Anthony Krayenhagen remembers being somewhat of a clown while in high school in Ceres. Little did he know that cracking people up would translate to a career.
Billed as “Anthony K,” Krayenhagen is working full-time as a standup comedian, will be headlining an 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18 adult comedy show at Modesto’s Gallo Centre for the Arts. Tickets start at $15 per person through the Gallo Centre website.
Krayenhagen moved to Ceres from San Jose when he was nine and played for the Ceres Falcons football team. He attended Don Pedro Elementary, Blaker Kinser Junior High, Ceres High and graduated from Argus High School in 2005.
Raised without a father and something of a know-it-all in school, Anthony says it was comedians like Roseanne Barr, Patrice O’Neal and Jim Norton who helped to “raise him” and planting a comedic seed into his DNA.
“I’ve always been a big lover of stand-up so I went and watched the show and kind of decided to try it and wrote some jokes out. I did it and I never looked back and nine years later I’m still doing it.”
His routine ranges from his personal life, his upbringing to his relationships and racial issues – despite it being a sensitive time for that – and his observations about everyday life.
He occasionally pokes fun at the Modesto area but likes to zing the metro areas.
“I more make fun of the bigger cities, that they’re kind of dumpy. I reverse that a little bit because they make fun of us but I like where I grew up. I look at the city as a place I visit and make money in – like San Francisco. I don’t look at it as a place where I’d ever want to live.”
Krayenhagen said that part of perfecting standup is to fall flat with his audience from time to time and learn from it.
“Bombing is part of the process. You have to. You can’t swing 100 percent. That’s part of the learning process.”
He doesn’t necessarily change his act depending on venue but he will modify it to match crowd demographics.
“It would depend. If the crowd was, say over 60 years old, I’m probably not gonna go on about Facebook. But if it’s a group of 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds, you know, I may have some jokes about social media I want to talk about.”
He irreverently pokes fun at his own race such as in a 2015 routine about the impending legalization of marijuana when we said “Mexican and black people don’t care if weed ever becomes legal. We don’t care, alright? White people want weed to be legal … so they can stop buying weed from scary Mexican and black people. They just want to buy it at Kohl’s with the towels and just go home.”
He performed at least once in Ceres, a few years back, at the Ceres Chamber of Commerce’s annual Citizen of the Year and Installation Banquet.