Courier Staff Writer
Iowa native Scott Long brings his “Real Reality Show” to the Bridge View Center at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Now a nationally known comedian with credits like writing for Frank Caliendo and the Super Bowl, he brings his Midwestern sense of humor back to the people he knows and loves.
Long grew up in Newton and had an abusive childhood. He remembers that his escape was being funny.
“I wasn’t the class clown that would pull practical jokes. I was more the class clown who would say something funny just at the right moment and make milk come out your nose,” he said.
He went to the University of Iowa, where he studied journalism with the goal of becoming a columnist. After graduating and trying journalism for a couple of years, he went to a comedy show and realized two of the three comedians weren’t as funny as he was. It was a turning point in his life.
“I love to be in a room and feel the energy of the crowd. No one has control over what I say, for the most part, but I do and the audience does,” he said.
While his main focus has always been stand-up comedy, Long has a varied resume. He has been seen on NBC and Fox and heard on hundreds of radio shows. As a writer, he has published a book of comedic essays and currently has two blogs.
Since 2002, he has been a writer of the Frank’s Pick sketches for Caliendo on the NFL pregame show on Fox and has written material for the Super Bowl.
But with all these accolades to his name, the local stage will always be special. After living in Chicago, his home base is now in Indianapolis.
“I’ve always been connected to the Midwest,” he explained. “(Los Angeles or New York) was never a place I wanted to settle down or raise children. I feel at heart like I’m still from Iowa.”
“The best audiences for me are in the Midwest,” he added. “I grew up here, I connect because I understand these people. Iowans are reasonably smart, looking to have a good time and are half in the bag before the show ever starts.”
When he comes to Ottumwa, Long says he will talk mostly about personal things, and there’s quite a range of emotion to go through.
“It’s not 100 percent funny — it’s probably 95 percent funny. I never trust anything that’s 100 percent serious or 100 percent funny because it doesn’t seem real,” he said.
“The Real Reality Show” is rated PG-18, he said, with an audience range of 21-55.
“I’m not gratuitous, but I talk about edgier things. I think people want something a little dirtier than they see on TV or else they’d be at home watching TV. I don’t throw out a lot of profanity, but I’ve got some edgier topics,” Long said.
Those topics include his abusive childhood, his family, relationships and other personally important issues.
“When you hear it, you won’t just laugh and forget it ... you’ll feel it. I’m not inventing the wheel in comedy, but the base of material I have is unique,” he said.
Tickets for the “Real Reality Show” are available at the Bridge View Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-345-7000.