Gabe Noah to perform comedy show

When Detroit Lakes native Gabe Noah is asked what it's like to plan a standup comedy show back in his hometown, the Minneapolis-based comedian describes it in one word: "Horrifying."...

Gabe Noah is a Detroit Lakes native who now makes a living as a comedian. He will perform in DL March 12.

When Detroit Lakes native Gabe Noah is asked what it's like to plan a standup comedy show back in his hometown, the Minneapolis-based comedian describes it in one word: "Horrifying."

"I don't know why I ever sign myself up for these things," he joked.

Noah, who will be headlining a comedy showcase at the Detroit Lakes Holiday Inn this Saturday, March 12, said that every time he's approached about doing a hometown show, he says yes, thinking it's "a fun idea - like a family reunion or something."

But then, he starts thinking about what it will be like to see his in-laws, or worse, his parents, sitting in the front row.

Noah, who says a recent City Pages feature article compared his adult-flavored (read: profanity-laced) comedy to that of his favorite contemporaries, Bill Burr and Louis C.K., and readily admits that his mother, Pam Noah, is not a fan of the swear words that pepper his material.


"She wishes I would just go up there on stage and be a nice boy, like she raised me to be," Noah says. "But my dad (Mike Noah, of Noah's Furnishings fame) likes it."

His wife's parents, Steven and Connie Schroeder (also from Detroit Lakes), can often be found in the audience for his local shows.

"My mother-in-law loves it," Noah said of Connie Schroeder's reaction to his humor. "She will be fighting to sit in the front row, which horrifies me more than anything you can imagine."

At the same time, Noah says, he really likes doing hometown shows because his audience "gets" his jokes more than they would anywhere else.

"I don't make it back that often, but I'm from there, so my sense of humor came from there too," he said. "It just really feels natural. I dread it every single time, and every single time it's been really fun."

Noah, who graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1997, said that it was his stint as co-emcee of a high school talent show during his senior year that really fueled his ambition to become a professional comedian.

"They asked me and my friend Brant Schmidt to host it," Noah said. "He just enjoyed the attention, but I really went to work on it and came up with a lot of ideas and jokes. I really took it seriously. My idea of hell would be to watch that show now, but at the time it was a really big deal. The whole school was there, and it was really fun. I felt like we did a good job and got a lot of attention. It (the comedy bug) really bit me then.

"I would say that was the genesis of it, though comedy is something I've wanted to do ever since I can remember," Noah added. "It really mattered to me if I won 'class clown' in the school yearbook - it was the only thing I was really good at."


After graduating from high school, Noah went to college in Minneapolis for a while, but ended up in Los Angeles, pursuing his dreams of the spotlight.

"I started having way too much fun - having all the fun," he joked. "It was a long, perilous journey."

After his standup career failed to take off as he'd planned, however, Noah decided to move back to Minnesota in 2008 and try to light a fire under his flagging ambitions.

"I moved back to Minneapolis, only to find out that it's one of the top five comedy scenes in the whole country," he said. "I could probably do two or three shows a night here if I wanted to."

About four years ago, Noah started doing stand-up full time.

"I do this for a living now," he said.

Though he has done a handful of shows in Detroit Lakes before, the March 12 showcase is the first one where he has put a lot of thought into the planning, Noah admitted.

"My other shows there have been kind of impromptu," he said. "This one is the real deal."


Noah recorded his first comedy album back in December, taking footage from three shows that he did at Rick Bronson's House of Comedy, located inside the Mall of America.

"It's being produced by a Grammy-winning record label," he said. "I hope to have it released sometime late this summer or early fall."

He plans to draw from the material he used on that album, and "a lot of new stuff too."

He will be bringing two opening acts along for the ride as well - including another Detroit Lakes native, Janna Syverson.

"So this is really going to be a homecoming show," he said.

When asked how he met Syverson, Noah said, "I was on the road in Fargo, headlining a show at a comedy club there, and one of the local comics came backstage and said, 'Do you know Janna? She's a comic from Detroit Lakes too.' You could have knocked me over with a feather."

At first, he was a little bummed out. "If there was one thing I thought I had exclusively as a comic, it was that (being from Detroit Lakes)."

But it didn't take him long to acknowledge that he had found a peer.


"You meet a lot of people who call themselves comedians, and they're rarely funny, but I saw Janna perform, and she was super funny," he said. "She's newer, but she's really, really good."

The other opener will be Noah's fellow Minneapolis-based comedian, Mike Lester, whom he describes as "my favorite young comic."

"It's going to be a great show," he added.

The comedy showcase is scheduled to get underway at 8 p.m. To reserve a table, please call the Detroit Lakes Holiday Inn at (218) 847-2121.

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