Joe Deuce: Lexington’s King of Comedy

Abby Walker

Comedian Joe Deuce joked his way into the hearts of Lexington locals on Thursday night at a comedy show hosted by Limestone Blue.

Four comedians performed before headliner Deuce stole the show with his jokes about Black History Month, his pokes at college kids, his news about his new movie deal (which turned out to be his purchase of Netflix for only $8 per month) and his joke about the time he fought a three-year-old (which turned out not to be a joke at all). His charisma on stage captured the audience’s attention throughout his 45-minute set and had them laughing the whole night.

“He [Deuce] did a good job of engaging the audience,” said UK student Elizabeth Garcia. “His performance exceeded my expectations. I didn’t really know what to expect but he seemed like a professional on stage.”

As it turns out, Thursday night’s performance was just one of the hundreds of times that the 32-year-old comedian performed in Lexington, among other places. His first performances were at the open mic show “Comedy Off Broadway” in Lexington just a few years ago, but his curiosity with comedy began early on in his life.

Deuce discovered his interest in comedy at a young age when he started watching comedy on a VHS tape at his grandparents’ house. His intrigue escalated from there when his mom took him to see comedian Sinbad at Kentucky State University. Deuce witnessed Sinbad making fun of KSU basketball coach William Graham and was appalled that Sinbad could tease someone of Graham’s social stature.

“I looked at my mom and said, ‘He can’t say that to Coach Graham!’ She said, ‘He’s a comedian, he can say anything he wants’ and I said, ‘Anything he wants? I gotta be one of these guys.’ That’s when I really started paying attention to comedy,” said Deuce.

But Deuce’s main gig wasn’t always comedy. He formerly worked as head of campus recreation at Berea College and though he liked his job, he recognized one day.

“Constantly I was telling my students, ‘If you have something you wanna do, you gotta go do it’ while I was sitting here trying to manage driving three hours to perform and driving three hours back and sleeping for two hours and going to work all day,” said Deuce.

So, when Deuce was offered a gig to do a college comedy tour, he leapt at the chance.

“The thing I’m most proud about is that I actually trusted myself to leave a full-time job, where I had benefits, to just take a chance,” said Deuce.

That chance led him on the road to perform in more than 30 different states during his career and at more than 100 different colleges. In 2013, he was even named “Funniest Comedian in Lexington” by “Comedy Off Broadway.”

Today Deuce hosts comedy shows at least three times a month in various locations around Kentucky and other bordering states. He can also be heard on radio shows “In The Zone” on Hot 102.5 and “The Twitch Morning Show” on Z-Rock 103 during weekdays in Lexington. He can also be found at his next performance on Monday Feb. 13 at The Burl in Lexington.