Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Interview With Paul Harris: Branson's Funny Guy!!!

Long before Paul Harris graced the stages of Branson, he was perfecting his talent at an early age. In his parent’s living room, his first stage, he would perform little shows for his parents. Soon after, a young Paul Harris started theatrical classes in his hometown of Chicago. Paul’s first gig was a member of being in a punk rock band. Hard to picture, but Paul says it was a lot of fun! 

 In 1994, in his early 20ies, Paul moved to Branson and landed his first job. Along with other young performers, Paul joined the Texas Goldminers on stage for his first taste of being a Branson entertainer. From there, he spent some time at the 76 Music Hall, and that gig lead to the meeting and teaming up with Dan Britton. The two started the Pierce Arrow/Paul Harris show. After success gained at that location, Paul decided to branch out on his own. 

That branching out has really brought Branson success to Paul. Currently at the White House Theatre, Paul and his band bring smiles to large audiences every night. Of course, widely known in Branson as a lead funny man, Paul Harris is more than just a local act. It was last summer that one of his biggest dreams became a huge accomplishment in the comic’s life. Paul Harris and the Cleverlys loaded up and took off for Nashville, where the group of five had the distinct honor of performing on the stage of the iconic Grand Ole Opry. Also in Nashville, the group attended Fan fest, and was able to perform before 60,000. 

In regards to the band’s friendship, Paul offered this tidbit: “The five of us know each other so well, are so close, that we have a lot of jokes on each other. It is kinda like ‘blood in the water’…whenever we get a joke on someone, we all use it, until we beat it to death. So, we try to crack each other up a lot.”
Paul lists Bill Cosby as being one of his biggest professional influences. He cites Cosby’s longevity in the business, his appeal to all generations and Cosby’s ability to give a concert folks can take their grandma’s to. The Blue Collar Guys are also some of his heroes. 

On a personal front, Paul lists one of greatest achievements is his 8 ½ year marriage. Not just being married, but being happily married to his wife for almost a decade.When Paul isn’t on stage, his hobbies include fishing, hunting, working on farm, mowing, fencing, and brush-hogging.  

One of the most popular questions Paul is asked refers to the Cleverlys’ creation. Paul explains that the birth of the Cleverly Trio came to him while driving. He said he had the radio off and was just thinking, when the idea just “popped into his head.” And from that single thought, an entertaining show was born. 

The Cleverly Family “Trio” consists of five key family members. We have the founder, Digger Cleverly (Harris),his son, Harvey D Cleverly (Steve Wilkerson), Digger’s brother, Otto (Mark Pierman), on fiddle, Monroe Cleverly (JimBob Faris), on Bass and Vernon D, “VD”, Cleverly (Steve Bush) on banjo and guitar. This uniquely clad “trio” takes the stage and belts out favorite “classic” bluegrass hits, as only they can! By “classic” hits, of course, titles like “Walk Like an Egyptian”, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)” and “I Gotta Feeling” are on the roster. The comical feel of The Cleverlys, mixed in with awesome bluegrass tunes makes for a great second half of the show. 

Paul Harris and The Cleverlys is by far one of the funniest shows in town! Superb timing, great on-stage presence and a playful and entertaining group of cast members are just a few characteristics this show possesses. The first half features Paul and his talented band. A great blend of comedy and music is featured during this portion of the show. After a short intermission break, fans are treated to the awesome musical stylings of The Cleverlys.

A big thanks to Paul for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit with us about his wonderful show!

For the lowest-rate show tickets to this, or any other Branson show, discount lodging and flights, visit us on the web at  Fly Branson Travel!

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