with racy acts.
“It’s really tough and it can get very frustrating,” he said. “It makes you be more creative.”
Friday’s show, sponsored by Friends of Clean Family Entertainment in Niles, will benefit Polly’s Place, a Christian-based women’s shelter in Niles. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at cleanfamilyentertainment.com or at Color Me Christian Bookstore in downtown Niles.
Friends of Clean Family Entertainment was started last year and regularly brings in family friendly comedy shows to Michiana to benefit local charities.