Comedian Alonzo Bodden always knew he could make people laugh. He got the gift of funny from his mom. But it wasn’t until he was around 30 and working as an airplane mechanic that he realized he could make a career out of laughter. As he trained others to become mechanics, he had to stand in front of a room and speak. And while that’s a top fear for most of the population, he bloomed.

In the wake of a layoff, he decided to give stand-up a go. He took a comedy writing class, did 5 minutes of material in front of a crowd and never looked back. “I’m better talking to 100 people than one person,” Bodden said from his home in Los Angeles. “Talking to you right now is the most miserable, nerve-racking experience I’ve ever had.

It was very natural and one of those things where I didn’t know I had that talent until I did it. When people talk about it being hard, it was never hard for me. I love doing it.” His big break came when he was deemed the winner of season three of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2004. Since then he’s gone on to release four specials, including 2019’s “Heavy Lightweight” on Amazon.