Russell Baird’s love for comedy and history remain unmatched

If junior Russell Baird could be any animal in the world, his choice would be a koala—mainly because they spend an average of twenty-two hours a day sleeping while the other two hours are spent lazily munching on eucalyptus leaves. 

Even though he does not have time in his busy schedule for twenty-two hours of sleep every day and lounging about, he does enjoy taking naps when he has the time.  

His time not spent on schoolwork—or sleeping—is devoured by his fairly new interest: theatre.

“I would love to go into the entertainment industry [for my career],” Russell said, “[particularly] acting, stand-up [comedy],  and voice acting.” 

Quite unlike many of his peers, Russell does not contract much stage fright but whenever a microphone is around, he has the urge to say obscene things. His first show was last fall’s play, The Crucible, and has participated in every production that the theatre department has produced ever since. 

Alongside his acting, Russell’s talent in stand-up comedy shines at the school’s yearly Random Acts of Talent performance.  

I’m pretty out there; I’m hard to ignore.

— Russell Baird

“I would love to get the George Carlin and Dave Chappelle [level of comedy] where you’re getting to put your ideas out there,” Russell said. “You’re getting to talk about why you think certain things are [the way they are] and possibly influence people’s opinions and do good with it.”

Along with his love for theatre, Russell is constantly fascinated by history, yet another passion of his. 

He is intrigued by the fact that humans have found ways to record imperative information and what they have encountered during their time on Earth. He enjoys looking for patterns between different time periods and comparing them to one another. 

Russell already has AP U.S. History under his belt and is currently taking AP World History to increase his knowledge and his love of the past.

“[Every time period] have their bonuses,” Russell said, “[but] I kind of like world history better because with American history, it’s interesting to go in-depth and learn about those things, but I feel like it’s more fun to watch these big arches of time throughout the world.”

Russell’s aptitude for the entertainment industry as well as history may influence him in his future career. 

In fact, he is certain that he would be able to incorporate both into whatever he decides to do. Quite, fortunately—or unfortunately in the eyes of some—most stand-up comedians aren’t able to jump straight into a full-time carrier of stand-up; a majority of those in the industry need a day job to keep them afloat until their carrier can take off. 

“The ones who go right into [their comedy career] are the ones who fail,” Russell said. “You need to have a long [term] plan set out.” 

For Russell, his dream day job would be someone who is able to sharpen young minds with the past. More simply put, a history teacher. How Russell sees it, the way to change the world for the better is to teach the mistakes of our past so we don’t make the same mistakes again.  

“If you go into the government and try to push policies onto people, it won’t work,” Russell said, “but if you can get a large audience’s attention—if you can get people to trust you—you can actually change people’s minds.” 

The audience he mentions can also apply to his audience in the future who will watch him perform. Russell claims that history and politics are exceptional subjects to use for comedic purposes; with his knowledge of both, he’s able to speak his mind and opinion on topics while also infusing universal humor into the subjects. 

In that way, he feels that well-informed comedians can be large influencers when it comes to politics or social issues.

“Governments can be overthrown,” Russell said, “but if you put an idea in a person’s head, that’s there [forever].”

Most of Russell’s ideas for his comedy stems from a wide variety of people, and he picks and chooses ideas that fit his humor and whatever point he is trying to get across to the audience, whether that be political or a sarcastic comment on airplane food.

His enthusiasm for history and, more importantly, comedy radiate from him and is eminent in his use of language. With his drive for comedy and his knowledge of political and historical facts, Russel wants his voice to be heard, for his jokes to be laughed at and pondered over by the masses.

“I’m pretty out there,” Russell said. “I’m hard to ignore.”