Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Standing Up Guy 

Back from reality, comic resumes life on the road.

"Welcome to the black portion of the show," says comedian Alonzo Bodden at the start of his stand-up act. "Yes, I am in fact black. I am not African American. I don't make that kind of money yet." Not yet. But as runner-up on NBC's Last Comic Standing 2, Bodden's stock certainly has risen over the past couple months.

"There's a big difference between doing 5 minutes on TV and 45 minutes in a club," he says. The pressure to perform is that much more intense. "You learn to work fast [on television]."

Bodden was one of 10 comedians (whittled down from a playing field of 40) chosen for the second season of the hit reality television program, which places contestants, Big Brother-style, in a house and eliminates them weekly through a series of challenges, like performing at a laundromat.

"That's the thing with the show: It burns material," says Bodden. "You have to write new stuff. You have to be ready to go with something new. Initially, it's daunting, but then it becomes fun. It's a great challenge." (Bodden and two of his Last Comic castmates, Gary Gulman and Jay London, are part of the I'm Still Standing Tour, which comes to town Wednesday.)

The L.A.-based Bodden spent nine years as a jet mechanic. While training other guys in aircraft repair, he realized that he was more inspired by their laughs than by the planes' flaps and slats. He enrolled in a comedy class and hit the clubs soon afterward. "My stuff is [usually] a little edgier, but I went middle of the road" on the show, he admits.

Last Comic Standing has made life a little bit easier, Bodden says. The gigs come more readily and frequently, and the series' sink-or-swim format has made him a sharper and faster comic. "You have to judge [the material] yourself," he says. "I'm cynically good-natured. I'm just an angry suburban Negro."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Highlights

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation