Knock knock! Who’s there? James Gregory! James Gregory who? Why the funniest man in America of course!

It’s rare to come across entertainment that appeals to all audiences. Most comedic acts use foul language or poke fun at mature subjects. However, stand-up comedian James Gregory takes a different approach.

Gregory, who was born in Lithonia, Ga., has been a full-time stand-up comedian for 29 years, and has always had a love for comedy and spreading laughter. Through hard work and dedication, his passion became his profession.

Now recognized as “the funniest man in America,” he tours the nation bringing smiles to people of all ages. His relaxed demeanor and southern drawl, along with his unique sense of humor, enables him to captivate audiences.

Gregory is constantly on tour, traveling most days of the week. His shows sell out fast, and his fan base grows after every performance. During his current tour, “Save the Chicken,” Gregory is making a pit stop at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Gregory plans to use his family-friendly routine to bring some humor to this small town.

Those interested can purchase silver tickets for $27 and gold tickets for $32. To purchase tickets and learn more about Gregory, visit TheLyric.com.

The Collegiate Times spoke with Gregory to discuss his career track.

COLLEGIATE TIMES: When did your comedic profession begin?

JAMES GREGORY: It began in 1982 at a comedy club in Atlanta, Ga. called “The Punch Line.”  My friends and I used to drive there on amateur night, not because we liked the show, but because we loved comedy. My friends had thought I was funny and kept daring me to get on stage on amateur night, so I finally got the courage to do it. So it all just started by performing at open-mic night. And over the years, I made some progress and decided to go into comedy full time. It’s my 29th year in

it.

CT: How do you feel about being referred to as “the funniest man in America?”

GREGORY: I think it’s great. That all started by a newspaper editor in Huntsville, Ala. back in the late 80s. He came to review my show one night, and that was his idea to refer to me as ‘the funniest man in America.’ Other media sources started picking it up, and I figured I might as well go along with it. I do really think though that word for word, admitted by many, this is the funniest stand-up comedy show that’s on tour in the country. One thing I’m really proud of is that this comedy show that we’re doing is absolutely, 100 percent, totally family friendly — all ages are welcome. There are not too many comedy shows like that touring the country today.

CT: How would you describe your sense of humor?

GREGORY: My show is based on real life. A lot of people call it observational humor. Anything I do on stage is totally relatable to the audience — silly impressions of family members or relatives, talking about what is happening in the news, reactions to winning lotteries. It’s all family friendly, and anyone in the audience can relate. 

CT: Can you explain the “Save the Chicken” tour?

GREGORY: Every year we name the tour. There is so much emphasis in the recent two to three decades about what I always call the so-called endangered species. We were talking about this one night at the coffee shop, and I had said to my friend, “If you want me to be really concerned about your endangered species, you need to convince me that we’re almost out of chickens.” That’s what I would worry about, so I did a whole routine about endangered species, and then I got into the idea of the endangered chicken. That’s where the ‘Save the Chicken’ idea came

from.  

CT: What’s the favorite part of your profession?

GREGORY: I’d say being on stage. I love being on stage. I love the sounds of laughter and the response from the audience. In the kind of work that I do, showtime is the easiest part of the day. Through the tours, I go to a different city each night. Most days I get up early for interviews, pack up, drive 200-500 miles, do a show. Then early the next morning, you drive 400 miles to another show. Then there’s the packing and unpacking in and out of hotels. That’s the real work. So showtime is definitely my favorite part of the day. 

CT: What would you say to people thinking about purchasing tickets to your show?

GREGORY: It will be the funniest night of their lives.