At age 26, Jesse Thomas is about as accomplished as most Richmond comedians can be. A transplant from Fairfax, VA, in 2006 Jesse entered the Psychology degree program at VCU and was soon after asked not to return. In the midst of a crashing economy - one that's traditionally placed value on a person based on ones education - Jesse made a bold move in 08 and stepped up to fill the sneakers of Nick Cantone as the house comedian (for lack of a better term) at The Funny Bone comedy club in Short Pump. Being the only full-time Richmond comic not required to hit the road in order to monetize his craft, Jesse made the most of his position by assisting both up-and-comers and established funny people in the Richmond comedy scene.
Standup comedy events started popping up all over the city, filling the needs of starving artists in search of a new audience and venue to hone their passion. In a situation where most professionals would maintain nothing more than an apprehensive curiosity for the competition, Jesse has genuinely supported and nurtured those events in the name of comedy. Going as-far-as hosting said events, doing sets for, and helping facilitate talent unattainable for those not in his position, Jesse deserves some of the credit for all the laughter currently emanating from RVA.
hough he may not accept any recognition for enhancing the Richmond standup experience, it's clear that he deserves it. His egalitarian attitude towards the interested few has further perpetuated RVA comedy, ensuring job security for himself and persevering past a period where every business - including The Funny Bone - must have painfully entertained the idea of cutting its losses and closing the doors. The economy is getting better, and so is RVA comedy.
Jesse is smart, funny, and accomplished in the realm that is Richmond comedy. He can be seen regularly at The Funny Bone, McCormack's, Cafe Diem, Club 955 at Bottoms Up Pizza, Fallout, and tonight at The Republic. I questioned Jesse to learn more about the funny, what makes him tick, and the inner workings of the city's scene. When asked about his ties to Richmond and being asked to leave VCU, Jesse said "That was the best thing that ever happened to me."
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Jesse Thomas's Upcoming Shows