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    This weekend The Laughing Derby is stepping the laughs up a notch, when Hal Sparks come through.  His name is familiar and you know his face like the back of your hand…although you may not be able to pinpoint exactly where it is you heard the name or where you’ve seen his face.

    He has proven to be a linchpin voice in the generation X era of stand-up comedy.  Helping in the television revolution of the early millennia by hosting E!’s Talk Soup, which was the precursor to Joel McHale’s The Soup.  This show is the reason the t.v. landscape looks the way it does with craptastic programming like Tosh.O, Ridiculousness, or @MidnightTalk Soup was the parent of the clip show, they weren’t the first but they were the best.

    After leaving Talk Soup, Sparks revolutionized television again when he took the lead role in the Showtime series Queer as Folk.  This was the first legitimately homosexual oriented show on mainstream television.  You may also know him from being a regular contributor on Vh1’s I Love the… series.

    Sparks is a Kentucky native.  Raised mostly in the northern region, near Cincinnati, he moved here to Louisville for a short time while he was a kid.  From Louisville his parents moved north to Chicago, where he really began pursuing a life in the arts.  At sixteen he started working with the legendary comedy troupe Second City, while simultaneously trying his hand at stand-up comedy.  He hasn’t looked back since, he is one of the few performers who has been able to make a life and a career out of doing what he loves without ever having had to work a “day job” in his adult life.

    Hal Sparks will be at The Laughing Derby this weekend, July 10th – 12th, times vary, tickets are $22, Stu McCallister and Darren Rodgers will be on the show.

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    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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