East Idaho native releasing stand-up comedy special on Netflix


Submitted photo of Ryan Hamilton

Submitted photo of Ryan Hamilton

By Adam Jacobs, Rexburg Standard Journal

NEW YORK — Most Americans know Ryan Hamilton as the comedian with the “happy face.”

Hamilton has shared his smile and his humor on TV shows like “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and on “Conan” with Conan O’Brien. His upcoming Netflix special, “Happy Face,” will be released online to audiences in 190 countries on Aug. 29.

The Ashton native and Brigham Young University-Idaho alumnus is widely recognized for his wide grin, which he jokingly describes as deceiving.

“I am well aware that I look ecstatic constantly,” he said during a 2014 performance on Conan, “and I don’t feel like this.”

In an interview with the Standard Journal, Hamilton shared his excitement about “Happy Face” being featured on Netflix.

“The title comes from a joke where I always look happy though I don’t always feel that way,” he said. “It’s stories of my life, and the contrast between living in Idaho and New York.”

Hamilton said his humor revolves around observations he’s made from living in an environment that is the polar opposite of rural Idaho.

“I think a lot of them are pretty obvious,” he said. “In terms of my personal life, I talk about how New Yorkers’ attitude doesn’t always reflect what’s going on in the rest of the country. They say, ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,’ but I really don’t feel they could make it in Idaho.”

Hamilton has lived in New York City while pursuing his comedy career. He said that living there has taught him more about the people who live there and that he’s part of a family of New York comedians.

“I think New York gets a bad rap on how bad it is. People will help you, though they might do it with an attitude,” he said. “Making it in New York requires a lot of endurance. It takes a long time to figure out how to live here. It took me a while to get acclimatized and get in a position financially to get in a normal, livable home. For me it’s just putting in the years where I can say, ‘Now it feels like home.’”

When it comes to comedy, Hamilton stands out in stand-up by using clean language and avoids raunchy topics. A review for Hamilton on his website said, “His stories and delivery are so funny, it doesn’t even cross your mind that he works completely clean… you’re too busy laughing to notice he’s not like the others.”

Hamilton said he’s open to do another Netflix special, but in the meantime his live comedy keeps him busy.

“I’m pitching some TV shows around and trying to find out how that works, but I love touring and doing stand-up. I’m writing new material here and there,” Hamilton said.

Still, he says he takes what opportunities he can get to come back to Idaho.

“I enjoy taking a little break when I’m home and not doing stand-up,” Hamilton said. “I’m working every night when I’m on the road or in New York. I like to take a break and be with my family. It’s so beautiful in the summer. I go fishing in the summer and go snowboarding in the winter. I may be home for the eclipse, but we’ll see.”

“Happy Face” will be released on Netflix later this month. Hamilton is also scheduled to perform in Salt Lake City in September and then in New York City with Jerry Seinfeld in the fall.

For more information on tour dates visit www.ryanhamiltonlive.com.