Atlanta-based comedian Eric Hunter often seems unusually quiet when he’s not on stage.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it may be that he’s working.
“I tend to like to listen to people,” Hunter says. “When I’m at parties, I listen.
“People say, ‘You’re so quiet, how are you a comedian?’ Everything someone says, I try to think of a funny response.
“Even if I don’t say it, I file it away,” he says. “Every day, I see and hear things I use in my comedy.”
It’s a method that’s been proven over time. Hunter will headline the Savannah Comedy Revue on Dec. 2.
“I’ve been a full-time professional touring comic for about 18 years,” Hunter says. “I started in Atlanta and have been all around the country and even lived in Los Angeles for a while.”
Stand-up has always been Hunter’s dream career.
“I wanted to do comedy as a little kid,” he says. “My brothers and I were always funny and joking around with each other.”
A family legend has it that when Hunter was 6, his grandmother scolded him at a picnic for not eating his food.
“You know there are starving children in Third World countries who would love to eat that,” she said.
“Well, here, send it to them,” Hunter replied, to laughter from his cousins.
“I watched comedians in the ‘80s and thought I would love to do that, but I just didn’t know how,” Hunter says. “I took a workshop in Atlanta and really loved it and met some other comedians and started doing comedy full-time.”
The comedians who inspired Hunter include Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and George Carlin.
“Those would have been the guys I used to see when I was in high school and really getting into watching comedy,” Hunter says. “Those are three of the big ones I actually saw live.
“I also like Bob Newhart,” Hunter says. “People say I sound like him at times.”
It’s not just the big names Hunter finds funny.
“My friends and my wife and my mom and my brothers are among the everyday people that make me laugh,” he says.
In addition to comedy, Hunter is an actor who has appeared on television in dramas, two national commercials and some smaller internet and YouTube commercials.
“There’s a TV show ‘Murder Chose Me’ that starts in January,” he says. “I’ll be in that.
“I’ve been in a couple of episodes of ‘Homicide Hunter.’ And I did two episodes of a show called ‘Fatal Attraction.’
Other shows Hunter has appeared on include “Last Comic Standing,” William Shatner’s “Aftermath,” “Operation Repo” and “Blood Relatives” on television and “The Bob and Tom Show” on radio.
“The commercials were for Mennen Speed Stick and Garmin GPS,” Hunter says. “I started in theater when I was in college and my first introduction to being on stage was in front of a live audience.”
Hunter enjoys acting.
“Playing funny characters in commercials was a lot of fun,” he says. “So was playing the dramatic roles.”
Hunter wouldn’t mind doing more acting, and in a big way.
“I think every comedian wants to have his own show, whether it’s a sitcom or TV show, something along those lines,” he says. “Just performing on a national TV show or sitcom or talk show or comedy show would be great, too.”
Hunter has appeared with such comedians as Louie Anderson, Ray Romano, Tom Papa, Jake Johannsen, Blake Clark, Kevin Nealon and Bobcat Goldthwaite.
Recently, Hunter performed with Brian Regan.
“He asked me to open for him at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center,” Hunter says. “When you perform in front of 1,100 people and hear them laugh at you, it’s great.”
When you listen, humor can come from everywhere.
“My favorite jokes are about relationships, myself growing up, my family and just a smattering of other observations and things I notice,” he says. “Savannah is a unique city for comedy.”
Hunter has recorded two CDs. The first is “As a Comic, in All Seriousness …” and the second is “Eric Hunter was Live from Atlanta.”
“I’ll be giving out my CD for free at the Savannah Comedy Revue,” Hunter says. “All they have to pay is a $10 handling charge. Everyone there gets a CD if they want one — and have the money to pay for it.”
IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Comedy Revue presents Eric Hunter
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 2
Where: Bay Street Theatre, 1 Jefferson St.
Cost: $10, $15 VIP
Info: 314-503-9005, savannahcomedyrevue.com