Las Vegas Sun

May 26, 2022

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For those without a whit of wit, this is the class for you

If You Go

  • What: Humor Boot Camp
  • When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Vinnie’s Showroom at O’Sheas
  • Registration: $895; (888) 528-4451, humorbootcamp.com

Beyond the Sun

Humor is serious business for comedian Vinnie Favorito and public speaker Darren LaCroix.

“It’s a myth that someone is born funny,” says LaCroix, who travels the world teaching people how to spice up their bland speeches with comedy. “It’s a process anyone can learn. I’m living proof you don’t have to be naturally funny — you just learn the process.”

He created the Humor Boot Camp about 10 years ago in Boston to teach salespeople, business executives and anyone else who might benefit from honing a sense of humor.

“Everyone wishes they were funnier, and we found ways to tap into that,” LaCroix says.

LaCroix was a business major in college, started a business after he graduated, and when it didn’t do so well went into sales. On a lark in 1992 he decided to take a class in stand-up comedy from Favorito, who was beginning his comedy career and was teaching aspiring comedians on the side.

“He took me under his wing.” says LaCroix, who blossomed from a wallflower into a comedian who had a six-year career in the business until he realized his calling was public speaking.

“My background was in business,” he says. “I discovered I could make jokes that could relate better to white-collar crowds than to the blue-collar crowds. So I went to the corporate arena.”

Along the way he wrote a book, “Laugh & Get Rich: How to Profit From Humor in Any Business,” and won an international Toastmasters competition by speaking about how he was able to become a comedian when no one thought he could.

Before moving to Vegas in October, he reconnected with Favorito, who performs at O’Sheas.

He talked to the comedian about using his showroom to teach his two-day humor seminar every month or two. Favorito decided to revive his teaching career and join him.

Favorito and LaCroix share duties, taking turns teaching the tricks of the trade.

“I put them (students) in situations they’ve been in, make them come up with something creative,” Favorito says. “I teach them all the different things in comedy — the call back, the setup, the premise, the tag, the different elements they can use that will help their speeches flow better. I don’t care if it’s a speech or a comedy routine, you have to have a flow and direction.”

Students pay almost $900 for two days of intense training in creating and delivering comedy. “All the students will be on the stage several times,” LaCroix says.

Favorito says the course is a way to build confidence.

“I call comedy the icebreaker,” Favorito says. “If you have an icebreaker you can continue with a conversation, break down some barriers. A lot of people lack the confidence of being able to win others over.

“Humor can open a lot of doors.”

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