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The Godfather Of Comedy

Grab your opportunity to experience Tony Sparks and his amazing talent and connection to amazing local comics.

My mission is to provide aspiring comics with inspiration and actionable advice so you can build your own hugely profitable and meaningful show business.

Tony Sparks has been on stage long enough to know how to capture attention. He stands behind the mic at a sparsely occupied bar.

When a brand-new comic comes up, Sparks leads the audience in a short chant of “lots of love” to build up the energy in the room.

We definitely don't get there overnight.

But we'll get there...

Tony Sparks’ first display of superhuman comedy hustle happened when he was 16 years old.

After deciding he wanted to be a comic, Sparks opened up the phone book and started cold-calling random rooms near his home in Little Rock, Ark.

“Anything that said ‘club,’” Sparks remembers. “Night clubs, the Kiwanis Club — I called them up and said, ‘I’m a comic in your town, and I want to do a show at your place.’”

His career passed through New York before Sparks moved to San Francisco in 1991. He stayed in the city, hustled some more, and has firmly established himself as the king of open-mike night, an Obi-Wan Kenobi figure for a generation of local comics.

Comedians Al Madrigal and Ali Wong got their starts at a Sparks show. Moshe Kasher once called Sparks “the fairy godfather of San Francisco open mikes.”

But the magic of Sparks’ shows is the lack of a star system. The 56-year-old comic has a hearty laugh for almost everyone — often the only laugh in the room — and plenty of advice for first-timers.

“Humans, listen!” Sparks says, pumping up the crowd for the next comic. “This guy has been doing great work lately. Reminds me of myself when I was 23.”


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Not to give you whiplash and get all "serious" all of a sudden, but just in case you dig a professional bio too...

Tony has been performing stand-up comedy since the dawn of the joke. He's opened for many famous comics long before they were famous. He's written for many comics, both now on television and others presenting the comedy circuit. He's a major fixture in the San Francisco comedy scene.