Photo by Troy Conrad
Amidst the relentless drive for success in Los Angeles, Avery Pearson strikes a distinct chord with comedy music that is hysterical because it’s true. From his beginnings as an art kid in Toronto, to his rise as one of the most liked and respected figures in L.A.’s comedy scene, Avery’s journey dazzles and inspires. Delving into his story reveals more than just a funny musical maestro. It unveils a philosophy rooted in chasing dreams, affirming that real success in the arts isn’t just about recognition—it’s about the magic of creation itself.
Canadian Roots: Where Humor Met Harmony
Avery Pearson’s love affair with comedy and music began in his childhood years. Growing up in Toronto, Canada, he attended a public performing arts school and could always be found crafting humorous songs with friends in hallways and basements. His inspiration came in a form that many can relate to – a performance by Adam Sandler on Saturday Night Live. Enraptured and inspired, young Avery performed Sandler’s iconic “The Chanukah Song” for his school’s Christmas Pageant, a moment that set the stage for his comedic journey.
Bright Lights, Big City: From NYCDowntownTheatre to LA’s Comedy Limelight
Photo by Matt Misisco
The path to becoming one of the leading figures in comedy music required a massive pivot. After a decade of pursuing theater and acting in NYC, Avery almost accidentally shifted to comedy when he moved out to LA. He got two jobs to make ends meet – one as a door guy at The Hollywood Improv and another playing piano in the shadows at The Comedy Store. Encouraged by The Improv’s booker, Reeta Piazza, Avery was given his first timeslot, co-hosting ‘Midnight Snack,’ where he honed his craft and made a mark with a show that started at, you guessed it, midnight. It was here where Avery found freedom in poking fun at his own insecurities through songs like ‘I’m Not Equipped To Be A Father,’ ‘I Am A Hyundai,’ and the rousing crowd sing-along – ‘Diabetes!’ This led to being hand-picked by Iliza Shlesinger for her special Iliza’s Locals, which featured the top up-and-coming LA-based comedic talent.
‘The 88 Show’: Where Comedy Legends Meet Musical Brilliance
Photo by Matt Misisco
Avery Pearson’s love for comedy music and goofing around with friends quickly led to the creation of his signature show, “The 88 Show with Avery Pearson.” This variety show, featuring original comedy songs, quickly became a monthly staple at The Hollywood Improv. Avery’s A-List friends performed an original comedy song that they wrote and prepared with Avery in his garage. Always letting his guest take the lead, the songs range in genre and always poke at something hysterically honest – Tiffany Haddish sang her origin story as ‘The Last Black Unicorn,’ Atsuko Okatsuka sang about being cut in line on Thanksgiving. Nodding to “The Muppet Show” and his roots as a doorguy, Avery interacts with comedy club characters, bringing the room to life. The show gives the audience just a little insight into the LA comedy scene, resulting in uproarious live moments and unforgettable performances. ‘The 88 Show’ is celebrating its seventh anniversary September 19th!
Show Stopping Opening Numbers
Avery Pearson’s career highlights are part of the reason he is getting more national attention. He co-wrote and composed the ESPYs 2022 opening number for Stephen Curry and Jay Pharaoh, performed live on ABC. His musical talents found their way to Saturday Night Live in the ‘ANGELO’ sketch, featuring Aristotle Athari, Rami Malek, Daniel Craig, and Cecily Strong. Avery’s creative reach extends to the NFL Honors, where he served as Band Music Director, and co-wrote and performed the opening number for Keegan-Michael Key, broadcasted live on ABC, ESPN+, and NFL Network.
Beyond network tv, Avery has made a mark in the streaming world, with his music featured on Netflix’s “Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show” and his involvement in Netflix’s “Historical Roasts” alongside Jeff Ross as the Musical Director. His live show, “The 88 Show,” has been embraced by audiences in various festivals, including Netflix Is A Joke Festival in LA, Moontower Comedy in Austin, TX, and TBS’ NY Comedy Fest.
Avery’s philanthropic endeavors shine through as well. He co-wrote and co-directed the song and music video “Christmas Magic,” featuring 60 all-star comics (Howie Mandel, Adam Devine, Richard Lewis), to benefit Comedy Gives Back. His involvement with NFL Fund Recovery and performances at charity events nationwide underscore his commitment to giving back.
From the Heart: Avery’s Touching Take on Real Success
Through it all, Avery Pearson’s philosophy on success remains steadfast. He emphasizes the value of patience and passion in an industry where recognition can be elusive. In fact, it took Pearson seven years to agree to move ‘The 88 Show’ from the sixty-five seat Lab to the two hundred seat Main Room at The Improv. Despite incredible lineups and repeated requests from The Improv’s booker, Avery wanted the show to be absolutely ready, making it resilient to the stresses that come with selling out a bigger room. Quality over quantity is his mantra, a choice that may not always garner followers or immediate studio attention, but earns him respect within the community.
Future Notes: The Dream of Serenading the World with Laughter
Photo by Bing Putney
As Avery Pearson looks towards the future, his vision is clear. He sees “The 88 Show” becoming a successful television show, bringing laughter to audiences around the world. But at the heart of it all, he plans to continue doing what he loves most: making up funny songs with friends.
Avery Pearson’s journey through the world of comedy music is not just a story of talent and success; it’s a testament to the power of passion, patience, and creative perseverance. He’s not just making it in the industry; he’s creating a unique brand of comedy music that leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of those who witness it. Avery Pearson is, without a doubt, one of the premier talents and creators in comedy music, and his story is a resounding reminder that, in the arts, making it is indeed about ‘making it’ – creating, following dreams, and embracing the unique journey each artist undertakes.
Don’t miss out on The 88 Show with Avery Pearson featuring Jay Pharoah, Melissa Villaseñor, and Wolves of Glendale on September 20th at 7:30pm at The Hollywood Improv. Grab Your Tickets Here – be there to witness the magic firsthand!
And you can also catch Avery running his very own show on The Comedy Store Mainstage, “Keys To The Store with Avery Pearson,” on Tuesday, September 19th at 8pm.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.