At first glance, coming from the business world may not seem funny to many — probably because most folks have not met Bryce Stanley.
Stanley, a Bolivar native and 1989 graduate, obtained a degree in accounting from the University of Missouri and spent the bulk of his professional life working in the corporate scene.
Stanley spent years working in the accounting field with a large cable provider, the Department of Natural Resources and had several corporate stops throughout his business career.
When a retirement party prompted a spontaneous opportunity to provide some comedic performing, Stanley said he accidentally found his calling.
“It was a party for my [now ex-] mother-in-law,” Stanley said. “I worked up some material, developed a sort of redneck character and really ran with it. It was a hit, and I just felt I could go further with comedy.”
Stanley spent the next few years transitioning from the corporate scene into professional comedy, starting at the ground level.
He performed small, three-minute bits on weekday evenings at dive bars and little comedy clubs in the Kansas City-area, followed by appearances at more prominent venues for larger crowds.
Through the early 2000s, Stanley continued to refine his craft, developing several comedic personalities, improving upon some humorous dialects and going from small bit appearances to headlining weekend shows at well-known comedy clubs throughout the Midwest.
Fast forward to the current day — and with the addition of chuckle buddy Jerad Langley — Stanley has dished out laughs across an area spanning twelve states, covering most of the central part of the country under the professional moniker Dirt Road Comedy.
Together, the duo performs a range of material, from church-friendly and business parties, to more adult-themed humor, and have continued to develop a dedicated following.
“We do a bit of everything,” Stanley said. “Jerad and I have a great show and can bring any level of humor to an event. We’ve done things for the Missouri Highway Patrol, hospitals, companies, large corporate parties, down to pole barns in the middle of nowhere. We do all of this to bring humor into people’s lives. And, if you look at the world today, it’s probably more important than ever to have a reason to laugh.”
Stanley also said the coastal scenes are not for him, his act or for the other comedians he regularly performs with.
“The whole east coast, west coast scene just isn’t for me,” Langley agreed. “We’re about bringing comedy to the Midwest, because that’s who we are, where we’re from and our show really connects with the area. We have roots here, and our whole show reflects that.”
Blending real life humor into small town views, Langley and Stanley perform for events large and small, in any venue imaginable, and said Dirt Road Comedy’s business model is based on bringing entertainment to locations with limited options.
As Stanley aims to improve his new brand, online presence and regular small-town performances, it is worth mentioning the duo’s resume is already quite stout, too.
The laughing pair have performed in large-scale venues, theatres and events centers in Des Moines, St. Louis, Kansas City, you name it, they have probably performed there.
For further information, inquiries, upcoming scheduled shows or to make a booking inquiry, Stanley can be reached via his website at brycestanley.com, and the comedy duo of Stanley and Langley can be contacted at dirtroadcomedy.com.