Comedian Aaron Aryanpur is one of the reasons why Dallas has a comedy scene. He started performing when there was just one comedy club in town, which usually catered to out-of-towner headliners. The rest were coffee shops and bars that had an unoccupied corner and an owner who didn't mind someone bringing their own microphone and amp to do their act for their customers.
Aryanpur's dedication to his craft and hard-won accolades including a first place finish in the 2012 Funniest Comic in Texas and semi-finalist spots in Comedy Central's national Up Next Search and NBC's Stand Up for Diversity have not only made him a popular DFW headliner who still draws in big crowds, even when he was just the opening act. They've also earned him some prime time under spotlights all around the country including a recent spot on the FOX comedy showcase Laughs, even after a trip through airport hell cost him his first spot.
If that sounds like someone who deserves a chance to record their own comedy album, you're half right. Aryanpur will record four shows at Hyena's Comedy Nightclub this weekend.
"It's nerve-racking," Aryanpur says. "I want it to be good and funny and I want it to be the best version of everything that I've got. So we'll see. There are a lot of intangibles but I'm confident the shows are going to be great."
Aryanpur says he first hooked up with Stand Up! Records at the Hyena's show where Varghese recorded his first album.
"They recorded my set as well as Paul's so they had an idea of who I was and what I do," says Aryanpur. "A year later, I was invited to do the Texas Mess show during South by Southwest and [Stand Up! Records president Dan Schlissel] brought it up and said, 'When you're ready, we'll start recording.'"
Schlissel says both shows convinced him that Aryanpur was ready to record an album. The process for scoring a deal with Stand Up! Records is that simple.
"I think he's wickedly funny and super low-key from when I saw him," Schlissel says. "He's just really good at sneaking in those jokes. Comedy's always best when it comes at you from an unexpected angle and he's really good at doing that."
Aryanpur says the time also feels right to put out an album after 10 years of honing his material and stage presence.
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"I've been headlining a lot more over the last year or so and I was feeling really, really good about the stuff I'd been doing," he says. "That's kind of helped me and it felt to me like I knew I was ready. Plus, people were asking."
The album doesn't have a solid release date yet but it should be released sometime in the next four months to a year, Schlissel says.
"I think he's really talented and I'm really glad to help him break in on a bigger stage and expose him to the rest of the comedy world," Schlissel says.
Aryanpur will perform at Hyena's Comedy Nightclub at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets still available.