Despite his youthful appearance, Dwight Slade has the privilege of already being a comedy legend in American stand up. Born in Seattle, Washington, Dwight moved often in his early years, living in San Mateo, California; Wilton, Connecticut; Marietta, Georgia and Houston, Texas.
It was while in middle school in Houston that Dwight became friends with Bill Hicks, an intense young man with a secret dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. The two quickly developed a partnership that has lasted a lifetime. The two became enamored by comedians on The Tonight Show and began writing jokes to try out on friends. Soon they were sneaking of their parent’s suburban homes and riding their bikes to auditions and open mikes. At 14, Bill and Dwight had an 8X10, an agent, and lofty dreams of stardom.
In 1978, a small improv theater opened in Houston called the Comedy Workshop. The two 16 year olds conned school friends into giving them rides to try out their stand-up on open-mike night. The under age performers were often asked to wait outside the club before their show. The duo's career faced another obstacle when Dwight's family moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Throughout his high school years, Dwight continued to focus on stand-up. As a freshman at the University of Oregon, Slade finished 3rd in the Euphoria Comedy Contest, and full of ambition, moved to Hollywood.Slade reunited with Bill Hicks in 1981 in Los Angeles to write a screenplay. The two, now working as separate stand-ups, began to crack the world of Hollywood. At 18, Slade became one of the youngest performers to ever perform at the famous Comedy Store.
In 1983, the comedy boom was underway and Dwight found he could garner more precious stage time in Portland, Oregon than in Los Angeles. “Why should I live in Los Angeles when I can be just as miserable and unknown in Portland?” Slade moved to and soon established himself as the premier stand-up in the Northwest opening concerts for Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld.
Slade finished his degree at Portland State University in 1985 and hit the road, touring comedy clubs all over North America. 1988 marked the birth of his first child and Dwight made his national television debut on A&E’s Good Time Cafe.
The young family now faced an interesting dilemma: how do you travel on the road as a working comedian and stay together as a family? The solution took the form of a 36 foot fifth wheel travel trailer that the young family toured and lived in for four years while Dwight headlined comedy clubs across the US and Canada. With the birth of their second child, the Slade decided to hang up the nomadic lifestyle and settle down in Portland. “My second child was born in the RV,” says Slade, “We were pulled over at the time.”
It proved to be a good decision.
While grounded in Portland, Slade was able to explore more personal aspects to his stand up comedy. Putting together the critically praised, one man political primer, "Do People Really Think Like That?" Dwight was not only funny, but also thought provoking. The San Antonio Express wrote, “Slade restores one’s faith in comedy as the great equalizer. At his cerebral best he becomes the voice of the little man looking for a little justice – and just maybe a little pay back – for life’s daily mundane humiliations.”
The 90’s found Dwight moving into new arenas of creativity. Radio station KXL-AM billed him as “The Northwest’s Most Dangerous Mind” as he became a noted talk radio personality who used humor instead of rage to engage listeners. He released two comedy CD’s on Humor Ink recordings, "Weird State," and “Shut-up.”
Slade’s feature film debut came in 2000 in the movie “Inconceivable,” which enjoyed a run on Showtime and is available for rent at Hollywood Video. Slade also co-starred in the gritty family drama, “My Way Home” which won the Platinum Award at the 2001 Houston International Film Festival.
2002 Proved to be a banner year for Dwight Slade, becoming the first stand-up to make appearances at the three major North American Comedy Festivals, Aspen, Chicago and Montreal in one year. On the heels of his performances, Slade signed a development deal with Warner Brothers Television. Slade was chosen to appear on HBO’s “Best of the US Comedy Arts Festival” and made an appearance on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend.
Slade’s stand-up has gained international stature after earning a five star review from Scotland’s Minister of Culture at the prestigious 2003 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and appearances at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival in 2005 and 2006. He followed this with a tour in Afghanistan performing for US Troops and a tour of Israel. He performed in concert with guitar god Jeff Beck and the legendary Lynryd Skynryd and appeared on Byron Allen's Comics Unleashed. Dwight is currently living in Portland, Oregon and is a single father with two children. He continues to touch lives with his comedy and, yes, he is an Aries...