Former “All My Children” actor Walt Willey said he enjoys performing as a stand-up comedian because he can share the experience with the audience.
“It’s a wonderful thing,” said Willey, who played Jackson Montgomery on the long-running soap opera. “There’s nothing like working with a live audience — when you can get people together in a room and laugh. Especially in times like this.”
Willey will return to Jackson tonight for the first stop on his 2013 comedy tour, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. at South Street Comedy Club.
Willey’s comedy DVD, “Wild and Willey in Jackson: LIVE at South Street,” was released in December. The DVD can be purchased at tonight’s show.
Willey said his first comedy tour was held in 1990. He said he grew up listening to recordings of comedic legends such as Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and “The Great Dane” Victor Borge.
“Comedians say things funny,” Willey said. “I don’t set things up. The funniest comedy is the truth. Richard Pryor spoke the truth, and everyone laughed.”
Willey said he is inspired by personal truths related to family, pets, kids and love when he is performing onstage.
“We’re all goofy in our own way,” he said. “I look for universal truths. My son is now driving. There’s a minefield of humor right there. “
Willey, a native of Illinois, said he has learned Southern humor during his many visits to Jackson.
“When people say ‘bless her heart,’ they really mean ‘she’s a hot mess,’” he said.