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Lebanon comedian taking comedy seriously

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Brian Bates will headline Zanies in Nashville on Sunday night

Wilson County native Brian Bates will headline a show at Zanies Comedy Club this Sunday, May 8. Bates, who began doing stand-up comedy nine years ago, has performed at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center; however, Sunday will mark his first time headlining at Zanies.

Bates was born and raised in Lebanon. He is a graduate of Lebanon High School. Bates worked for nearly 20 years at News Channel 5 as a producer, assignment editor and news manager before leaving a year ago to pursue comedy full-time.

"I took a stand-up comedy class in 2007. I thought it would be something fun to do and didn't think it would go further than that, but it just grew from there," he said.

Bates said folks were surprised with his new choice of career - mostly because they consider him to be reserved off-stage. "I am reserved in a lot of ways. My dad, Denver Bates, was a Realtor and auctioneer for many years, and people thought he was quiet too - until it was time to be an auctioneer and turn it on. You turn it on when you need to," Bates explained.

Bates described his humor as clean enough to be family-friendly - but smart enough that some of the humor will go over the kids' heads. "I take pride in keeping it clean so that it appeals to everyone," he said.

Bates will be recording Sunday night's show for an upcoming live comedy album.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and available online at

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