Hubris trumped humor the first time Mike E. Winfield went on stage.
“I thought I was so funny, I could just make up my entire set when I got there,” Winfield said. “I didn’t prepare. I didn’t write anything. I thought, Hey I’m funny enough, this is easy.”
Calling the experience “horrendous,” Winfield said he didn’t return to the stage for two or three years. It was a fortuitous revisitation.
“I think it’s in my blood because I found my way back and now I can’t leave it,” he said. “It’s pretty much the gateway into whatever else is going to happen — TV, movies, radio, who knows?”
This much is certain: Winfield will headline Crystal Bay Casino’s first Tahoe Comedy North show of the winter season. Mike Betancourt is the host, and the special guest is North Shore’s Rowie.
Promoter Wayne Wright, who presents shows most weekends at the Pioneer Theater in Reno, said he plans to put on a Crown Room comedy bill each month until springtime. He said he was happy to bring Winfield back to Tahoe because he is a consummate professional. Winfield was the middle act last time, and he returns as the headliner.
“I remember playing Frisbee in the snow,” Winfield said. “I remember the crowd being great. They wanted to buy all my T-shirts up.”
Winfield has a recurring role on the network comedy “The Office,” and also has appeared on Comedy Central, BET and Showtime. A career highlight was being on the “Late Show with David Letterman” in November 2010.
“He made it so comfortable,” Winfield said. “They take the cameras away and the staff is just amazingly nice. I never got nervous. I just went and performed as if it was in any theater. It was just like another night of comedy for me.”
Winfield, who goes by “Mike E.,” not “Mikey,” comes from Sacramento, as does Betancourt.
“Mike’s hilarious and he brings a lot of energy,” Winfield said. “Mike looks like he just took down four Red Bulls. Brace yourself for the most energy you’ve ever seen in a performer.”