Statum, a Corner High School graduate, served as headline act at the Comedy Club Stardome in Hoover this week. He said a bet 15 years ago is what started his career on that same stage.
“A buddy of mine got me to do it,” Statum said. “I lost the bet, and I agreed to go to the open mic night at the Comedy Club. I told him that he had to get at least 20 people to come to the competition or I wouldn’t do it — if I counted 19 people, I wouldn’t have gotten on stage. He got 35 people to come that night and I won. It was my first time to ever be on a stage.”
For his victory, Statum received 12 free tickets to the Stardome to see long-time comedian James Gregory. He went back to the open mic competition a week later and picked up a second-straight win.
“After that second time, I got a call from the club’s owner asking me to come see him,” Statum said. “He said he liked my stuff and wanted me to open the show that night. I told him that I had seven minutes worth of material, and he told me I needed to double that before the show started an hour and a half later.”
Bruce Ayers, the owner of the Comedy Club Stardome, said Statum took to comedy from his first time on the stage.
“Some guys get it, and some guys don’t,” Ayers said. “He got it right from the start, and he’s been very successful. It is an honor for us to have local guys that make it good perform on our stage. Tim’s a great guy and he is a great comedian.”
Becoming a regular on the comedy club circuit can be difficult, but Statum said he caught a break because of another comedian’s misfortune.
“Michael Reed, who passed away a few years ago, needed someone to drive him to his dates, because he had gotten into a little trouble,” Statum said. “He told me, if I would drive him to all his dates for six months, that he would be sure to get me on the stage at each of the clubs. That’s what got me on the circuit.”
Statum, who grew up in the small community of Lynn’s Crossing, now lives in Graysville, but he’s performed all over the country. Statum has opened for Three Dog Night, Hank Williams Jr. and George Jones. He’s also performed in Las Vegas and on cruise ships. His current travel schedule usually keeps him in venues across the Southeast.
“I absolutely love what I do,” he said. “I love performing in Birmingham, because this is home. I usually perform here once or twice per year, and it’s always a big crowd. The home folks are so good to me.”
Southern audiences connect with Statum because he incorporates real-life stories of growing up in the country into his act. Statum may be familiar to Walker County residents, because he was formerly a regular on the “Bill and Barry Morning Show” in the late 1990s.
“We had a lot of fun. Those guys were a hoot,” Statum said.
Statum said he will be returning to radio in the next few weeks as he joins Scott Griffin on the Smashmouth Radio Network on 97.3 FM The Zone.
“I will be on there each week. I know during football season it will be each Friday,” Statum said. “I love to pick football games, and I’m pretty good at it. I’ll show off those skills this fall.”
Along with playing comedy clubs across the country, Statum also performs corporate gigs and does a lot of benefit shows for charities.
For more information on Statum, visit www.timstatum.com.