Why I Became a Comedian 

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wEnDy, Flickr CC

Hey Cleveland, The City That Always Sleeps, how's it going? It's me, Chad Weaver. You know, Chad Weaver? I'm your boy Chad Weaver, A.K.A. Chaddy Daddy, A.K.A. Rad Beaver, A.K.A. The Kid from Akron, A.K.A. LeBron James. Anyway, you probably don't know me but I'm Chad Weaver, I'm a 20-year-old comedian from Akron, and I'm writing this to tell you why I became a comedian.

People decide to pursue comedy for all kinds of reasons ranging from their friend telling them they should try stand-up or a lifetime of debilitating sadness only temporarily soothed by going on a stage and complaining to strangers about it. I was inspired to follow my dreams and become a stand-up comedian because of my father, who never gave up on himself or his family no matter how much adversity he faced, who never stuck no matter how many times he got thrown against the wall. You see, my father grew up in a time where he was discriminated against and treated as a second-class citizen just because he was different. Our entire family experienced prejudice and hatred, just because of the simple fact that my dad is spaghetti.

That's when people usually get confused and ask if my dad is really spaghetti. Well, confession time: My dad is actually three-quarters spaghetti, he's quarter lasagna on his mother's side but we don't like to talk about that part of the family. Even though my dad is spaghetti, that doesn't make me different than any of you, I grew up just like any other kid. My dad and I would toss around the old pigskin in the backyard, he'd take me to little league games and cheer me on, and if I misbehaved he'd give me a little tap on the head with one of his noodles. He was just a regular dad.

Or at least that's what I thought until fourth grade when I got detention for answering "spaghetti" to the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Apparently my teacher thought it was a joke that I wanted to grow up to be like my dad. From then on I began noticing that my father was treated differently than normal people. Whenever my father would take me out to do something fun like go to the zoo or a baseball game, people would look at him and say to me, "Are you going to finish eating that?" Even worse, when my father and I went out to dinner I would often go to the bathroom and come back to find that they put my dad in the trash! That was when we were lucky enough to even eat at a restaurant. Most restaurants wouldn't let my dad inside because they said he was an "outside dish."

I soon realized that people mistreated not just my dad, but all spaghetti. In my eighth grade language arts class we watched a movie that I'm sure you have all heard about or seen, called Lady and the Tramp. Sure, the kids in my class loved the movie with its entertaining love story about two dogs. But can you imagine how traumatizing it was for a child to watch a scene where a person like his father is thrown into an alley to be brutally torn apart by two animals just because of the texture of his sauce?

As I grew up and saw my dad ostracized I started to feel embarrassed by my father and even began to resent him. My social life as well as my grades in school suffered. My dad took notice, and one day sat me down to talk to me.  He said, "Chad, you don't have to love me, but whether you like it or not, you're daddy's little meatball, and you can try to hide it but that's what you are and that's all they'll ever see you as. Just remember one thing Chad: They hate us, 'cause they ain't us."

I realized he was right, and I turned myself around. I accepted myself and my father for who we were, took pride in my differences and used it as my motivation. After studying hard, I made it into college with a full ride. Not too bad for a son of a pasta. The last thing for me to do was be true to myself and follow my dreams - that's why I became a comedian – because my dad's spaghetti, and your dad should be spaghetti too.

More by Chad Weaver

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