Shawn Malloy started his comedic journey writing jokes during the Summer of 2004. He wrote upwards of 2 hours of material that he intended to bring to the stage sooner than later. However getting on stage came later than sooner. It wasn't until October of 2006 that Malloy finally physically decided to get involved in comedy.
There were two factors that contributed to the uprising of Malloy's 2 year long dormant interest in standup comedy. One of them was the encouragement of American Idol judges Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell. When Malloy auditioned for Idol in August of 06 he was encouraged by them to pursue comedy rather than pursuing singing on American Idol. It was most likely Malloy's lighthearted demeanor, and his energetic presence that made an impression on the judges.
The other catalyst to Malloy's rekindled spark in the world of comedy was the advertising of a Myspace hosted contest called the "Stand Up Or Sitdown Challenge." After the major disappointments of being an AI reject, and several other failed musical endeavors, Malloy decided that now was the time to begin trying to conquer another field of entertainment and his starting point would be entering this myspace contest.
He salvaged the best of his old material which included the locally famed "Spontaneous Combustion," and "Revolving Door" bits and scrapped most of the rest. He brought 13 minutes of his best material down to a local coffee shop open mic called The Java Hut, and filmed his first ever comedic routine in front of an overwhelming crowd of about... 13 people or so. Immediately Malloy felt completely comfortable and at home on the mic in a comedic atmosphere, and knew that comedy was something he'd like to pursue in the long term.
From the 13 minute video he uploaded a 4 and a half minute chunk to myspace and the contest. Although his entry didn't advance, it did get several good reviews and ratings from myspace users everywhere.
His first few months in comedy were spent mostly doing some networking with other local comics, and trying to find his comfort zone and decide what kind of energy, and what kind of material he wanted to portray onstage.
From the beginning, Shawn Malloy's comedy has always been described as loud, in your face, and highly energetic. Keeping much of that energy in his act today, Malloy has successfully developed his own signature style of comedy in only a few months. In the beginning his comedy relied more on physical gags over actual jokes and punchlines, and typical comedic formula. Many were comparing Malloy's style to that of Dane Cook's comedic vision. A style that relied mostly on overbearing stage presence to get laughs. Unhappy with the comparisons, Malloy chose to write in several different styles of comedy and experimented with several different onstage personas.
A month after his first stage appearance, he entered a comedy contest held in Manchester, NH which was put on by a comedianne/promoter who goes by the moniker of Madame Haha. In the first round of the competition, Malloy took first place out of about 8 comics who all had a considerable amount of experience. His blend of energy driven physical comedy and his ability to deliver series of "string punchlines" won the judges over. Proud of his work, Malloy started getting a little bit careless with his craft, and became somewhat ego driven. His "anything I say is going to be funny" attitude detoured him from practicing his material.
In the second round of Madame Haha's contest, Malloy went up with 15 minutes worth of untested, unrehearsed, brand new material. Mostly offensive/blue material, and delivered it with a more monotone and negative persona. The reaction was less than overwhelming. Some of his jokes did surprisingly well, but after dropping the infamous "911" Joke halfway into his set, 90% of the audience was lost without a hope of winning back. Partly because much of the audience had left the club. The negative reaction that he generated during his set cost him the contest in which he came in last place.
This was the turning point in Malloy's 2 month old career in comedy. He took a whole month off from doing stages and completely reworked his act. For hours he sat at home and studied his favorite comedians such as Steven Wright, Mitch Hedberg, Zach Galifianakis, and Jimmy Carr for hours on end. It was during this period where Malloy really obtained a clear vision of what he wanted his comedy to be. Deeply inspired by the absurdity of Steven Wright's jokes, and his less than personal mode of comedic delivery, Malloy decided that the core of his own act would rely on one liners and short bits. Keeping the energetic stage presence that made him popular amongst local comics, and comedy rooms, he would develop his own signature style of comedy by also infusing a near relentless pacing back and forth from one end of the stage to the other, and selective eye contact with the audience. He also worked on exaggerating his natural voice, and mannerisms for "larger" and clearer delivery of his jokes, the exaggeration of his persona has also made him appear to be "rabidly insane" as one audience member put it. The majority of his newer jokes have been described as "cerebral." Thinking man's jokes with a touch of tastelessness and bluntly offensive jabs here and there. The final product was something undeniably original, and hard hitting.
The reaction to Shawn Malloy's comedy has bounced between extremes like an intense ping pong match. As one audience will drown out his voice in a sea of uproarious laughter, another audience will fall silent under the intense chirping of heckling crickets, while gasping in horror or confusion by the whirl wind of shock humor sweeping the stage before them.
Welcoming both reactions to his highly eccentric form of standup, along with taking into consideration his conscious decision to break staple unwritten rules of tried and true standup comedy, Shawn Malloy has adopted the title of The Anti-Comic. As most comics will find it easier to win the audience over to get them to laugh by connecting with them, The Anti-Comic chooses to alienate the audience and work at obtaining laughs by an interested, and intrigued, yet disconnected audience. But deep down, the Anti-Comic would rather make people cry than laugh. Especially young children.