September 18, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LA Based Gay Comedian Nicky Paris Is Breaking Barriers

Nicky Paris is an LA Based gay comedian on the rise. 

Making waves performing throughout the country, Paris has been featured on Wendy Williams, MTV, The Daddy Issues Podcast with Dean McDermott and Adam Hunter. 

For Pride Month Paris will be performing at the legendary Laugh Factory in Las Vegas June 21-23 and opening for Eric D’Alessandro at The Mayo Performing Arts Center in New Jersey June 11-13, New York City, as well as The St. George Theater in Staten Island this October.

Paris began his comedy career at the age of 17 where he quickly became a fixture in the Big Apple’s comedy circuit however comedy was not always easy he admits. Telling The Pride LA how he was once turned away from a legendary NYC comedy club for being gay at 18 years old. 

When asked how difficult it is being a gay comic in a heterosexually male dominated field Paris said, “I don’t find it hard; I find it to be an exciting challenge. Sure, there were people and gatekeepers who may not have embraced me when I first started, heck- there was even a club in New York when I first started when I was a teenager that straight up told me they wouldn’t put me up because I was gay. Although I was disappointed, I look at every rejection as a challenge. I truly believe funny is funny and I knew that if I worked hard and was irrevocably committed, my work would eventually speak for itself. I’m a comedian because I’m funny, not because I’m gay, and I do think that’s what the game should be all about. I want to be the funniest person on a lineup regardless of race, gender, and who I’m disappointing in the bedroom.”

While the pandemic stripped many comics of their livelihoods, Paris accepted the challenge to pivot and reinvent and has been performing for the last year in unique settings around the country including the New York City subway, the back of pick-up trucks, rooftops, socially distanced indoor shows and virtual shows around  the country. 

Comic Nicky Paris
Photo credit: Michele Torres-Garcia

First introduced to television viewers on The Wendy Williams Show as on-air talent at 19, Paris used his sharp wit and love for juicy, celebrity gossip for Wendy’s “Street Talk” segments where he quickly became a regular for the segment on the hit talk show. Soon after, Elite Daily tapped Paris to become one of their lead cast members for their hit web show GEN WHY, where he has represented millennials for over six seasons along with some of the biggest internet personalities on the web.

After appearing on a handful of specials such as MTV’s Epic Fails of 2015, 2016, It’s Complicated and Video Love and the Off-Broadway Production of My Big Gay Italian Funeral, he quickly carved himself a space in Los Angeles’ stand-up comedy scene after becoming a west coast resident and can be seen nightly in Los Angeles’ premiere comedy clubs. 

“I love the Los Angeles comedy scene and I feel so grateful to be a part of it. It’s been very kind to me while at the same time challenging me. In LA, I’ve been the only person on a lineup without a TV show or a special and it’s forced me to step up my game and grow to hold my own on these monster lineups.” Paris added, “In Los Angeles, you can literally be on a show at a comedy club with people you always looked up to and idolized – that never gets old for me! New York’s comedy scene is different but just as special. I will say there is nothing like a New York audience. I started doing standup in New York City when I was 17 and I used to work at Broadway Comedy Club in the heart of Manhattan when I first started. I worked for stage time instead of money. That’s how bad I wanted to do this. Every four hours I worked I got 5 minutes on stage and looking back, I was so lucky that I got that opportunity because it really gave me the chance to get up regularly and find my voice very early in my career.”

Nicky can be seen as a host on LATV’s The Zoo and as well as on the Daddy Issues podcast with Dean McDermott and Adam Hunter. Nicky most recently headlined the legendary Caroline’s on Broadway as part of their “Breakout Artist Series,” which puts the spotlight on the very best and brightest emerging stand-up comedians in their very own headlining show and was featured on Audible’s 2020 Pride Special.

When asked how being gay influenced his comedy Paris says. “Being gay has influenced my comedy because it’s a part of the prism through which I see the world. I was always different than the other kids. For example, as a kid, when I would get spanked, I was the only one who would say “And how are you paying today?” Being gay has allowed me to embrace myself authentically: on and off the stage. I knew I was gay since I saw George of the Jungle with Brendan Frazer. I’ve had those moments throughout my life where I didn’t fit in and felt different than everyone else like I didn’t belong. Doing standup has given me the opportunity to take some of the hardships I’ve endured in my life and make them funny and suddenly, it’s not that painful anymore. I can now laugh at it.”

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