Story by Tatum Spurck
There’s nothing like the feeling of bending over with uncontrollable and roaring laughter. Some people, like sophomore Maurice Greene-Foster, strive to bring this sensation to others. Greene-Foster now performs Stand up comedy at a local level, but eventually, he aspires to take his comedic talents to international heights.
Green-Foster has always had a knack for making people laugh, even in Elementary school. Although his passion for creating a smile on one’s face remains, his humor has been fine tuned and refined to fit the changes he has gone through as he ages. Greene-Foster describes his past self as a “knucklehead”, and said his jokes reflected that.
Green-Foster’s former sense of humor was based around what others deemed comical, but as he developed his own sense of self, his humor became more individualized. A big part of him understanding comedy was the realization that there “is a big difference of people laughing with you, and laughing at you.” He learned this in a unique way.
One day, a teacher at Greene-Foster’s old school told him to come into his classroom, and if he didn’t make the class laugh he would be sent to the office. “I made the whole class laugh, and I made him laugh in a matter of a minute,” explained Greene-Foster. Greene-Foster thought he would avoid getting in trouble since he did in fact make the class laugh, but the teacher told him, “They were laughing at you, not with you.”
“Learning that, I learned I’d rather have people laugh with me than at me. I’d rather make people laugh off of my material with purpose to make them laugh instead of me acting stupid or acting like a goof to get some laughs,” said Greene-Foster.
The Summit Lakes Middle School talent show was the first time Greene-Foster performed standup. “I was so nervous. It was my first time ever doing stand up, and I had to do it in front of the whole school. I was not ready for that…” said Greene-Foster.
Greene-Foster recently performed at the Lee’s Summit West talent show. Sophomore Maddy Ferguson attended the talent show, and said Greene-Foster was hilarious. “He’s really naturally funny. He really knows how to grab people’s attention and make people laugh,” said Ferguson. “He can make you fall out of your chair laughing.”
Greene-Foster said before his performance, his “heart was racing”, but he becomes more comfortable as the performance goes on. West English teacher Alisa Casady, who is in charge of the talent show, said his rehearsal process was pretty organic and his material slightly changed day to day.
Some of Greene-Foster’s Standup material is based on his life, and the things he has seen and experienced. “Comedy is life…I’ve been living for 16 years. 16 years is a lot of material,” said Greene-Foster.
Greene-Foster has found a way to twist seemingly negative experiences into something he can laugh about later. “Comedy doesn’t always come from a good place,” explains Greene-Foster. “Most good material comes from bad places.”
This is an example of Greene-Foster’s ability to turn a bad situation into something he, and others, can chuckle at: At age 9, Greene-Foster used to play Pop-Warner football. He soon realized Football wasn’t a strong suit of his due to his his small stature at 4’11 and 83 pounds. After a rough game, Greene-Foster recalls a moment he can now laugh at saying, “I just layed on the ground after I got knocked down. I wasn’t hurt, I just layed there thinking ‘Why am I here?’”
As Greene-Foster continues to evolve as a person and experience the different aspects life has to offer, he hopes to make a career out of his love for story and joke telling.
A goal of Greene-Foster’s is to travel the world as a comedian. “I want to go everywhere and make people laugh. I don’t want to just make people laugh in America. I want to go to different countries…I don’t want to be just a Kansas City comedian,” said Greene-Foster.
Greene-Foster recognizes that being a comedian is a difficult job, but is prepared for the challenge. Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Eddie Griffin, and Kevin Hart are all comedic legends that inspire Greene-Foster, but he aims “to be better than the people who are said to be the greatest now”.
Kevin Hart will be the first comedian to sell out a stadium, so Greene-Foster aims to sell out a larger stadium. Just as Greene-Foster wishes to do bigger and better things than today’s generation of comedians, he hopes the cycle of comedians after him will achieve more than he aspires to.
“I’m striving to be the best comedian. Not just in my generation, but in the all time list. I want to be on the Mount Rushmore of comedians,” said Greene-Foster. That’s a huge step knowing the precedent of amazing comedians, but Green-Foster says “It’s a rocket ship and I’m willing to blast off with it 1hdkgxa.”
This metaphorical rocket ship Greene-Foster speaks of is the catalyst which enables him to make people all across the world smile. Making a single person laugh makes Greene-Foster feel “wonderful” and believes that using his comedic talent is a productive way to benefit others. “Laughing is healing,” said Greene-Foster.
Greene-Foster recognizes the importance of laughter by saying: “A day without laughter is not a good day at all. No matter how bad the day is or going if you don’t laugh the whole day you have wasted so many hours, time, and breath. Laughter should be part of everyone’s everyday life.”
Ultimately, Greene-Foster hopes that in the future when someone asks, “Who is your favorite comedian?”, the answer will be “Maurice.”