A self-described “under-the-radar celebrity,” Tim Hawkins admitted he cries when he hears Diana Ross sing and if he wasn’t a comedian, he would own a French pastry shop.
Hawkins has spent the last 25 years or so “giving laughter” to crowds who need it, and going to one of his performances means different things to different people.
“The takeaway could be whatever you need it for,” Hawkins explained. “It could be just a release — you haven’t laughed for a while. It could be that you’re going through stuff and need a break.
“It’s fun to be together in a live setting. It’s entertaining and it’s kind of cool to see a guy who’s learned how to make a living from being a complete moron.”
Passion for entertaining
Hawkins has had a passion for entertaining most of his life but wavered about making it his career. His wife is the one who encouraged him to make the leap and go into full-time comedy.
“The good thing about it was that I wasn’t leaving a six-figure job,” Hawkins said. “The joke is I was making six figures but there was a decimal. It wasn’t a big jump financially.
“I didn’t have a plan,” he admitted. “I didn’t know what the future held. I simply wanted to pay our bills.
“You just go where your gut takes you and where you think you have some skill,” Hawkins concluded. “I knew I had the ability. It was just the great unknown — going out there and finding your way. It was more desperation than anything that got me into comedy — I didn’t have many other options.”
The first time Hawkins got a laugh, he knew he was hooked. It’s similar to an addiction, filling a deeper need, a deeper longing, he said.
“There’s no real school for this. You kind of have to find groups of people and have them face towards you and do your best to get them to listen to what you have to say.
“Ignorance is bliss,” he acknowledged. “If I knew how bad I was at the beginning, I would’ve quit a long time ago, but I think that the passion to do it was so strong that even when I failed at it, I would want to keep doing it.”
Recognizing his growth as a performer, Hawkins said it was mostly in the details. For him, becoming a professional meant finding small things that add up to quality.
“They say that the devil’s in the details but I think it’s more that God is detailed, like in creation,” Hawkins explained. “I think of G.K. Chesterton who talks about the mundane and why does God make so many things?
“It’s because they’re great. It’s like … He made a great blade of grass. It’s almost like a little child. God says, ‘Do it again! Do it again! Make another one!’ We’ve seen a million sunsets. God says, ‘I know. Aren’t they awesome? Do it again; do it again!’”
Stories of those impacted by his comedy greatly affect Hawkins, especially fans who are going through a difficult time.
“It’s hard to process. There’s such an emotional cost to this, which is why it’s so important to not only get in touch with the Lord as much as you can on a daily basis to give you strength, but to also refresh you and fill you back up.”
‘Great place to do comedy’
Hawkins performs primarily in churches to mainly Christian audiences, though he said in some ways it’s easier to perform in a bar because most of the audience is “drunk out of their minds.” A church crowd won’t laugh unless something is truly funny, he said.
“It’s a great place to do comedy.”
Sprinkled through all the jokes, Hawkins has a serious side.
“Have you read the Bible? You don’t have to be crass but let’s call it what it is and not make the Bible into something we’re comfortable with,” Hawkins said. “I don’t think that’s who God is. He is someone we don’t understand. And that’s the joke to me — that we try to fit an infinite God to our finite brain and make it work. It doesn’t. We don’t get it — and that’s the point.
“A God who created the bunny rabbit isn’t afraid of your questions,” Hawkins declared. “Really, when it comes down to it, the human mindset is, ‘Boy, God better live up to my standards … like we’re the final say.
“The gospel is not a self-improvement program. God’s not a supplement to a better life. The gospel is: you need to die; you need to become less. The less there is of you, the better it’s gonna be. You need to know there’s something bigger than you.”
Hawkins has a presence on major social media platforms and performs live across the country.
To see the rest of his tour schedule and learn more about him go to www.TimHawkins.net