Laughin’ in AftonThe Afton House Inn will be turned into a comedy club for the night on Friday, April 8, when reigning Minnesota Comedian of the Year Scott Hansen is on hand for some standup.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
The Afton House Inn will be turned into a comedy club for the night on Friday, April 8, when reigning Minnesota Comedian of the Year Scott Hansen is on hand for some standup.
Dinner will also be served.
“It’s a different and fun type of entertainment while dining,” Dan Jarvis, from the Afton House Inn, said. “Everybody loves to laugh so it’ll be a really fun event.”
Born a comedian
Hansen, who grew up in Fridley, Minn., said if the story his mother tells is true, he was born a comedian.
When Hansen was born, his mother was watching a comedian on television when she went into labor. Hansen was born laughing.
“I grew up in a pretty funny atmosphere,” he said.
Throughout his childhood, Hansen dabbled in comedy, but he said nothing really ever came from it.
However, while studying journalism and theater at the University of Minnesota, Hansen was accepted at Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop.
Over the years, Hansen perfected his theater skills, but it wasn’t until several years later that Hansen made his comedic debut at a Minneapolis comedy club called Mickey Finns.
“There’s not really a place you can study comedy,” Hansen said. “You kind of just had to work to see how the audience responded.”
Now, 30 years later, Hansen has become one of Minnesota’s most sought after comedians.
“I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh,” said Hansen, a Maple Grove resident. “It’s important that we laugh.”
During his tenure as a comedian, Hansen has made television appearances on HBO, Showtime, A&E and E!. He has developed and created two pilots and a series for Comedy Central including “Access America” and “Seriously Weird Magazine.”
Additionally, Hansen has appeared in concert with national comedians like Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld and Drew Carey.
Hansen describes his comedy style as interactive with the audience.
Even though Hansen may joke about his family, politics or even Minnesota, he said he gets most of his laughs by playing off the audience.
“It can go anywhere once I start dealing with audience members,” he said. “I like to make the audience feel like they can’t get this show on television.”
Hansen said when he first started out there was always that fear that when he told a joke, there wouldn’t be any laughter — only silence.
But as his career has progressed, Hansen said he has learned how to move on from the crickets.
“I’ve been doing it long enough that I have something to fall back on,” he said. “Not every joke works 100 percent of the time — you have to be ready the next joke.”
Hansen said he’s really excited about his appearance at the Afton House Inn. He has been appearing on the Afton House Inn’s cruise lines for the past seven years.
Hansen appeared at a comedy dinner show last year, which sold out, Jarvis said.
Hansen said he is excited about the intimate performance of between 50 and 60 people.
“Since it’s a small show, we’re having a little bit of fun with this one,” he said. “The crowd is always really good with the Afton House and it’s a fun family to work with.
“I hope we make the show worthwhile.”
Comedian Scott Hansen will be appearing at the Afton House Inn April 8. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. and the show runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $54.95 and includes a three-course meal. Call (651_436-8883 for reservations or for more information.