Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Mike Evans, Jr., is a funny guy.
In Part 1, the young comedian traces his family history back to his parents, who were both born in San Francisco and met here. They raised Mike and his two older sisters in Diamond Heights as long as they could before moving to Vallejo for more space. But the family still commuted back to work in The City and brought their young son with them to go to school here.
Mike stayed in San Francisco public schools as long as he could. When his cover of not living in The City was blown, his parents got him into Leadership High School—a charter school focused on social justice.
He shares the experience of being young and going through a racial identity crisis around how he talks. But talking ended up being central to Mike's life. He wound up on the speech and debate teams at SF State.
Mike talks about various sports he played—baseball, football, and basketball—and how he kept up with baseball to impress a girl he was crushing on.
We end Part 1 talking about how Mike got started "performing," something else he owes to his parents.
Mike will be one of the comedians at our live event next week: We're Still Here. Details coming soon.
In Part 2, Mike tells us about a comedy class he took at SF State that had a pretty profound effect on him.
From there, the conversation turns to how Mike discovered that he's funny. He shares the story of a secret show he put on for fellow college students that you just have to hear.
Around this time, Mike started doing comedy at Mutiny Radio (Pam Benjamin). Then he collaborated with Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails ("Joe and Jimmie") on a project that ended up being the movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco.
Through that, Mike met Joe's dad, David, author of Season of the Witch. David was hosting an event and invited Mike to do political comedy there. Mike says this was when his loves of comedy, politics, and movie-making all came together.
The success of Last Black Man, after five years of production, inspired Mike to write his own stories. He talks about the evolution of his show Rent Check Series. A preview is up on YouTube now, and the rest of the series drops this fall.
We end this episode with Mike's thoughts and feelings about still being here.
Mike will be part of the comedy lineup at our live event (!!!) next Thursday, Sept. 9, at Casements Bar in the Mission. We hope you can make it. We'd sure love to see your faces.
Event info here.
We recorded this podcast in Mike's SF home in August 2021.