Clayton English had a banner 2015, as the comedian won this year’s season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” The Atlanta native walked away from the show with a $25,000 prize and a surge in his comedy career. He comes to Buffalo this week to ring in the New Year with a pair of shows at Helium Comedy on Dec. 31.
Question: Winning “Last Comic Standing” has to be a highlight of your 2015. How has your career changed this year?
Answer: A lot of stuff happened this year. Looking back on it, I can’t believe it. There was one point where they told me the show was going to be suspended indefinitely, after I already made it through the auditions. I’ve been doing comedy for 15 years, and I’ve never really expected to win the whole show. A lot that go on “Last Comic Standing” just want the opportunity to be seen by more people to get more work. I just wanted to make it to the Top 10, and to win the whole thing is mind blowing. I’ve never been this booked. I’ve had to turn down offers, which never happened before.
Q: How did you enjoy the “Last Comic Standing” tour with the other contestants?
A: It was great, (but) it was long, I’m not going to lie. (We did) 78 shows in 90 days. We traveled on a tour bus, but surprisingly, everybody got along real well. (They’re) my comedy family now, but I think we were all pretty ready to get off the road.
Q: Every comedy audience is different to a certain degree, but is there a big difference with a New Year’s Eve crowd?
A: With a New Year’s Eve crowd, they’re ready for the show to be over so they can get to the countdown with a drink in their hand. I’ve done multiple shows (on the same night) on New Year’s Eve, but that last one kind of gets cut short. That’s really the only difference. They all come out to have a good time. It’s party time (after midnight), as it’s hard to real them back in after that countdown.
Q: Do you have any memorable New Year Eve’s stories?
A: I have so many stories. When I was younger and in college, we used to get a hotel room to have a party there. It was like a music video in there; I was surprised the party lasted as long as it did. It was something else. We had a party upstairs, and another group of people had a party downstairs, and we just kind of merged together.
Q: What’s coming up in the next year for you?
A: I have a development deal with NBC. I want to branch out and do more acting, and I really want to have my hands in everything. I’m going to do some more writing (with NBC) in January. There’s a couple of other projects that I shot that haven’t aired yet. Hopefully we can roll the successes of 2015 right into 2016. It’s not time to sit back and rest, it’s time to push it even further. I’m grateful for the opportunities, because it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Who: Clayton English
Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.
When: 8 and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31