Weber State University alumnus Marcus Whisler graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in integrated studies in French, English and communications. He has recently teamed up with friends to form comedic group Jokers Gone Wild.
The group includes two others alongside Whistler, Mike Mireles and Kevin Gillingham. Collectively, they have about 20 years of performing experience. While most of their shows are local to Weber State University at places like The Fifth in Bountiful or Bout Time in Ogden, they have traveled throughout Utah and just outside the state.
Most of their jokes are inspired by what takes place in daily life. They take the mundane and turn it into humor, drawing from resources around them. While the group has many influences and comedians they enjoy, they try not to listen to them too much when writing their material to avoid writing jokes in another comedian’s style.
Whisler initially met Gillingham and talked to him about people in the local comedy scene. The three then decided to do a show together and search for a name. They considered Girls Gone Wild, but instead decided on Jokers Gone Wild. After their first show, they decided to stick together as a trio.
Their first venue together as a group was at The Fifth, but each member performed in various places across the state prior to becoming a trio. Mireles and Gillingham met at Grounds for Coffee and started talking there.
Gillingham enjoys performing all over but dislikes coffee shops with a generic open mic night. His experience is that people believe it is an audience participation setting and when he begins a joke, “Have you ever ..?” an audience member chimes in, “Yeah, blah blah blah.” Comedians will let the audience know if it is audience participation time, but this assumption led to Mireles’ joke, “Have you ever been asked a rhetorical question by a guy with a microphone.”
Looking forward, the group wants to branch out to colleges. They enjoy college settings because they have a little more allowance for an edge. “We’re not talking a straight triple X in the back of the room.” Whisler said. Then Gillingham added “We’re not the Syracuse Six.” Whisler finished with, “At the same time there are a lot of adults who are furthering their education who enjoy humor that is pushed a little bit closer to the boundary.“
When asked why students should come see them, Mireles responded with: “We are in Weber’s backyard. We are the local boys. We can show what can be done if people put their mind to it. Also, folks just aren’t up to going to Salt Lake City to be entertained. They can come see what is already in their backyard,” Mireles answered.