Humorist James Gregory

jg For decades, the unforgettable caricature of veteran comedian James Gregory stood grinning: his shirt untucked, his arms outstretched, a carefree welcome to a down-home, hilarious comedy experience. It was storytelling at its best. The trademark caricature embodied the essence of humorist James Gregory’s comedy: rib-tickling reflections on life from the front porch.

James was constantly touring, on the road about three days a week, forty-six weeks a year. He entertained sold-out crowds in theaters and comedy clubs and remained in demand for corporate events. James was the featured entertainer for hundreds of corporations, including the Coca Cola Company, Kimberly Clark Corporation, Hewlett Packard, and Kroger. He was also the featured speaker for events sponsored by various civic and church groups.

James was heard weekly on syndicated radio shows such as Rick and Bubba, John Boy and Billy, and Bob and Tom. Combined, these shows were broadcast to people in over 220 cities nationwide, resulting in a grassroots following that numbered in the millions.

James was born in a rural area about twenty-five miles east of Atlanta, GA. He got his first job at the age of twelve at a small country grocery store. By the time he was fifteen, he was working thirty-seven hours a week, as well as going to school. As an adult, James worked for the U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Defense, and spent almost ten years as a salesman before discovering the wonderful world of stand-up comedy.

James did not tiptoe through life as if he were walking on broken glass or eggshells. That style was evident on stage as well. He was not politically correct. Much of his humor was centered on brilliant observations of crazy relatives and people obsessed with the slightest change in weather conditions – now referred to as global warming. He delighted in poking fun at modern sensitive parents and out-of-control environmentalists. Gregory was quoted as saying, “If you want me to be concerned about endangered species, you need to convince me that we’re about out of chickens.”

The James Gregory show turned the clock back to a time when life was simpler; to a better time, before the death of common sense; a time when people sat on the front porch and actually talked to each other without a cell phone in their ear.

James’ success, like his comedy, was the direct result of the values he grew up with. And after more than twenty years, it was this unique brand of humor that packed the crowds into his sold-out shows. The absence of vulgarity set James apart and his stories were carefully crafted art. “I have lived long enough to know people, know life,” Gregory reflected. “My comedy is based on my life experiences. It’s real, it’s funny and the audience loves it. That’s why I’m still in business.”

James was featured in publications such as Atlanta Magazine, Country America, Music City News, Laugh Track, Backstage West, Southern Living, and Goodness Magazine, along with major newspapers throughout the South.

He appeared in concert with Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, The Judds, George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, and more.

Review from Jim Harris, writer for The Southern Voice

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