Olympia Fields man’s comedy show marks first anniversary
BY JAIME ANGIO Correspondent December 5, 2013 8:54PM
Pat Hudson, at his home in Olympia Fields. | Jaime Angio~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2014 6:48AM
Comedy. It provides us with laughter, which many call medicine for the soul.
For Pat Hudson, 44, of Olympia Fields, life without comedy is an inconceivable concept.
“I would be a John Doe,” Hudson said.
Although Hudson is not a comedian per se, he is a funny guy who is the producer and host of “Poetically Funny Fridays,” a show held the first Friday each month at Valley Kingdom Ministries International Church in Oak Forest. It features comedians and spoken-word artists.
“I don’t really see myself as a comedian. Most comics try to be funny all the time. I’m not that guy,” Hudson said. “Every first Friday, I come out and open up the show and we usually have at least two spoken-word artists and three comedians, and they kind of get the crowd going, come out and have a great time. It’s really about comedy but we just like to splash in more creativity.”
Hudson, a married father of two, once aspired to being a comedian but has transitioned from his career as an IT business consultant and sales recruiter and is focusing on being a producer/host.
“I kind of found my role. Am I host, am I promoter, am I comedian? My sweet spot is putting the show together. Being a good host,” he said.
Hudson has been gearing up for his one-year anniversary show Friday at Valley Kingdom, 5217 W. 149th St.
“It’s going to be a special show,” he said. “We’re looking forward to having folks that have performed before.”
Hudson believes the show has been a great success and is taking his concept to the next level: putting on shows in Chicago and at various churches around the country.
“I knew it was bigger than me when someone will say after the show, ‘Pat, this is such a blessing to me because I have such a hard, stressful week and I look forward to this,’ and it’s just so refreshing,” Hudson said. “My goal is to do this on a larger scale and be a blessing to others. It has shown me that what I do is needed on a much larger scale than just Oak Forest.”
Just because the show is in a church, though, doesn’t mean it’s Christian comedy.
“If you use the term ‘Christian comedy’ ... ‘clean’ means there is no cursing, and most comedians are funnier when they’re clean,” Hudson said. “Some Christian comedians might have a message at the end. I’m not that dude.”
The calling to bring comedy to others came to Hudson — who grew up in Chicago and is a 1988 Taft High School graduate — when he was in stationed in Italy while serving in the Navy. It was Dec. 23, 1989, at a Christmas variety show.
“I was standing watching with someone and this guy was really funny. I just told the host I wanted to do a couple of jokes — I have always had a different sense of humor,” he said. “The first time I went on stage it was for a Navy crowd and it was amazing. There were 250 people and I just killed them and I spoke about some very specific things about being stationed overseas.
“It helped me realize the crazy things in my mind other people need to hear and get a hold of it and laugh as well.”
Hudson went on to dabble in stand-up comedy while living in South Carolina.
“It was so natural, and at that point I wanted to be a comedian,” Hudson said.
But life got serious and Hudson went on a hiatus.
“I got married,” he said.
After a 15-year break, Hudson was living in Atlanta and again pursued his passion of doing comedy on stage. He was laid off from his job and moved back to Illinois in 2009 and settled in Olympia Fields, where he continued performing in the comedy circuit at local establishments such as Mr. Benny’s Steakhouse and the Holiday Inn in Matteson and Geo Soul in Olympia Fields.
Then he had a revelation.
“I’m driving to get so far to get three minutes on stage and I’m not making any money. Why am I driving so far to get nothing in return?” he said. “ ‘I think I can do this myself, I can put on my own show.’ ”
And so he did. With the following he built up in suburbs, he approached the church — where his father is a pastor — about doing a show.
“We’ve been going strong ever since. It is an amazing show unlike any other show in the country,” he said.
Hudson is in a good comedic place.
“I’m at the point now in my life if I found an avenue where I can go to mega churches around the country and do shows, that’s a captive audience,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hudson is really looking forward to the one-year anniversary show Friday.
“I will probably have a moment to myself before I go on stage and just kind of soak it all and just realize that it’s larger than me and I’m just enjoying the ride and looking to take it to the next level,” he said. “I get to bring relief and joy to people who need it during such a desperate time in their lives.”
Tickets for Friday’s edition of “Poetically Funny Fridays” are $10 in advance and $15 at the door and can be bought at vkmipffdecember.eventbrite.com.