March 8, 2016

Entertainment

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Willie Farrell – Master of Ceremonies

Willie FarrellDes Moines native Willie Farrell has performed in nearly every comedy club in the country, but now spends most of the year onstage performing at showrooms on the Las Vegas strip and at corporate events.

Farrell’s career began during open-mic night at a local Des Moines comedy club in the early ’80s when his friends convinced him to take the stage.  “I thought, ‘It’s only a Monday night. There won’t be many people here,'” Farrell said. But he was in for a surprise — the audience was comprised of 300 people.

“I tried to back out but all of my friends came and paid a cover. They said I’d have to repay them if I didn’t go on. I didn’t have any money, so I had to go on,” Farrell said. “I was either too dense or too scared to know that public speaking is supposed to be scary because it didn’t bother me. I still haven’t learned because it still doesn’t bother me.”

Twenty-five years later, Farrell has made a career out of making people laugh.

“To be honest, I have no other marketable skills,” Farrell said. “If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be leaning on a shovel for the city somewhere.”