FAIRFIELD — There are a few reasons Edward Gaines has taken on the stage moniker Big Chuckllz.
His nickname is “Chucky.” He stands 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 446 pounds.
His goal is to get lots of laughs on stage. Comics use the term “killing” to describe a successful routine.
Gaines, who jokingly says his stage name wasn’t the result of him being “the runt of the litter,” is set to invade the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts on Saturday with a handful of other comics.
The event is presented by Grown Folk EnT, started by Harvey Armfield, a local disc jockey and Fairfield resident. Gaines and Armfield want to keep comedy alive in Fairfield.
“I started at Pepperbelly’s,” Gaines said. “I don’t want comedy to die out. Comedy was a fixture in Fairfield.”
That ended when Pepperbelly’s caught fire in January 2013. Gaines was there the weekend prior. After the fire, he said he helped clean up the debris with the hope that his home club would re-open.
Armfield said he dreams of a venue in Fairfield, similar to the newly restored Theatre DeVille in Vacaville. In addition to comedy, live bands would be featured, he said.
Gaines gave comedy a try with encouragement from one of his sons. That was about five years ago.
The former Vallejo resident said comedy is a necessity in today’s world.
“People need to laugh,” he said. “People are too serious. You’ve got to get that release of laughter.”
Like many comics, Gaines draws inspiration from everyday life. He’s the father of eight: six sons and two daughters. He also has five grandchildren.
Family talk can turn a little serious with Gaines. He had twin sons that died shortly after birth, almost 21 years ago.
“That’s the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with,” he said.
He finds solace in the belief the boys are hanging out with his father in heaven. Gaines’ father died when he was 8.
Gaines has held a variety of jobs over the years, including being a bill collector. He’s contemplated putting together a reality show based on that line of work.
“The bill collector can be your best friend,” he said.
He also worked in a metal shop, as a process server and a bricklayer.
There’s nothing like comedy, he said. Not only does he perform it, Gaines said he’s a student of the art. He’s also learning the business side, too. Gaines sees Grown Folk EnT as the “Comedy Comeback Train for Fairfield.”
“A train is hard to get started,” he said. “Once you get it started, it rolls. We are trying to push the train. Don’t make us push uphill.”
Dru Burks is the host of Saturday’s Comedy Explosion. Performing with Big Chuckllz are Leon Gibson, Kenny Live and Jay Rich.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.