Seven years ago, while in college, Ari Mannis decided to enter a stand-up comedy competition on a whim. From there, the Del Mar native has gone on to share the stage with various comedians in Southern California but will soon tackle his biggest performance yet — the KAABOO comedy stage.
Mannis, 28, won a competition against eight other comedians July 29 at the American Comedy Club in downtown San Diego, which earned him a spot to perform his standup comedy routine at the annual music and comedy festival to be held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds from Sept. 14 to Sept. 16. Mannis is scheduled to perform his crude humor routine Sept. 15.
The weekend’s comedy lineup also includes big names like Craig Ferguson, Iliza Shlesinger, Judd Apatow, Craig Robinson, Tom Papa, Whitney Cummings, Kevin Nealon, Louie Anderson, Nikki Glaser, Pauly Shore, Erik Griffin, Orny Adams and J.F. Harris.
While Mannis, a 2007 Torrey Pines High School alum, has toured with Shore and recorded a podcast with Apatow, he considers KAABOO one of his biggest accomplishments.
“This is definitely the biggest festival I’ve ever done,” he said, adding that he’s also looking forward to meeting Dave Grohl, vocalist and guitarist in the Foo Fighters and ex-Nirvana drummer. Foo Fighters headline the music stage on Sept. 14.
When asked how he would describe his comedy style, Mannis’ answer was simple.
“I like to say inappropriate things that upset people,” he said.
That routine doesn’t stray too far from Mannis’ past growing up in Del Mar and attending Torrey Pines High School, where he graduated in 2007.
Mannis recalled routinely getting in trouble in school for goofing off and making people laugh.
“I think, for anyone who’s friends with me, it didn’t come as a surprise that I’d do standup,” he said.
In addition to regular appearances at Southern California clubs like The Comedy Store, The Ice House and The Improv, Mannis also hosts shows in a more unconventional place — his apartment’s living room.
Once a month, Mannis invites local comedians into his home in Los Angeles to perform comedy for people who sign up online. He noted the venture was one of the first “Airbnb Experiences,” a segment of the home-sharing service Airbnb that aims to allow people to provide and advertise entertainment and activities in their own homes.
“Once a month I have five or six comedians come out to my living room, they perform and I pack it out with strangers from the internet,” he explained. “It’s a really good time. It’s unique. It’s more intimate than a comedy club.”
In addition to the KAABOO set, Mannis will also perform at the Madhouse Comedy Club in San Diego on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.
For more information, visit www.arimannis.com and www.kaaboodelmar.com.