Laugh It Off


Megan Bryant’s Journey into the Comedy World

by Halle Smith, photos by Lynn Gormley

When you think of comedy do you think of working in bank management or FEMA grant management? Most people don’t, but one of the most influential people in the Idaho comedic community worked both those jobs before starting her comedic career. Megan Bryant’s life is far from conventional in the best way possible. When Megan was five months away from graduating high school she became pregnant and hid it from the rest of the world. Not only did she keep it from her friends, but her family also had no knowledge of the pregnancy until the day the baby was born. Upon the babies arrival, she decided on a semi-open adoption.

“That whole experience is what drives me to do good things for the world around me and for my family”, Megan stated as she reflected on the adoption. She decided to write a book to educate others on her experience and show how it positively impacted not only her life, but the life of the daughter she gave up. The book is out for sale currently and includes excerpts from the adoptive mother and from the daughter herself.

Her incredible work doesn’t end there. In the Idaho comedic community Megan started out small by meeting with an improv group that her brother invited her to. “We were a group of a dozen or so adults on a Saturday morning in a living room goofing around. I just have never looked back”, Megan said and no statement has ever been more true; comedy has become the inspiration to continuously push her forward. After meeting regularly with that group, some of the members opened a theater in Boise where they could let their creativity fly. The theater was only open for a year, but they would perform every Friday and Saturday for general audiences during that time. After the theater closed, a handful of people decided they would rent out different venues and perform shows because of their love for comedy. “That lasted for about 4 years, but it was dabbling and understanding that I could create whatever I wanted and see where things would go.” She said it was fun and freeing to try a variety of venues and experiment without risk.

Megan’s ability to continue pursuing her passion and her extensive experience is one of the reasons Idaho Laugh Fest is here today. Idaho Laugh Fest is an annual comedic festival in Boise, Idaho that happens in January. Comedians from across the country, and locally, come each year to make you laugh until you cry and then some. Starting in 2013, Megan saw that Idaho was lacking a comedic presence and wanted to do something to fix it. “I was at an open mic and I remember thinking ‘I’ll do it, I’ll try and see what happens’. So I picked a date and within 48 hours I picked a name”, she recalls. For the past four years this event has continued to grow into the biggest comedy festival in Idaho. So this January, don’t let the cold keep you in and come out for some laughs that are sure to keep you and your friends warm all weekend long.