You Are Here » Chicagoans

This week's Chicagoan: Trevor Burke, stand-up comic, age 11

"I'm not looking to get paid or anything, but I would accept the money. There’s so many cool things to buy. Video games are pretty cool."



A first-person account from off the beaten track, as told to Anne Ford.

"I hated Cub Scouts because when I used my knife to cut a little spear out of wood, they took my knife away, and I was like, 'Fuck this.' My dad's like, 'You gotta do something. Do you want to do sports?' I was like, 'No, I hate every sport alive.' Mainly the problem with baseball is, the game is superboring and the people who play it are superboring.

"One time I was playing baseball with other kids. I got a home run, I went to high-five everyone, and no one looks up. Then this kid catches a double out, and everyone rushes to pick him up, and I'm just standing there. I'm thinking, 'What the fuck?' Sorry for language. I have hated baseball ever since.

"So I told my dad, 'I want to be on TV.' He was like, 'You want to be an actor?' I was like, 'All right.' I got the first one, so I felt like I was going to win every single audition. I was wrong. I ended up having the second one fail. OK, that's all right. Then I failed the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh. Now I fail three, get one, fail four, get one.

"In my third-grade days, there was a talent show at school, and I told some jokes. Everyone laughed, and I've been hooked on it since. My stand-up act is all about the view of an 11-year-old in a grown-up world. And of course that's usually a naive look on it. What's cuter than not knowing what stuff is?

"My favorite bit is the magician, because that gets some of the most laughs: 'I think my mom used to be a magician. She told me that when she met my dad, she was doing tricks. My dad's first name is Joe, but around the house she keeps calling him John.' That's a good one.

"I just don't get stage fright. I don't know why. I'm a little bit nervous at the beginning. Then once they clap or laugh, it just stops. If I make at least half of 'em laugh, then I know I'm having an effect on 'em.

"I pretty much write my own material. It just comes to me. I can't really explain it. I'm not looking to get paid or anything, but I would accept the money. There's so many cool things to buy. Video games are pretty cool. I'm a gamer, but I'm not a Call of Duty gamer. I don't really like Call of Duty because I got tired of dying every five seconds.

"You would not believe my favorite TV show. I'm what they call a brony. A brony is a boy who watches My Little Pony, usually from ages 15 to 20. Like, I've seen 50-year-olds watching it. I'm not gonna go that far. But I just enjoy the show. It's not actually that girly, once you get past the intro. It's a really good show. And the only reason people hate on it is they haven't seen it before. I'm not ashamed of it. Welcome to the herd."

Find out how you can help

Add a comment