All about the Hamiltons

Living in a dream state of disbelief, Ryan Hamilton sees stability in stand-up comedy.

Ryan Hamilton headshots

Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton headshots

by Spencer Doar

What: Ryan Hamilton

When: 8 p.m., Thursday; 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday

Where: Acme Comedy Club, 708 N. First St., Minneapolis

Cost: $15

Ages: 18+


Ryan Hamilton spends almost all of his time in nightclubs and bars and does not drink, frequently finding himself on a social see-saw where he is somehow the balanced one — an awkwardly handy situation for a single stand-up comedian.

A former public relations specialist who desired to be a journalist, Hamilton fell into a familiar trap: the allure of the open mic.

“I’m still doing this thing, and somehow I’ve fooled everybody,” Hamilton said.

It’s not fooling someone though, if the perception of the performer is accurate, and this effusive, “you can see all of my teeth when I smile” comedian is funny.

The material is almost secondary to a stage persona that in itself is worthy of a chuckle. He’s so good natured, positively beaming after every chorus of laughter, that it’s impossible to not be entertained.

He says he’s not a “bear-all type of comedian.”

That’s only logical upon seeing Hamilton offstage, a much more reserved, borderline-shy guy when out of the spotlight.

“Growing up, doing stuff in groups was never a problem,” Hamilton said. “One on one was more difficult.”

Some things never change: Hamilton is single, which has provided much fodder for new material.

He jokes about the inadequacies of hot-air ballooning for a date — the mere presence of fire and wicker in a flying device was enough to put Hamilton off. His choices are primed for comic sentiment.

“I got stood-up on a picnic,” Hamilton said. “I mean, who has picnics these days?”

Exclamations like these lead to a revelation: Hamilton is eerily similar to Jerry Seinfeld in cadence and occasionally in delivery.

But, for good or for ill — and it can be both — that is his voice.

When starting out, Hamilton admits it was easy to emulate other comedians; Seinfeld was not one of them.

In fact, one of his favorite comedians was Mitch Hedberg, to whom Hamilton shares almost no similarities when it comes to comedic style.

“It’s a weird desire to want to stand in front of people every night,” Hamilton said. “Something is off, I think.”

Maybe he’s making up for lost time. Hamilton grew up in the town of Ashton, Idaho, a booming potato metropolis with a whopping population of about 1,000.

While he jokes about his upbringing and Rockwellian pastimes, there is more small-town boy left in Hamilton than he might care to admit.