Comedian Ryan Hamilton performed stand-up at The Paramount Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. He is known for his Netflix special “Happy Face.” PHOTO COURTESY OF LOSHAK PR

Comedian Ryan Hamilton, famed for “Happy Face”, captured the venue’s audience and filled them with unbridled laughter when he performed at The Paramount last Saturday. With only one stand up special on Netflix, his recent work is bound to get him a second one.

Hamilton’s observational comedy excels at bringing ridiculous situations to life, much like the T.V. sitcom, “Seinfeld.” Although he wants you to know he’s from Idaho, he bleeds New York stand-up comedy.

A large contributor to Hamilton’s success, besides his material, is his physical comedy. He moves around the stage while acting out and hilariously mimicking those in his stories. His physicality coupled with impressions and a masterful understanding of observational comedy plants hilarious scenarios in your head. It’s hard to look away when he’s on stage.

Hamilton, 43, succeeds in connecting with his audience; he jokes about how his age changed him, obtaining the attention of the majority older to middle age audience with the shared experience of getting older and criticizing the younger generation. The connection with the older audience sustained the energy of The Paramount.

Hamilton was preceded by the up-and-coming comedian, Jeff Scheen, whose set complemented and transferred easily into Hamilton’s set. The highlights of Scheen’s act were jokes about his experience at the Canadian border and his relationship with his parents as an only child.

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Hamilton often used self-deprecating humor, including his lonely life, recognizability (in this case lack thereof) and his gullible personality to tell memorable and strange moments in his life that consistently got laughs.

Hamilton occasionally brushed on current topics, as many observational comics attempt to do, and he did it successfully without controversy. He talked brilliantly about the absurdity of buying Greenland, a teenager winning millions of dollars from Fortnite, media influencers and health care.

With topics such as smoking and diets, Hamilton examines the puzzling behavior of humans and exposes their stupidity and hilarity. He deals with hecklers with quick wit, not shutting them down but engaging even more with his audience by interacting with them and turning their heckles into quips. 

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