Meet Comedic Campus Celebrity, Nick Donabed

“The best thing is when you genuinely hear a great laugh and feel like you’ve changed someone’s attitude,” says Nick Donabed, a California native and University of Hawai’i Alumnus.

Donabed graduated in 2007 with a major in Communications and a minor in Film Studies, but these days, the 32 year old focuses on comedy. “I like to make people laugh,” he says.

Two and a half years ago, his friends suggested he pursue being a stand-up comedian. So he did it.

Donabed's first performance involved a notecard and more than a few penis jokes. Now, his standup involves making fun of his California home, Orange County, as he says the people are vapid and easy targets for jokes.

Making people laugh is almost like an addiction, according to Donabed. His definition of comedy is “when you can get a genuine response from someone- laughter, clapping, or just taking someone out of their day-to-day and putting them in a better mental state.”

He describes his comedic style as situational: integrating funny ideas into his life experiences and drawing from influences like Bill Burr, Eddie Murphy, and Louis C.K.

When he’s not telling jokes or working his day job at BLT Steak, Donabed likes to stay active by surfing, playing beach volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and sloshball (a combination of alcohol and kickball).

Donabed's advice to aspring comedians? “Write down anything and everything you think is funny,” and for those who feel like giving up, he says, “You have to fail a lot before you will succeed. Just keep working at it.”

Donabed is just in the beginning stages of his comedy career, but already has big plans. He says he would like to move to New York and become a full-time comedian. His aspirations include having a Comedy Central Special and touring the world.

“I’m a big believer in following your dreams no matter what. A lot of people settle for a dead-end job, don’t settle.”

Right now, you can catch him at Bar 7 on Friday nights, Manifest on Wednesday, or occasionally at Next Door on the first Saturday of each month.