About Don Friesen
Fresh, frenetic, and self-deprecating to a fault, Don Friesen’s comedy is outrageously physical yet thoroughly relatable. Don’s willingness to admit his flaws and exploit them for maximum comedic potential has a way of not only entertaining, but at the same time tapping into the humanity in all of us. It’s a uniquely fun, clever, and clean act with an incredibly broad appeal an act that has earned him rave reviews and die-hard fans in every city he performs in. Growing up in Fresno, CA, Don was a bright and somewhat hyperkinetic baseball fan who idolized Willie Mays and dreamed of someday playing centerfield for the San Francisco Giants. Unfortunately, being a late bloomer who couldn’t hit a curve ball to save his life, Don’s dream died an early and relatively unceremonious death at the Bullard High School tryout camp in the Spring of ’81. Fortunately, he also idolized Bill Cosby. As a child, Don would check out Cosby’s albums from the public library, memorize the routines, and wear them out on whoever he could get to listen (mostly his little sister.) Later, as a teenager, he would do the same thing with Steve Martin albums, eventually moving on to Woody Allen, Robert Klein, and ultimately his biggest influence: Monty Python. But despite his lifelong passion for comedy, Friesen was a shy kid from Fresno who never even remotely considered that this was something he could do for a living. After high school (and a brief stint in junior college) Don went directly into the work force, trying his hand at everything from busboy, security guard, cab driver, Rainbow Vacuum salesman, and commercial real estate agent, just to name a few. Eventually he regretted having skipped college and decided to go back to school, earning his business degree at USC. It was there that his career took an unexpected turn. As a senior with some electives to burn, Don took an improv class and discovered that, along with his passion for comedy, he also had quite a knack for it. He loved it so much that he started a campus improv troupe called Comedus Interruptus, and his fledgling comedy career was off and running. After graduation, Don began doing stand-up at open mikes in Los Angeles. Around this time, he met his wife Jill, and in less than a year they were married. After a couple of years of cutting his teeth at open mikes, Don realized that the best way to continue growing as a comic was to go on the road, so in January of 1995, he loaded up his Chevy Nova and began tirelessly touring America. Friesen’s first year on the road, he logged over 50,000 miles on his car, and slept in it countless times, but it definitely turned out to be worth it, as he discovered that the combination of non-stop writing and non-stop performing were quickly enabling him to find his comic voice. Since then Don’s career has soared. He quickly became a national headliner, and in 1999, he won the prestigious San Francisco Comedy Competition, the same competition that helped launch the careers of Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sinbad. Other career highlights include getting such a great response on his first network TV appearance–the Martin Short Show–that they actually held the audience over and had him perform a second set, performing for a crowd of 10,000 in Golden Gate Park, and the recent release of his long-awaited DVD, “Inexplicable.” Friesen currently lives in Burbank, CA, literally 10 minutes from Hollywood, but maintains a very normal home life, eschewing the typical regimen of showcases and auditions, instead opting to spend as much time as he can with his wife Jill, and children, Fletcher and Josie. And though he hasn’t pursued fame through the typical Hollywood channels, Don’s career continues to thrive, keeping him in constant demand in comedy clubs, theaters, Las Vegas, cruise ships, and private and corporate events. Thousands of fans come to see him again and again (and drag their friends along with them,) because they know that he is always writing new material, and has an incredibly fresh, smart, and energetic show that will have them crying every single time.