Jeff Clinard is a man of faith, family and funny, which he uses as a noun.
Clinard, a 22-year-old native of Irvine, is a communications senior. He is also a member of Smile and Nod, Cal Poly’s Improvisational team.
“I really enjoy making people happy,” Clinard said. “Sometimes you have to be able to put things into perspective. Stand-up comedy lets you do that.”
He started doing comedy at 17 when he was a senior in high school.
“Back in high school, I was definitely one of the guys who liked to be the center of attention,” Clinard said. “Comedy gave me a way to direct that kind of energy, because I’ve always been a hyper, crazy kid.”
Clinard’s religious beliefs also play a role with his interest in comedy.
“The joy that I have in my life definitely comes from my relationship from God,” Clinard said. “The freedom I have in Christ gives me the opportunity to look at things from an exterior point of view,” Clinard said. “My content (in comedy) is a reflection of my faith and also my desire to appeal to the widest range of audience.”
Clinard has a comedic preference, however, and often finds “original, intelligent, sincere humor” funny.
“When people take the time to make legitimate observations about the world around them… twist them and are able to point out the absurdity of it all, I think that is hilarious,” Clinard said. “I am a Christian, quarter-Mexican twin who grew up in Orange County with a mom from the Midwest, a balding father and a sister with some outrageous dogs; those are the things I joke about because that is my life and definitely how I view the world.”
This view is what Clinard said has helped him continue to enjoy improv with Smile and Nod for the last four years.
“We get to work together and build off each other,” he said. “Improv is such a different atmosphere, and it is great because everyone just gets funnier.”
The other members of the team have definitely helped him with his love for comedy and improv.
“I’m not the only one on the team that does stand-up,” he said. “What has been great about Smile and Nod is the terrific people (that I can) just talk about every aspect of comedy with. They have the same goal as mine to go out and make people laugh on a regular basis, and it’s been great to find people who also do it in the same way I do.”
Clinard’s distinct outlook on the world has helped him form his unique view on life.
“We are all put on this Earth to have a human experience and if we choose to have one aspect of that experience without having the other aspects, then we limit ourselves from being human,” he said. “Humor is important because it is such a direct path to that joy (of being human).”
Clinard will perform as part of the Smile and Nod show Saturday in building 5, room 212. The event starts at 8 p.m. Smile and Nod performs every Saturday at 8 p.m.
For more information about Clinard or the rest of the Smile and Nod team, visit www.smileandnod.org.