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    Paul Weiner Brings Punk Rock Optimism To Stand Up Comedy

    Dreams of Performing

    Paul Weiner was a taxi driver and a stay-at-home parent for a very long time before trying improv classes. He found he really enjoyed being on stage, and he really needed a break from the boredom he was experiencing. But, improv wasn’t really what Paul Weiner wanted to do.
    As early as age 12, Weiner had dreams of becoming a comedian. However, he wouldn’t perform at an few open mic for the first time until the age of 48. He was back at it again after his divorce two years later. That’s when he started getting booked for some showcases.
    “Comedy and making people laugh has always been the thing that takes me out of myself and gives me purpose. It’s one of the biggest catalysts to healing in my life from the pain of my youth.” In addition to enduring abuse at home, Paul Weiner was bullied by peers for his interests, for his religion, and for his sexuality. Though many of his life experiences in youth were extremely painful, Weiner believes they set him up for success when navigating difficult people as a grown-up.

    Healing Through Art

    Weiner has always been able to find healing through comedy, but now he is finally able to find healing through community. He feels supported by the comedy scene. “Last year after an attempted suicide and taking a few months off, I found a lot of love and people who really care about me in the comedy scene! Especially in Austin, Texas.”
    Paul is more than surprised by the unfortunate few who are willing to diminish others in order to make themselves look better. He finds it “painful and sad.” For him, comedy is art and art is all about growth. Weiner believes, “If you don’t grow and change. Nothing exciting will happen.”

    Looking Towards the Future

    Weiner really enjoys female comics, but he doesn’t necessarily want to tell them what to do in terms of giving advice. He knows that women are funny. “I just love creative people, and comedy is one of the hardest and most creative things I can be a part of right now in my life!”
    He hopes that anyone can partake in the experience. In terms of future goals for comedy, Paul says he loves it. “I love taking showers and doing stand-up sets in my head!” “I love that feeling when a joke comes to me when I’m just beginning to fall asleep and I have to grab a piece of paper or my phone and jot it down real quick.”
    Sometimes, comedy loves him right back. Weiner was booked for more shows that paid in six months of 2021 than everything he had booked for before the COVID quarantine combined. As a resident of Austin, Paul has witnessed first-hand many of the changes to the comedy industry in the United States. He defines the changes he’s seen as “immense”.
    The population in Austin happened to increase massively at the same time as the 2020 pandemic. As well, superstar comic Joe Rogan’s move to Austin changed the culture incredibly. Weiner elaborates that a massive growth in population coincided with the quarantine, and Joe Rogan’s move to Austin contributed to an incredible cultural scene. Moreover, Paul believes that it’s nice that there’s so many creative people and so many shows and excitement. The one downside is the city is more than slightly crammed.

    Remembering the Past

    Being older and having previous experience as a punk rock musician, Paul has a few tricks up his sleeve as far as performances are concerned. “Probably the biggest thing that sets me apart is I’m very likable on a one on one basis and I get along really well with people.” In contrast, Paul finds many comics to be “very standoffish.”
    His sister is one of Weiner’s main inspirations. She passed away as a result of a drug overdose in 2020. They survived a very painful and abusive childhood together, and what they endured was nothing short of horrific. Weiner says, “She is one of the funniest people I know.” He credits her for him discovering punk rock. Reflecting on her warmth and personality, Paul concludes that she most likely would have rocked as a comedienne.
    Because most of the United States went into lockdown the day after she passed, Paul was only able to do three open mics immediately after. He made jokes about how his sister had recently passed away and about his own history with drug use. Unfortunately, the morbid routine did not do well with audiences frightened for their own lives and loved ones. “The audiences were scared to death of [COVID-19], and I was talking about shooting the same dope that had killed her.” Today, Paul doesn’t often make those same jokes. Still, he takes his sister with him on stage every time.

    Comedy Meets Punk Rock

    As a student of punk rock, Paul finds Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones to be greatly inspiring. “The man has endured fame, fortune, drug use and drinking. He has a brilliant sense of humor and mind.” Overall, Paul is clearly impressed by an artist’s transcendence and longevity.
    Paul explains that leaving an impression through art is a form of immortality. So for Paul, he’s inspired. He wants to “leave my light in other people. And, hopefully get laid once in a while too!” For anyone interested in a raw comedian with a punk rock aesthetic, be sure to check out Paul Weiner!


    1. Great article! About “a super cool guy” (I am originally from South Jersey too and my good friend is also a friend of Paul’s). And (sadly) I totally agree with him in regard to growing up in New Jersey (as a non-mainstreamed type of person) definitely “prepares you for a bunch of assholes.” I just know that Paul’s sister shines her light proudly on her brother! Keep going Paul; believe in your self and may you always be blessed by blessing others with laughter from the riches of your talent!

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