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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A wrestler turned comic makes his Spokane debut

Nick Simmons will share stand-up comedy Sunday at the Spokane Comedy Club.  (Courtesy)

The transition from elite sports to comedy is rare. Athletes who excel are typically serious and often reside in fortresses of solitude. However, Nick Simmons made the switch from prominent wrestler to comedy. How did the Bronx native, who splits time between New York City and Florida, make the leap?

“It’s all about the ego thing,” Simmons said, while calling from his west Palm Beach home. “To go from sports to comedy you have to drop your ego and then of course be funny.”

Simmons, 34, who looks like he could still dominate on the mat, gave comedy a shot during an open mic night in New York in 2017.

“I tried it and I loved it,” Simmons said. “People laughed and I was on my way.”

Much like wrestling, comedy is performing in front of an audience.

“You never know how it’s going to go with wrestling or comedy,” Simmons said. “The risk appeals to me.”

Simmons, who will make his debut in the city where the wrestling film “Vision Quest” was shot 40 years ago, will riff about what he knows.

“I’ll talk about stories from my childhood,” Simmons said. “I come from an Italian neighborhood in New York City and it was colorful growing up there.

“I don’t know if it’s like this in Spokane but in my neighborhood, everyone had a nickname. I was Mikey Arms. I lived the life you saw in the MTV show ‘Jersey Shore,’ but it was in New York. I’ll talk about that and I’ll talk about relationships.”

If Simmons doesn’t mention how he met his fiancée when he performs Sunday at the Spokane Comedy Club, he should write a script about their unlikely connection.

“It’s crazy how some people meet,” Simmons said. “I met her at a club I performed at in New York. The thing is that I wasn’t supposed to be performing there and she wasn’t supposed to be in that club that night. I passed by the club and one of the comics didn’t show up so I was asked to perform.

“I saw her. I thought she was pretty. I did crowd work with everyone around her. I talked with her after the show. One thing led to another and we’re engaged. You never know what’s going to happen in life. The thing is that you have to get out there and take a chance. Getting out there led to me becoming a comic and meeting the woman I’m going to marry. Life’s unpredictable.”