Growing up in a middle class family home on the west side of northern New Jersey right on the border of Pennsylvania, Harrison Browne honed his comedy skills by cracking jokes to friends and family and binge watching some of his own favorite comedians here and there. Nowadays, the Montclair State junior is booking his own gigs one weekend after the next all across small bars in New Jersey and comedy clubs scattered throughout New York City.
“It’s been such a great year,” Mary Browne said, smiling at her son in awe of his accomplishments.
Harrison is 21 years old, nearly six-foot- tall and appears to be all chest and arms. He has a slim forehead, dense eye lashes and dark blue eyes that can only be caught at a glimpse when he’s not squinting them. He wears his inch-and- a-half long orange tinted hair gelled up and swept over to the right with the sides shaved shorter and has an occasional scruffy beard and
mustache combination matching in color.
He lives with his mother, father and older sister on a secluded street in Hackettstown, New Jersey: 42.9 miles west of Montclair State University. He played football and baseball at the start of high school, but later decided to try out for the school musical. Landing a lead role on the first try, Harrison says he’s been hooked on performing ever since.
“I never really considered a career outside of the entertainment industry,” said Browne, a television and digital media major. “But I have always wanted to be a comedian ever since I was little.”
When Browne dreams, he sees himself as a cast member on Saturday Night Live – but only for a few years. He then hopes to launch a career in film, with his television and digital media degree and film minor, where he can write and star in his own work. For now, though, he’s sticking to stand-up comedy.
“Even though he isn’t really a stand-up, I’d definitely say I look up to Will Ferrell,” Browne said. “My goal in life is to have a similar career to his. And if you want some advice – whatever field you want to go into, look up your idol in that field and find out what they were “doing” at your age. If you’re not already doing similar types of things, start.”
Everywhere he goes, he observes and he writes. Whether it be 1 o’clock in the morning at a house party or 6 o’clock in the afternoon watching TV on his couch, he finds his material within the things that occur in his everyday life. Whenever he thinks of something funny,
he says, he opens the “notes” app on his iPhone and jots it down so he doesn’t forget it. Then, he sits down at his laptop and forms his ideas into a script.
“The most recent show I did at The New York Comedy Club was one of my favorite ones that I’ve done,” Browne said. “I tried out all new material that night and it all went over pretty well, and the topics of my set were; Viagra commercials, senior citizens in a locker room, and the absurdities of the porn industry.”
The world of the entertainment industry is, more often than not, a seemingly difficult place to land a spot in. Browne believes, though, while it’s a scary thought to be unsuccessful, it’s better that way because it keeps people motivated and helps them avoid becoming stagnant with where they currently are.
“I have no doubt that [he] will be successful in comedy or in anything he does actually,” Stephanie Schieder said, a friend and fan of Harrison. “He’s constantly making jokes about anything and everything. There’s never a dull moment when he’s around, to say the least.”
But what happens when he doesn’t get the laugh he’s expecting?
“You just keep going,” he said. “Everyone has bad days, bad crowds, bad sets. You just have to push through it if you want to be successful. For me, I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh and if I keep pushing through the bad times, I’ll never have to actually work a day in my life.”