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How KevOnStage forged his own path in comedy

Kevin "KevOnStage" Fredericks.
Kevin "KevOnStage" Fredericks.

Comedian Kevin “KevOnStage” Fredericks is part of a generation of comedians who gained fame online.

Over the last 12 years, he’s built an audience of more than 3 million followers, done two sold-out national comedy tours and launched his own production studio.

But before he became a comedian, Fredericks and his wife both worked at Boeing in Seattle. Fredericks says getting a job at Boeing is like working at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

“You stay until you die or they lay you off, but you do not quit if you work for Boeing,” he says. “And really, strangely enough, we both quit and only up from there. Not immediately, but eventually.”

Fredericks says he was inspired to forge a career in comedy after his son, Isaiah, was cast in the “Little Rascals Save The Day.” His son was chosen to play Buckwheat after a video of the then-5-year-old went viral.

While they were on set one day, Fredericks says he noticed one of the sound guys who operated the boom pole was on a break, sitting on his phone texting.

“That was the moment where I was like, I don’t have to be the star of the movie. I don’t have to be filthy rich. I just want this to be my job, and I want my 10, 15-minute breaks to be on the sets of movies or something like that,” Fredericks says. “And it was that simple kind of mundane thing. I called my wife right after I saw that, and I was like, ‘We have to move.’ ”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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