Student-comedian looks to turn a hobby into career


Andrew Boydston performs at the Holiday Inn.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Boydston

Andrew Boydston has loved comedy since he was a child, and has had a passion for making people laugh for as long as he can remember. The current Fresno State student is in his sixth year at the university and has been performing stand-up comedy for the last two years.

Since beginning his journey as a stand-up comic, Boydston has performed in 20 different shows at various venues across Fresno.

The broadcast journalism major had always thought of doing stand-up comedy after arriving in Fresno from Taft, a small town southwest of Bakersfield.  But Boydston didn’t start until after his cousin Shaye Fields, whom he was very close to, passed away in a car accident.

“I was depressed and had no direction,” Boydston said. “But then one night I had a dream that my cousin told me, ‘Do what you love to do and what I love to see you do.’ She loved that I saw nothing as offensive and could make light of any situation.”

Not long after having the dream, he began writing jokes and preparing for Amateur Comedy Night at The Bucket, the campus’ pub.

“Before I started doing stand-up I had nothing to fall back on, and then the opportunity presented itself,” Boydston said. “Stand-up was always something that I had wanted to do. It’s a big part of my life now.”

Boydston’s comedy covers a wide variety of topics, such as relationships, drugs, alcohol, self-deprecation, scenarios that are made up in his head, past experiences, friends, sports, video games, NASA and jokes involving nostalgia.

“My biggest influence is George Carlin. Without him, I would be nothing,” Boydston said.  “ I feel my humor has a wide range. It ranges from things like Daniel Tosh to story element jokes like Patton Oswalt and even one liners like Mitch Hedberg.”

Despite his comedic nature, Boydston is very meticulous with the creation of his jokes. Often times he can be seen pulling out his cell phone to write down something he thought of that he thinks has the potential to become a joke at one of his shows. The majority of his jokes he still considers works in progress and works constantly to improve them.

“It’s just a matter of making things better,” Boydston said. “[It] takes two performances and an hour total of working on a joke over that span to get one to be pretty good,” Boydston said. “If it doesn’t hit that night, I try to rework it and perform it at a later date.”

To Boydston, every show is a chance for improvement. Going into every show his goal is to give 100 percent effort.

“What’s the point of showing up if you’re not going to bring your ‘A’ game?” Boydston said.

The goal for many of his jokes is to expose ignorance — not to spread it. He goes into every show wanting to make a point to the audience, but at the same time keep it light and find humor in every topic.

“I truly believe that I can be a stand-up comic,” Boydston said. “I don’t want this to just be a hobby. I want this to be my career.”

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