Josh Potter continues his work as a producer on “The Shredd and Ragan Show,” a nighttime DJ slot from 7 to 10 p.m., and “The Stage Time Podcast” he co-hosts with Rick Matthews on the Trending Buffalo network. He’s also a stand-up comic. He will perform on the monthly “Edge Comedy Night” May 27 in Helium Comedy Club along with James Kurdziel and headliner Marianne Sierk.
Question: What inspired you to get on stage after a couple of years in radio?
Answer: I was always writing comedy and wanted to do stand-up comedy really bad, but I didn’t know how to start. I knew [local comics] Matt Wayne, Matt Bergman and Thom Tran. I was hanging out with Bergman and he said, “Oh, yeah, I’ll show you how to get started.” He told me about an open mic at Macaroon’s, so I went and did it. Then he put me on a show at Mohawk Place, and I just ate [it]. It was the worst experience. It was a packed room and there was no excuse to bomb. I just sucked at comedy. I didn’t get back on stage for like a year until August 2008, so that’s when I consider my start in stand-up comedy. I feel like I put forth the effort and got on stage more than once.
Q: Since you started comedy, Buffalo has come onto its own. Helium has opened, and it seems like there’s room every night. How do you think the scene has progressed and where does it have to go?
A: Helium is huge. Now more and more people are coming up to me and saying, “Hey, how do I do this?” Then they show up to the other open mics like Milkie’s and Goodbar, instead of just Nietzsche’s. There’s also more comedians coming here to inspire people, and that’s huge. The scene is growing with mics everywhere, but it’s going to take time for people to get better at comedy so they can move on. Not just move on from Buffalo, but make something of themselves. I’m just getting out on the road now, and I’m almost a decade in. To get Buffalo on the map as a comedy scene, it’s going to take somebody becoming mainstream … if not a household name, then at least well-known in the comedy realm.
Q: Now that you’ve established yourself, where do you see yourself going from here?
A: I’m open to anything. More road work would be awesome [and] I’d like to move to New York eventually. That would probably be my main goal at this point. I know other people have done it, and I know the scene is a monster, but I’m excited. I have enough connections there that I’m ready to take it on full charge.
Q: You’re a devoted fan of the Disney animated canon. Which Disney animated character would do the best on stage?
A: Oh man, probably the Genie from “Aladdin,” because it’s Robin Williams. Maybe like David Spade’s character [Kuzco] in “The Emperor’s New Groove” or one of the sassier princesses, but I’m going to go with Robin Williams as the Genie because he has a lot in his arsenal with the magic and can turn himself into any celebrity.
What: Edge Comedy Night with James Kurdziel, Josh Potter and Marianne Sierk
When: 8 p.m. May 27
Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.