Comedian and actor Jimmy Dunn has brought audiences across the country to roaring laughter, but no crowd quite compares to the one in Hampton, where his hometown friends and family fill out the venue.
When Jimmy Dunn isn’t writing, acting, or cracking jokes, you’ll likely find him surfing along New Hampshire’s Seacoast. With summers spent on North Beach as a kid, surfing was a sport he picked up early and hasn’t let go of – it’s what Dunn misses the most when on the road, which is often. He got his start in the comedy world performing stand-up at a bar in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he was paid in beer and fried clams. Since then, the NH-native has gone on to perform on some of the comedy world’s biggest stages, including Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, The Late Show with David Letterman, CONAN, and Comics Come Home with Denis Leary. Still, every summer, he brings it back home to host The Hampton Beach Comedy Festival. We got Jimmy out of the water and off the stage to hear his stories, successes, and about life on the Seacoast.
Growing Up in NH
My mom moved to Hampton when I was a kid. I spent my summers and weekends on North Beach, where I learned to surf when I was eight. It was exciting as a kid to spend summers on the beach, I used to sit on the back steps of the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom and listen to George Carlin, The Ramones and Huey Lewis – little did I know I would take that stage many times to come. Playland Arcade was like my second home.
Favorite Part of Being a Performer
The hour on stage! The travel is a grind… the hotels, the flying, the driving. It sounds corny, but the laughs from the crowd that night make it all worth it.
The Role NH Plays in my Career
I love performing in New Hampshire. I host an annual comedy festival at the Ashworth on Hampton Beach every summer called The Hampton Beach Comedy Festival. You can’t beat four nights of comedy with some of my longtime best friends in my hometown. I also perform at the Palace Theatre in Manchester every year and the Flying Monkey in Plymouth. But more importantly, when I’m on the road, I can’t wait to get back to my home at the beach!
What is Most Unique about NH
The amazing outdoor experiences. The beaches and mountains are beautiful, and we need to always protect those. I’m a big supporter of the Surfrider Foundation, they do great work protecting the beaches and ocean.
Top 3 Must-Sees in NH
Mount Washington – Worth a visit any time of year, but especially the winter.
Lagos Ice Cream – On a hot summer night, there’s nothing better!
The Kancamagus Highway – It is everything it’s cracked up to be. Go in the fall and you won’t be disappointed.