The first time I met Kelly Morton was in a bar in Bulverde, where he was headlining a showcase featuring a variety of brand new comics. It was terrible. Act after act tried their first 5 minutes in front of bands of drunken rednecks. (One highlight involved a kid trying to explain hip-hop and desktop computers to the crowd of jerky processors still appreciating his previous wife-beating joke way too much.) The night was pretty much a wash until Morton hit the stage. In two minutes he had the crowd listening and laughing. Even the would-be pool hustlers put up their cues. And for the next half-hour he turned a night of terrible monologues into a comedy show. That’s the difference between amateurs and professional comedians.
Since moving to L.A. in 2001, this SA native has built an energetic, fast-paced routine that has gained him exposure on MTV and Comedy Central.
First things first, why the hat, dude? I always see you wearing it.
I first started wearing the hat to hide the bruises from my dad’s beatings.
That’s hilarious! No, really?
Yeah Jay, that’s the exact reason. I was already pretty shy. I also like the fact that it hides my eyes. They are way too telling.
When did you start?
At 17. I would steal my mom’s car and go to the open mics in town. I was accepted really quick as the “new funny kid” and encouraged to get on stage a lot.
Does your mom go to a lot of shows?
No. She just knows me as a good son. I still hide it from her. I just don’t want to hear about it really.
How has comedy in San Antonio changed since you started here?
There was a lot of brilliance back then. A lot of people thought they would get famous – there was a clear formula for it too. You start as an opener, move to feature, than headliner, and gain some national success. But now anybody can get exposure with seven minutes of material. It’s a lot of who has a look, who can I exploit, or who can make me the fastest money?
People in San Antonio have a look?
Diabetes. It’s the new black.
Kelly Morton performs for five nights at Rivercenter Comedy Club, Wednesday thru Sunday April 6 - 10. Visit rivercentercomedyclub.com or call (210) 229-1420 for tickets and show information.
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