Get to Know the Comedian Mike Polk

Comedian Mike Polk performing at Club Velvet inside Hard Rock Rocksino.

Welcome to Hard Rock Rocksino, home of amazing musical performances, wining and dining, and, of course, the gaming floor. But there is another layer of Hard Rock Rocksino that can’t be overlooked, and that is the Cleveland comedy!

Our venues are home to some of the country’s funniest comedians and we are proud to welcome Milk Polk to the stage. Get ready for some belly-splitting laughs by getting to know the jokester before the show! We sat down with Mike to learn a little more about his comedic background.

What made you want to be a comedian?

“I’m actually still not sure I want to be a comedian. Frankly, it can be pretty soul-sucking and nerve-racking. But I’ve failed to develop any other marketable skills, and let’s face it I’m not getting any younger. So I’ve just got to roll with this for right now until I can figure out my next move.”

What’s your favorite piece that you’ve ever created, or favorite joke you’ve ever told?

“The things I’ve created that I enjoy the most have a tendency to be things that the larger public isn’t all that nuts about, and with good reason. I like developing weird concepts with my friends and devoting way too much time and effort to executing them.’

For example, for about two years I was part of a fake motivational rock band called “Falconheart”. Our mission was to use our music to inspire people to chase their dreams.  The songs were terrible and the whole thing was very confusing to everyone, but it was fun for us. Actually now that I think about it, it might have only been fun for me. I don’t think the other guy in the band was that into it either. But I enjoyed it. I think some of the videos are still online.”

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

“Primarily deadlines and abject panic. You’d be amazed how motivating that can be.”

What is the best part about being a comedian?

“It’s been an extremely helpful way to keep me out of those high income tax brackets that wealthy people always complain about.”

What’s the hardest?

“Sincerely, to me it’s the guilt. You’re never really off the clock in that you can always be doing something to try and get better. If I’m watching Netflix, I’m thinking to myself ‘you should be writing, or practicing or marketing, etc.’

If you work as a clerk at Dick’s Sporting Goods, when your shift is over you can go home and chill out and you don’t have to think about work until you walk back into Dick’s Sporting Goods. You’re not watching Netflix and saying to yourself ‘I can’t believe I’m just sitting here rather than trying to improve my craft. I should be going door to door to try and sell athletic cups and bocce ball sets to my neighbors right now.’

Now, I’m not complaining about that or pretending that I’m digging coal here. That’s just the hardest part of this gig to me.”

Club Velvet, venue at Hard Rock Rocksino, stage with mic and chair.

If you weren’t a comedian, what would you be?

“Probably happily married and painfully sober.”

What would be your dream gig?

“I guess probably one of those isolated park rangers that lives alone way out in one of those ranger forts where they just look through their binoculars all day to try and spot any fires and forest crimes. That seems like a pretty peaceful life. Plus you get to wear that khaki uniform which let’s face it wouldn’t hurt your chances with the ladies.”

What is the best and worst reaction you’ve ever gotten to a joke?

“It actually happened at the same time. I was bombing really hard at a show and after about 5 seconds of silence following yet another joke I told that had fallen really flat a woman suddenly just yelled out ‘Next!’ in a really impatient manner. It was the perfect heckle. She didn’t boo me, she didn’t even bother telling me that I sucked, I wasn’t worth that effort. She just wanted it to be over. She wanted whatever might come out next, no matter what it was. She didn’t even know what was coming out next! There’s a chance it could have been even worse than me. But she didn’t care, she was willing to take that gamble. Just bring out what’s next. That was the best and the worst.”

Who is your favorite comedian?

“This will sound like a cop out but I’m gonna go with my niece Shannon. I recently saw her perform stand up in her grade school talent show and she is now my favorite stand up comedian. Not because of her act. To be honest her comedy was pretty derivative, mostly fairly predictable animal-based puns. Not really my bag. But her delivery is dynamite. The tepid writing was salvaged by the electric performance. 5 stars.”

What’s your favorite medium for comedy (Live stand up, TV, YouTube, etc.) and why?

“I honestly enjoy them all in different ways and I like to combine them into my stage show.  I incorporate video content and music into most of my shows, I like the way it breaks it up. I did sketch comedy well before I began doing stand up and I still like to go for a vibe of a kind of low-budget, confusing variety show, which I believe I routinely execute successfully.”

What do you like best about the Hard Rock Rocksino venue Club Velvet?

“That room is gorgeous. All of the equipment is top of the line, the design is gorgeous, it still has that new-club smell. I’m happy when I’m performing there and someone I went to high school with or something comes to the show because if they’re just basing it on the venue alone it actually appears as though I’m doing quite well.”

After getting to know our comedian, Mike Polk, you most definitely cannot miss out on his upcoming show as well as comedy shows to come. Catch Mike Polk at Club Velvet on Saturday, August 18th, with a show at 7pm and another show at 9:30pm. Be prepared to have a good night at Hard Rock Rocksino and get ready to laugh the night away.

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