Live on 65 - C Willi Myles Comedy

The “Live on 65” performance series welcomes C. Willi Myles to the Spring Lake Park High School Fine Arts Center stage Thursday, February 8, 2023 at 7 p.m. Thanks to generous sponsorship from the Spring Lake Park Lion's Club, tickets are priced for the whole family to attend. Purchase tickets online or day-of at the box office.  

C. Willi Myles is known as America’s Everyday Comedian. After surviving his childhood growing up with nine sisters and one brother in Alabama, Willi moved to Minnesota to attend college and play football. His non-offensive stories and jokes give a unique spin to life's everyday challenges. We recently caught up with him to learn more.

Could you share a bit about your journey into the world of comedy and motivational speaking?

You know, the thing about myself is that my background led me to become the type of entertainer I am today. I came to Minnesota to play football at Saint Cloud State. I became a coach and in between I was going back and forth to the Canadian Football League trying to make the team.

Many of my friends became teachers and coaches, and they asked me to speak at athletic banquets about going to the next level. They’d say “hey, while you’re having this conversation can you please tell some of those funny stories about coming from Alabama to Minnesota and what it was like coming from the South to the North?” That all really parlayed into what I'm doing today.

Were you always a funny guy?

It's hard to say. I think I was funny, but I wasn’t trying to be funny. I grew up in a family with nine older sisters, and you know, it just happened. When you have nine sisters, it's hard to get a word in. You kind of have to say something that's going to be impactful so I think I was being funny just so I would get the attention.

It was you and nine girls?

No, I have a younger brother, but he doesn't count. I came before him.

What is your comedic style and who are the comedians who influenced you?

My style is observational humor. You won't hear me talk about anything on stage that doesn't happen in real life to just about anybody and that's everyone from a 14 -year-old to a 90-year-old.

My show is very family-friendly. I talk about family. I talk about relationships. I talk about growing up in a big family. I talk about my wife. I talk about my kids. I talk about shopping, flying, traveling, hotel stays, outdoor activities.

I talk about all of the everyday things most people just look at as normal. I look at it for the humor of it all. I draw inspiration from comedians like Sinbad for keeping it clean and family-oriented and I'm high-energy like Richard Pryor but without the profanity.

How do you connect with a diverse audience?

I read the audience. I try to make sure that everybody who's in the room is being entertained and I make adjustments as I go. I always refer to myself as an entertainer because a lot of comics don’t do that – they just do their set.

I have always connected with teens. Living in the suburbs, I've always lived around teenagers. I’ll vibe off them. I mean - they give me information. I know how to identify with them. I see them at Starbucks. I hear how they order drinks. I see how they don't like to look at people. They do everything on their phone. They're not used to making eye contact with people.

I was doing a corporate event. The organizer had her kids there right in the front. The whole show they were laughing but they never looked up. They would laugh at the joke, and they were snap chatting everything I was saying. Take a picture of me – Snapchat it. Take a little short video - Snapchat it. That's how they communicate in 6-10 seconds. If you have anything to say to a kid right now, you have 10 seconds. Max. I made them look at me for 30 seconds of eye contact. They were sweating.

Any specific topics or trends ripe for comedy?

How parenting has changed is a big one and the differences in how we were raised and how we are raising our kids.

Take food. . . if you have three teenagers in your house, they all have three different food palettes. You have to figure out what you're going to feed three different kids.

Where I grew up all 11 kids we were all eating the same thing. There was no - Can I do some nuggets? Or, I just want a hot dog. There was no, like, well you know, I'm vegan this week. There was no vegetarian in our house. You just didn't put the meat on your plate. These days, if they don't want to eat what you cook, they'll just go make a sandwich. We didn't do that.

You go buy groceries and each kid is in a different aisle looking for something different. When I was their age it was a box of cornflakes. We’re all having cornflakes. You didn’t like cornflakes? You go hungry. That’s how it worked.

What advice do you give aspiring comedians?

I mentor a handful of comedians and especially young ones. I always tell them be truthful to yourself. Don't talk about things that you don't know about. Your life is funnier than you think. When you can't make fun of yourself, you can't make fun of anything else. You have to start with yourself.

Anything else you'd like our audience to know?

I just want them to know they're going to have a blast. Just come ready to laugh and have a good time.