Laughs and Awards

Comedian Roberts to speak at Carroll Chamber banquet

Annual business, community awards to be presented

CARROLLTON, Ky. (October 2015) – Rik Roberts has been performing comedy for half of his life. His shows are full of good, clean fun and his motivational speeches are sure to entertain as much as his stand-up shows.
In 1991 he went to play for what he thought was a guitarist contest in Columbus, Ohio, but realized too late it was an open mic comedy night. He watched the next 19 people perform and realized that was what he should be doing.
Growing up he had watched Saturday Night Live and “loved Steve Martin and Bill Cosby.” But he didn’t think comedy “was something you went out and did,” he said.

Photo provided

Comedian Rik Roberts has included Barney Fife in one of his motivational speeches for the last 10 years.

Roberts, 47, grew up in Versailles, Ky., working on tobacco and horse farms. While pursuing a degree in communications from Bethany College, he was inspired to be the next Tom Brokaw or anchor of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live.
He worked for a time for Simon & Schuster in Columbus, Ohio, before joining a national touring comedy troupe, “Midwest Comedy Tool & Die,” in 1992. It wasn’t long before he began stand-up comedy, which has been his full-time job ever since.
Roberts, who has lived in Nashville, Tenn., for the past 15 years, gives many keynote programs and motivational speeches full of stories, facts, current events, visuals and crowd participation. He will present “The Mayberry Method – Increase Productivity By Nipping Distractions In The Bud!” for the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the General Butler State Resort Conference Center in Carrollton. Cocktail hour and silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. There will also be a live auction. Ticket prices are $45 per person, $80 for two or $320 for a table of eight.
“It’s motivational with humor in it,” said Roberts of his program. The speech begins with a special appearance by America’s Favorite Deputy (portraying Barney Fife of Mayberry R.F.D. show), who pulls out a few ‘citations’ that he has written up for various reasons. Roberts then steps out of character and delivers a speech on how to manage time more effectively, set clearer goals, and increase productivity by eliminating distraction.  
“He’s been seen on CMT, GAC and LaughUSA. We just kind of stumbled upon him,” said MaKayla Bates of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
“All of the auction proceeds will benefit our 2016 scholarships,” said Bates. Dinner will feature hand-carved prime rib.
During the banquet, awards will be given out to individuals and businesses in the community in four categories: Beautification, Carroll County Community Impact, Raymond Ray Community Service award and the Business Hall of Fame to a business that has been around for 50 years.
The banquet is open to the public, but only Chamber members can receive awards. Various sponsorship opportunities are still available.
Michelle Goff, banquet chairman for the last five years, said the awards are given “to recognize local businesses that are chamber members and that we feel have been outstanding in some way.”
As to how Roberts was chosen as this year’s entertainment, she said, “Someone brought Roberts’ name to our attention and asked us to look at his YouTube video.” After that, the choice was clear that he should be booked for the banquet.   
Roberts travels all over the country giving his motivational speeches and performing comedy. “It takes time, effort and focus to come up with material,” he said.
He teaches comedy writing workshops and has an online class as well, “School of Laughs.” The workshops are the result of a club owner asking him to do them for aspiring comedians.
Roberts’ online writing class is being used in nine different countries outside the United States. He has a podcast in which he talks to comedians, booking agents and others in the field. It has been downloaded in 23 countries.
He also writes songs, many of which are aired daily on SiriusXM radio’s LaughUSA and Blue Collar Radio channels. Roberts is a member of the National Speakers Association and a board member of the Christian Comedy Association.
His shows are “easy to relate to,” he said. “I put an emphasis on storytelling and they are family-friendly.”

• For more information, contact the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce at (502) 732-7034.

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