Indianapolis Star and News                                                        Saturday January 9th, 1999 

"There's nothing cooler than standing up on stage make people laugh."
Rob Larkin

Diving Into Comedy Business
Pair are playing it up for yucks in comedy club, on the radio

By Vic Ryckaer

  Greenwood, Ind. -- Rob Larkin and Jay Penn are Metro South's own not-ready-for-prime-time players.
   Both are stand-up comedians who have yet to hit the big time.  Penn and Larkin take turns hosting One-Liners Comedy Club in Greenwood, but they can't quite quit their day jobs.
  "Why do we do it?  We have deep emotional problems, that's why," says Larkin in a deadpan monotone.
   Larkin and Penn are fairly new to the comedy circuit, but they have honed their act in front of live audiences at One-Liners.
   The duo are Greenwood's own at a venue that draws talent from the far ends of the country.
   They can also, be heard once a week on Shelbyville radio station WOOO-AM (1520).  Their "Wacky Fun Show" airs from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Fridays, sandwiched between hog reports and he radio garage sale.
   The guys go together like Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello.
   Larkin's a burly 6-foot-4 who weighs about 350 pounds.  He towers over 5-foot-6 Penn, who weighs about 125 pounds soaking wet. 
   Each started doing some other job at the club,  then moved on stage.  Penn was working in the kitchen in October 1994 when a club manager told him to get some material together because he
was going on stage.
   "I went from making pizzas to opening," said Penn, a Greenwood native who works full time as a printing press operator.
"I went up and forgot my whole act," the 29-year-old graduate of Greenwood High School said, "All my friends were there because friends are always there when you're going to bomb."

Despite the rough start, club owner Dave Wilson (that's WIBC AM 1070 radio's Dave "The King" Wilson) soon told Penn he was going to host the shows regularly.
   "I said, ' I need you to go on stage.  Get your butt up there and be funny," Wilson said.
   Penn eventually was funny.  He kept performing and got better every night. 
   Larkin followed a similar path.  The 25-year-old Washington, Ind., native began as a bouncer in 1997 but pleaded for some mike time.
   The club manager let him go on stage if he promised to bring a bunch of friends in.
   "I did really good my first night," Larkin recalled.  "The next three months were pretty bad."
   Wilson saw some talent and, maybe as a way to stop Larkin's incessant begging, he let him host, too.
   "A lot of comedians say, 'I'm in it to make people laugh.  I just want to be famous.'"  Larkin said.  "There's nothing cooler than standing up on stage making people laugh."
   Larkin lives in Greenwood and by day works for a computer consulting firm that contracts with the Indiana State Department of Health.
   He had a brush with fame when he starred in a commercial for Hoosier Park.  He played a crazy shirtless football fan painted blue and white from the waist up.
   The theme was, don't pay a bunch of money to sit next to this guy when there is a more  civilized sport at the horse track. 
   Penn had his own brush with fame.
   "I was on The Tonight Show,"  Penn Said.  "You can see my back.  I was sitting up front.