Mike Rainey has developed himself a reputation as one of Philly’s most brutal comics, as well as one of the quickest on his feet. He can be seen monthly with his segment Story Time with Mike Rainey at Chip Chantry’s One Man Show (with Special Guests).
How and why did you get into comedy?
I thought I was funny but didn’t have the balls to perform. Then, I saw Jim Norton and was blown away by the fact that someone could make me laugh for an hour straight. I soon after started writing jokes but still couldn’t work up the nerve to perform. I then went to see the band Tool perform and there was a moment where the lead singer, Maynard James Keenan, just spoke to the crowd while the band played softly in the background. I just remember him saying the words “take risks” and I felt like I had been punched in the chest. At that point, my mind was made up and I was finally going to do it. One of the reasons why I love performing comedy is that I always get so nervous before a show that I either throw up or have diarrhea.
How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that?
I’ve been predominantly set up / punchline from day one, mostly about current events or nonsense that I made up. Lately though, I’ve been working on bits that are more personal and just trying to grow out of what I’ve relied upon up until this point.
Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you?
My favorite venue is The Shubin Theatre (Philly Improv Theater). Almost always a packed house and it is intimate enough as to where I can perform without a mic, which I prefer. As a performer, the most you can hope for out of an audience is for them to be willing to listen. The rest is up to you. The Shubin always allows that.
Continue reading TEN QUESTIONS WITH… Mike Rainey