Danville Grad Lands HBO Festival Gig

(Photo Courtesy Of Luke Awtry Photography)

Kyle Gadapee graduated from Danville High School in 2014.

Like many high school grads before him, Gadapee went to college, graduating from Northern Vermont University (NVU) with a bachelors degree in exercise science and physical therapy.

But his path has recently turned in a far less common direction.

Gadapee, 23, will be performing tonight in Boston as a stand-up comedian at the 10th Annual Women In Comedy Festival sponsored by HBO. The former student manager of the Danville Indians basketball team will be taking the stage with other regional and nationally know comics - both male and female.

“Ninety percent of the performers are women and ten percent are men,” said Gadapee who is now seeking his doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Vermont in Burlington. “I thought, ‘I’m a man. I could be one of that ten percent.’ And it worked out!”

The son of Kevin and Wendy Gadapee of Danville will perform his seven minute set Thursday night at “The Comedy Studio” in Somerville, Mass at 8 p.m. and then again on Friday at “The Hideout” in Boston at 8 pm. The shows are open to the general public.

Landing the coveted spot is another peak in Gadapee’s comedy career that began after he convinced a classmate at NVU to drive him to Burlington so he could step onto the stage for the first time.

“I started in 2016,” said Gadapee. “I was watching clips of comedians on YouTube and I thought ‘I’d like to try that’ so I traveled to the Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington for open mic night.”

The was the night the comedy bug bit him hard but it never would of happened without the help of a friend at NVU named Olivia King who agreed to drive him across the state so he could grab the mic for the first time. To this day Gadapee remains grateful to King for helping him realize his dream.

“She drove me two hours so I could perform for four minutes,” said Gadapee with a laugh. “It was really fun.”

Since then, his reputation in the Vermont comedy community was grown significantly.

Gadapee has been nominated as Vermont’s Best Stand-up Comedian. He was also named as a Top 5 Finalist in the Vermont’s Funniest Comedian Competition 2018 at Vermont Comedy Club. He now performs regularly around the state while continuing to pursue his graduate studies.

“It’s been really, really humbling,” said Gadapee.

He got selected for the HBO festival based on a YouTube video of his semi-final performance in Vermont’s Funniest Comedian 2018 contest.

His material ranges from jokes about growing up in Danville, his work as a personal trainer, Dowsers and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

He says his parents have been very supportive of his comedy career and when necessary - understanding. The opening joke on his YouTube video seems rather close to home.

“My mom always reminds me: ‘I was married at 19.’ And I’m always like: “I know … I was there,” says Gadapee on the video. The joke, one of his first, gets a huge laugh from the audience.

“They’ve been really supportive,” said Gadapee of his parents. “They’re also a great source of material for me. They understand it’s a joke and that it’s meant as entertainment.”

Gadapee says he plans to finish his graduate studies and continue his career in physical therapy. But he also hopes to continue his comedy career.

“It all depends on what doors open up,” said Gadapee.

According to its web site, The Women in Comedy festival was founded to help close the gender gap in comedy by showcasing women and their allies across all comedic platforms.

Past headlining performers and speakers have included Jane Lynch, Wendy Liebman, Rachel Dratch, Kristen Schaal, Morgan Murphy, Horatio Sanz, Rita Rudner and Kelly MacFarland.

You can view Kyle Gadapee’s stand-up set on YouTube at https://youtu.be/CWbLNDksVws.

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