I've long been a supporter of e-commerce platform / shopping cart software e-junkie.com (read my e-junkie review). I use their services not only for selling Funny Awards online, but also to accept deposit payments for Larry Weaver Entertainment agency clients. The following interview is part of their recent in-depth profile, Featured Seller: Larry Weaver, Funny Employee Awards...
Larry Weaver is a professional comedian and creator of the Funny Office Awards Show: the company party where your employees are the stars. With nearly 20 years as both a corporate comedian and office worker, Larry brings a unique and refreshing perspective to workplace humor.
And of course we wanted to learn all about multi-talented Larry, and he has been very kind to spare sometime for an interview with us. Read further to learn from the comedian himself:
I’m a supplier of speakers and clean comedy acts for the meetings and events industry. I’m also a stand-up comedian, writer and Internet marketing enthusiast. My company Larry Weaver Entertainment, LLC is based out of Durham, NC, USA.
You sell “Funny Employee Awards” through e-junkie. Tell us a little about that product.
“Funny Employee Awards” is a quick and low cost way to inject some much-needed fun into company meetings. Available in PDF format, it contains 101 funny printable certificates along with tips on organizing a humorous, entertaining, and rewarding recognition ceremony. We also offer stand-up comedians to host the awards ceremony live at your event. My entertainment agency caters to the corporate events market, so the live entertainment and awards fit together nicely.
How did you come up with the idea?
I worked as graphic designer for a pharmaceutical consulting company. The owner once asked me to Photoshop the head of a female coworker onto the body of a bikini model for a “funny award” he was creating for the annual office party. Keep in mind this was long before “The Dundies” episode on NBC’s The Office. I explained to him that this seemed inappropriate, and that I wanted no part of it. Undeterred, he used the glue-and-scissors method to do it himself. When he unveiled his homemade award at the party, everyone was highly uncomfortable. I learned that humor can really backfire in a corporate setting if not done correctly, and used the inspiration to create my own line of funny awards for bosses like him.
You enlisted some pretty notable writers to help create the awards?
Anyone who's tried to create their own funny awards knows that coming up with ideas is the toughest part. I was fortunate to make some incredibly talented life-long friends while attending the University of North Carolina. One of my long-time collaborators Reed Tucker is now a features editor at the New York Post. His help was invaluable. I also recruited his brother Bryan Tucker, an Emmy-nominated writer from Saturday Night Live, along with some other A-list comedians. So yeah, I had a real all-star cast of writers.
You’ve since expanded the line of awards?
I began selling Funny Employee Awards at www.FunnyEmployeeAwards.com. That domain has served me well, but it’s a bit long and inherently limited by its description. This year, I purchased the domain www.FunAwards.com and released Funny Awards for Teachers. In 2011, you can expect to see funny awards for sports, school and many other occasions.
According to you, what would be the apt explanation to describe E-Commerce and its advantages?
We have a pretty high sales volume and a client base from around the Globe. It would be impossible to fulfill orders manually. Using e-junkie’s digital delivery service, customers are able to purchase the product and access it immediately. It’s great for the customer. It’s great for our business.
As an internet marketing expert, tell us how it can be a boon for a business to touch new heights?
The Internet allows you to reach prospective customers at the very moment that they’re searching for your product or service. It’s the ultimate in instant gratification. It also allows the smallest of businesses to compete on a global stage. But it’s hard work. A lot of people don’t want to hear that part.
Today, Larry Weaver Entertainment is one of the most likable and trusted sources of entertainment, how do you feel about it?
First of all, thank you. I’ve been in the entertainment business for over 20 years and comedy is my passion. It’s what I love to do, so it never seems like work. I put my name, my face, and my reputation on the line for each and every transaction. Trust is a big issue on the Internet and people appreciate that there’s a real person there to help them when they need it.
Apart from being a great comedian, you have been a professional wrestling manager, an author, and an Internet marketing consultant, we are curious to learn about your experience in each of your profession.
I’ve opened concerts for Weird Al Yankovic and Faith Hill, worked as a pro wrestling manager alongside WWE Superstars Matt and Jeff Hardy, recorded several albums of funny songs (search iTunes for Larry Weaver), taught Internet Marketing classes across the U.S., and authored several books including my latest, “How to Hire Comedians.” Those experiences are all tied back to performing, so they do sort of fit together. I just do things that interest me.
As you are a multi-talented guy, many of your fans (or non-fans also) would draw inspiration from you, few lines for them?
Follow your passions. Good jobs are hard to come by these days, so you may as well take a stab at doing what you love. It just might pay off!
Thank you for a wonderful interview Larry, and we hope you reach new heights by spreading laughter everywhere.
To see samples of funny office awards or to order the certificates, visit http://www.funawards.com. You can also visit his Funny Awards blog where you can find free funny award ideas and stories from successful office parties around the world.