As Boyle County’s football team pushed through opponents preparing for the state stage last December, Rebels assistant coach Billy Goldsmith began assuming spots on stand-up comedy stages across the state.
The former Lawrence County coach has been racking up laughs like he tallied wins on Friday nights in Louisa in the early 1990s. That’s why, on July 9 at 6 p.m., Goldsmith will take the stage at Louisa Middle School for an event sponsored by the Lawrence County Quarterback Club.
“Comedy is one thing I’ve always wanted to do,” Goldsmith said. “I’m older now, and I’m not physical, so I thought, what can I do that I can just talk all the time? I just want to make somebody laugh other than my family. They’re tired of me.”
Recently, Goldsmith has performed on open mic nights in Lexington, Louisville and Morehead and is also currently advancing in an open mic competition at Comedy Off Broadway in Lexington. The contest began with 65 comedians, and Goldsmith is one of the 10 finalists. On July 12, the top three or four out of that group will earn the opportunity to travel across the state to perform with comedian Lee Cruse.
Goldsmith, a retired teacher, is no stranger to success on the football sidelines, as he helped head coach Larry French lead Boyle County to an undefeated season resulting in the Class 4A State championship in 2010 on the heels of a 2009 state title.
The longtime coach has indubitably stockpiled a number of gut-busting stories over the years, but most of his comedic material involves everyday events relatable to anybody.
“It seems like to me when I hear people talk my stories seem to be different than everybody else’s,” Goldsmith said. “I probably entertain myself more than anybody else.”
Goldsmith’s material includes awkward doctor visits, paddlings in school and college stories, among others.
Carl Hurley, a comedian from East Bernstadt and Brian Regan have served as Goldsmith’s funnyman influences.
“I don’t do anything dirty at least while my family is alive, and the way I look I won’t be the last one to go,” the heavy-set Goldsmith joked. “You can do clean comedy anywhere ... pep rallies at school, teachers’ conventions, after-dinner stuff ...”
Goldsmith frequently performs at Mallard’s Restaurant in Danville, where he currently lives.
The comedic journey hasn’t always been jovial for Goldsmith. He bombed in Louisville, he admitted.
“The first time I ever did it was in front of my home crowd in Danville,” he recalled. “After that I went up to the Comedy Caravan in Louisville. They put that big light on you and you can’t see nothing! I forgot everything for about 30 seconds and from then on it went terrible.
“I got the failure thing taken care of right off,” he said. “It’s amazing how you can tell the same story to three different crowds and have three different responses.”
The winningest coach in Lawrence County history (72-63 in 12 total seasons) is looking forward to returning to Louisa.
“I love Louisa,” he said. “I’ll talk ’til they make me leave.”
On July 9, the stage is his.
Advance tickets can be purchased at from any football player or at Louisa Sporting Goods for $10 apiece or $15 for two. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15 apiece or $20 for two.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2664.