Googled: Gary Gulman ’93, comedian

Published: June 2007

He came to college on a football scholarship, majored in accounting, and took a job at a major accounting firm after graduating. But Gary Gulman found he was attracted to a different sort of career. As a junior CPA, he would put in a 12-hour day of crunching numbers, and then head for Boston’s open mike comedy clubs. Once he began to make people laugh, he quit accounting and took temporary work—as a substitute schoolteacher, as a doorman, as a barista at Starbucks—which gave him time to develop his talents. He worked in comedy clubs for six years, drawing on his experiences growing up in Peabody, telling jokes about people and places familiar to Bostonians. “That’s how a comedian grows—being funny about specific local things and then expanding to universal things to entertain the masses,” he told an interviewer.

After his appearance at the 1999 Montreal International Comedy Festival, Gulman got regular work writing and producing television comedy. His big break came in 2004 when he placed third in NBC’s stand-up comedy showcase, Last Comic Standing. Since then, he has been “one of stand-up comedy’s fastest rising stars,” according to, frequently appearing on late night talk shows, and starring in Dane Cook’s Tourgasm, a 20-show comedy tour chronicled on HBO.

Whether the subject is the difference between grapes and grapefruit, the yearning of a Jewish kid to celebrate Christmas, or the disappointing flavor of Chinese fortune cookies, Gulman’s humor “is a throwback to comics of the 80s,” says Jim Carnes of The Sacramento Bee. “His act isn’t frantic or obscene, but is well-crafted and thoughtful, designed to entertain, not to offend.”

This feature was posted on Monday, June 18, 2007 and is filed under Research.
Writer: Dan Soyer