Q&A with Funny Man Wills Maxwell
Today is National Tell a Joke Day, and to celebrate we decided to get to know local comedian Wills Maxwell a little better. You might know him from WWAY.
What inspired you to get into comedy?
When I was a kid, I felt the best when I was making other people laugh. It felt like the best gift I could offer was to put people in a good mood. I’d watch reruns of The Flip Wilson Show and the comics on Showtime at the Apollo and knew that I wanted to do what those guys did.
What five words would your friends and family use to describe you?
Do you ever get stage fright?
Never. (Sometimes.) Maybe when I was newer to comedy, but I’m more experienced now. (It sneaks up on me and then I have anxiety over having stage fright.) If you get stage fright, you shouldn’t be in comedy. (Nerves are normal.) Performing stand-up is when I have the most fun. No amount of nerves stops that. Just have fun.
What do you do when you mess up?
Messing up is great! Mistakes make room for spontaneity, and that’s what the audience wants anyway. No audience wants to watch a comedian just recite a routine. They want to feel like they are part of a special happening that occurs once. If I slip up a word, then that gives me room to acknowledge the mistake, riff on it and likely have a new joke to refer to for the rest of the night.
What are your future plans?
I’d like to go on the road more. I occasionally perform outside the Cape Fear region, but I’d really love to put together a tour across the United States.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
My favorite part is being part of a vibrant arts scene. The Cape Fear region is overflowing with talented actors, musicians and comedians. I enjoy feeling like I contribute to something big.
Since it will be national tell a joke day, please tell us a joke.
This one’s exclusively for Life in Brunswick County.
What’s the difference between Market Street and the General Assembly?
Gridlock on Market resolves.
Learn more about Wills Maxwell and where you can see him perform at willsmaxwell.com.
Photography by Trevor L. Jones