If you’re a fan of “tell it like it is” comedy, then get ready James Gregory’s return to the Oxford Performing Arts Center.
Called “The Funniest Man in America” for most of his career, Gregory is known for his observational humor, good-natured ribbing and a common-sense perspective. He’ll be at OPAC Sept. 8, so we took a few minutes of his time to find out more about what he does while he’s on the road and where he finds material for his act:
It sounds like you’re out on the road all the time.
Well, you know I’ve got bills to pay.
The power bill is a heck of a motivator.
I know, I know. I buy lottery tickets. Tuesday and Friday is Mega Millions. Wednesday and Saturday is Powerball, and I don’t miss a single drawing.
Saying you did win, would you keep doing shows or would you go ahead and retire?
You know, that’s a good question. I think I’d probably cut back in my schedule. I can’t imagine in this business or any other business, I can’t imagine just not doing anything.
And you’re driving yourself from show to show, so that’s a lot of time on the road. What do you like to listen to while you’re out there?
I like sports talk radio.
Who do you like to follow? A particular team?
I’m a weird type of sports fan. I’m not a big fan like most guys who like sports, but I like to be knowledgeable of sports, so I can talk about sports. If I was at home and there was a football game or baseball game on, I can’t sit and watch the whole thing on TV. I love to watch the sports recaps on SportsCenter, the highlights. I like to keep up with sports instead of watch them. If you listen to the radio, you have to use your imagination. Some of those baseball announcers, they have to paint that picture to people that aren’t watching, just listening. It’s interesting to me.
The marketing calls your comedy “common sense comedy,” that you say things plainly. There was a time that it was easier to do that, but it seems like comedians are being asked to pull back from anything that might be offensive.
I do what I call “social commentary.” I look for situations where there’s a point to it, and there’s some humor to it. I don’t want to preach to anybody. But I do think one reason our country is screwed up is because we absolutely have lost our common sense.
Can you tell us more about what you mean by that?
Sure, I can give you examples. Now stay with me on this — and I talk about this on stage sometimes — kids today are more obese than previous generations of kids. It’s primarily been blamed on the fast food industry, especially places like McDonald’s, advertising a thing like a Happy Meal, that’s what kids want to get. It’s got to the point in this country where there’s mayors, governors around the country, members of congress, the president, the first lady, all offering various proposals to possibly legislate TV advertising. In other words, if these companies would quit targeting our kids — it makes sense when you just say it. That’s why these kids, this soccer mom generation raising these kids, they think that’s a good idea. How old are you?
So you’re kind of young. I never thought I’d live long enough to see the president of the United States — no matter who it is — the commander-in-chief, the leader of the free world is expected to do something about my fat babies. Think about that!
James Gregory performs at the Oxford Performing Arts Center on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19 to $29 depending on seating choice and can be purchased from. Visit to learn more about James, see clips and keep up with his current events.