Earl David Reed’s unsuccess

By on October 21, 2015

Nationally known comedian to perform at Ephrata Main Theatre

It’s time to get serious about being funny.

That is the epiphany 54-year old Earl David Reed had recently while plugging away at his day job. So, the two-time winner of Star Search has once again hit the comedy trail. He’ll bring The Secret of my Unsuccess Comedy Tour to Ephrata Main Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 24.

“You know [the tour] is a whole reinvention of myself,” said Reed from Las Vegas where he was appearing at the Tropicana and Planet Hollywood. He hasn’t been back to Vegas in more than 10 years. “I thought, ‘well, let’s see what kind of damage I can do in this business.’”

Reed, whose comedy is fast paced and involves a lot of audience participation, got his start while at college in Connecticut. He was working as a doorman at a comedy club.

“I just jumped on stage and never looked back,” said Reed. “Things went great. I was doing television like The Tonight Show and Arsenio and I just kind of got burnt out and wanted a normal life.”

The constant touring associated with stand-up comedy wore him out and Reed ended up in Harrisburg working with morning radio programs. He can be heard currently on WQXA 105.7 on the Nipsey, Earl and Jen Shade Show.


Comedian Earl David Reed brings The Secret of my Unsuccess Comedy Tour to Ephrata Main Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Comedian Earl David Reed brings The Secret of my Unsuccess Comedy Tour to Ephrata Main Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 24.


But his first area gig was as a funnyman for a Carlisle-based country station. His bio touts him as the “only African American comedian with an urban and country DVD out at the same time.” He even appeared on “Bill Engvall’s All Stars of Country Comedy.” Reed has rediscovered the call to the comedy stage and a life he had once put on the shelf.

“My first love is performing,” said Reed. “My career is starting to reinvent itself again.”

Now, he’s in the works creating a television show based on his life and comedy. The show’s pilot program has been shot and it is currently being shopped to broadcasters like A&E.

“The show follows my comedy and life while I try and get back to the point where I was years ago, after years of being domesticated,” explained Reed. “It’s funny, I watched the show and it’s about me and it made me think, ‘huh, I guess I do have an interesting life.’”

Citing influences like Don Rickles and comedians from an older generation, no two Reed sets are ever exactly the same. He can start out with a topic and change midstream after noticing something about a particular audience member. So, if you head to the show at the Ephrata Main Theatre and want to be part of the act, wear something outrageous. Even with an in-your-face style of comedy, Reed knows good comedy must be crafted and intelligent.

“Over the years, as you get older, the material gets better because you have more life experience,” said Reed. “I won’t do stuff for shock value, but I will say stuff to make a point.”

Over the years he has learned to adapt his comedic style to the audience. He will perform at intimate venues like the Ephrata Main Theatre and at corporate functions as well. Each venue has a specific and different crowd.

“I’ll change my set to be appropriate enough for a school filled with students and parents,” said Reed. “Anyone who can’t do that is not a comedian. Everyone who’s ever seen me before knows there is a level of excellence to my shows.”

Reed will take the stage at the Ephrata Main Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. Tickets for the show are still available and cost $20 and can be purchased online at earldavidreed.brownpapertickets.com or by contacting the box office in The Brossman Building, 124 E. Main St.

Michael Upton, a freelance correspondent for the Ephrata Review and Lititz Record Express, welcomes your comments and questions at facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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