Jon Hancuff is performing as a part of the 2014 Limestone Comedy Festival. He has lived in Bloomington for over 20 years, and he has been performing stand-up since the early 90’s.
A Unique Path
In 1996, Hancuff took a break from stand-up. He wouldn’t return for over a decade.
Hancuff says, “I didn’t even think about getting on stage for the next 13 years, and I just had a life at that point. I got married, had a kid, went through a divorce, got a real job, had a career…all of these things.”
When Hancuff saw the Comedy Attic open near where he was living, he decided to try comedy again.
“The first couple of times I was able to do the old stuff and get away with it,” Hancuff says. “I got on stage, and it just felt great.”
The Changing Landscape
The comedy world was not the same as Hancuff had left it. At the Comedy Attic, he was introduced to a new style of comedy.
“Back in the eighties, it was all about everything being real tight and having a good rhythm and no verbal pauses [or] anything like that,” says Hancuff. “And then I started going to the Attic and guys were taking notebooks on stage and stuff like that, and that just blew me away.”
Hancuff thought it was sloppy at first, but he came to appreciate what he was witnessing. He goes on to say, “Comedy had become more of a relating to people in a conversational sort of way…I think because comics are talking about more personal things, they can talk about it in more conversational ways and people identify with it more.”
The way Hancuff organizes his sets has changed as well. He used to use a formula that was accepted as industry standard when forming his set. It was expected that he would open with his strongest joke or work from shorter jokes to longer jokes. Now, Hancuff places the material he is most excited about in the beginning of the set. He believes his enthusiasm is contagious in the comedy club atmosphere.
Hancuff says that local comedians tell new comics that it is important that they are enjoying what they do. Hancuff tells them, “Have fun with what you’re doing, and try new stuff all the time.”
Limestone Comedy: Emo Philips
Jon Hancuff will be opening for Emo Philips as a part of the 2014 Limestone Comedy Festival.
Saturday, May 31st