Have you heard the one about the up-and-coming comedian?
Sure you have, and the joke’s usually on the comic in the end. But for Worcester’s Nick Chambers, when it comes to comedy and entertainment, there seems to be nothing the 30-year-old jack-of-all-trades can’t do.
Writer, comedian, singer, songwriter, actor, artist and storyteller, he’s performed comedy up and down the East Coast, his Fake Song Friday videos have gone viral, and he’s a regular on a Boston-based variety show.
Then there’s the up-and-coming part.
On April 15 and 16 at The Gas comedy show at Allston’s Great Scott concert venue, Chambers, a graduate of Burncoat High School, will record his first comedy album. He will perform one-hour sets (cut down to 45-60 minutes for the album) of new material that he hopes will catapult his career.
“It’s a way for more people to hear me and it’s something that will push me to have an hour’s worth of material,” Chambers said.
Rob Crean, host and producer of The Gas, said it’s a landmark event for Chambers and for the city. “Nick is one of the best comedians to ever come out of Worcester and he’s recording his very first comedy album,” he said. “If there’s any reason to come out to Boston for a night, that’s as good of a reason as any.
“Worcester has much more of a community than Boston,” Crean said. “People from Worcester really care about the city and the people in it, and this is Worcester history that’s happening. This should be really important for the community. It’s a big first step in Nick Chambers’ career.”
Crean said he selected Chambers to be only the second comic to record at The Gas because of his following and because he expects big things out of him.
“I feel really confident in Nick. I think he’s developing a really big following around here,” Crean said. “I was hoping he would agree to do [the recording]. I was really excited when he said he would.”
Tickets to the show are available at Ticketmaster or can be purchased from Chambers himself on March 16 at The Sort of Late Show, hosted by fellow Worcester-born comedian Shaun Connolly at Ralph’s Rock Diner on Grove Street.
“Nick is already blowing up. He’s the hot commodity in Boston. He’s a great guy and everyone wants him on their show. The fact that he will have a hard copy of his talent and not just word of mouth is really going to set him apart,” Connolly said.
The Sort of Late Show will be celebrating its three-year anniversary. Expected guests that night also include Matthew Glidden, owner of 3Cross Brewing Company, and South High Community School Principal Maureen F. Binienda.
Chambers and Connolly, along with several other Worcester-area comics, have recently begun performing more in the Boston area, including at Laugh Boston’s Comic vs. Comic Roasting Competition, which pitted Chambers, Connolly, and Worcester comic Doug Guertin against each other.
“There’s less places that provide comedy in Worcester now. You can go out to Boston and get on a couple shows in one night. There’s just more opportunity out there,” Chambers said.
“I don’t think Worcester is hurting comedy-wise,” said Connolly, who runs three comedy shows in Worcester: The Sort of Late Show, Ahoy! A Stand Up Comedy Showcase at Hotel Vernon, and Hot Dog! A Stand Up Sideshow at George’s Coney Island.
“There’s just more opportunity in Boston. It’s a bigger market. And I guess people are starting to recognize that we’re funny out there and we’re not just a bunch of Worcester kids,” Connolly added.
In 2014, Chambers was asked to be the comedian in residence at The Comedy Studio in Cambridge, and jumped at the chance in hopes of making himself known in the Boston area and beyond.
“I picked up a lot of great things from [The Comedy Studio],” Chambers said. “It made me better at working on my material and coming up with things faster.”
At The Comedy Studio, Chambers was required to perform nearly each night of the week for a year.
“It was stressful, but it was worth it. I’m a better comedian because of it,” he said.
Taking advantage of that opportunity has thoroughly paid off. Not only is The Comedy Studio where Crean first saw Chambers perform, but it is also how he was introduced to the writers and cast members of the Old School Game Show.
“He’s one of the funniest comedians working in New England right now. He’s got such a unique voice and some really great jokes,” Crean said.
“Nick is going to be famous. There’s no question. He’s not only super professional and reliable, but he is hilarious and smart. I just think he will do really big things. This a chance to see him before he takes those big steps,” Ginny Nightshade, executive producer of the Old School Game Show, said.
Old School Game Show (OSGS), described as part game show, part live theater experience, combines trivia, videos, dancing and comedy sketches. OSGS brought Chambers on as a permanent cast member and writer after seeing him perform standup following one of their variety shows.
His Fake Song Friday clips have even inspired Chambers’ own game where he sings different lyrics to popular songs and the contestants have to solve what song he’s supposed to be singing.
Mike D’Angelo, creator, host and executive producer of OSGS, said, “He’s incredibly talented. What he can do with comedy and song is amazing. Everyone who comes to the shows, that sticks with them and they want to know more about him. He’s a great guy, an incredible performer, and an amazing talent.”
Following his one-year stint at The Comedy Studio, Chambers has appeared in three feature films — including being cast in the lead role of “Pete” in the drama “It’s Not Funny Anymore,” which is currently in post-production.
According to Chambers, The Comedy Studio, located above Hong Kong Restaurant in Harvard Square, was where his acting career took off.
It was there that Chambers was asked to audition for a role in the comedy film “Good Kids,” about four high school students trying to redefine themselves after graduation. Chambers landed the part of a police officer.
Following filming of “Good Kids,” Chambers answered a casting call for the drama film “Hedgehog,” about a young comedian trying to follow in the footsteps of her famous comedian father, but struggles with the fear that she will meet the same demise as her father. Chambers plays the role of “Gary,” another comedian in the film.
Some of Chambers’ biggest comedy influences are several comedians-turned-actors, including Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Louis CK and Kevin Hart.
According to Chambers, it was Hart’s comedy special ”I’m a Grown Little Man” that changed his perception on how comedy can be delivered.
“It gave me a totally different idea of what standup comedy was. I had a different idea of how comedy was structured, and after seeing that, I knew I could do standup because it was similar to my own voice,” Chambers said.
By combining the different facets of his entertainment career — acting, comedy, writing, singing — Chambers hopes to turn them all into a full-time job and fulfill every comedian’s dream: leave retail in the dust.
“Whether it’s comedy, acting, or whatever, I just hope someday I can quit my day job,” Chambers said.
Tonight, March 6, Chambers will be performing back-to-back sets in Cambridge, first at the grand opening show of Inside Jokes at 8 p.m. at Joe Sent Me, 2388 Massachusetts Ave.; then The Ranger Zone at 10 p.m. at ZuZu, 474 Massachusetts Ave.
For a full schedule of Chambers’ performances, click here: Chamberscomedy.com.