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Brad Upton

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About Brad Upton

Brad Upton On Tour

Having surpassed 6,000 performances in a four-decade career, Brad Upton was already one of the comedy world's most seasoned pros when something unexpected happened: at the age of 62, he became a viral sensation. In June of 2018, Dry Bar Comedy posted a Facebook video of Upton presenting his wry take on millennials. "You ever take a smartphone away from a twenty-something?" he asked in one typically acerbic observation. "They don't know what to do — they look like they got hit with a shovel."

The video attracted 36 million views in 10 days, and many million more after that. It amounted to a well-deserved breakthrough for a comedian whose caustic but (mostly) clean style has made him a firm favorite with audiences. In addition to appearing with such entertainment legends as Smokey Robinson, Dolly Parton, and the late Joan Rivers, Upton has been a regular opening act for the Smothers Brothers and Johnny Mathis. A past winner of the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, he's played all over North America and the globe, from Pakistan to Singapore and Hong Kong. He's made appearances on A&E, MTV, and Showtime, written for ESPN3.com, acted in movies, and been a regular guest on National Public Radio.

Whether live or in one of his many media appearances, Upton combines a likeable onstage persona with a rather cantankerous take on work, parenthood, marriage, and anything else that gets him fired up. Sharply observed but never cruel, his sensibility evokes such comedy heroes as Robert Schimmel and George Carlin. Indeed, seeing the latter onstage when he was a 15-year-old in Seattle had a profound influence on Upton, who originally became a teacher before deciding to try his luck as a performer. As he quips, "I was teaching 4th graders in Pasco — entertaining a roomful of drunks isn't a big career change."

More of Upton's comedy can be heard on his recent release Brad Uptonogood and his first DVD, Brad Upton, Live from the 509. And whatever his feelings for those millennials, they're very much part of the audience for a rare kind of comedian, one who has — in the words of the Seattle Times — "mastered the nearly impossible task of appealing to people from the ages of 18 to 80."