100 Creatives

Phoenix Comedian Anwar Newton: 100 Creatives

Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 26. Anwar Newton.

Yeah, you're probably familiar with Anwar Newton, a.k.a. the guy who recently went to San Diego Comic-Con on shrooms and chronicled his trippy experience in hilarious texts that quickly went viral.

Just so happens, Newton's funny on the regular. In fact, he's a comedian. And he's based in Phoenix.

See also: Tempe Artist Mikey Estes: 100 Creatives

"An average day for me involves staring at glowing screens for about 75 percent of it and the other 25 percent is spent in search of a good burger," says Newton, who's also a pen-and-pencil artist and works as a film grip and gaffer.

Lucky for us, the 29-year-old manages to squeeze in time to tell jokes, too.

"I'm currently working on a comedy album with local stand-up comics to be featured in the NXOEED Album Art Hunt from artist James Hunt on October 3," he says. And on August 29, he'll perform at Comedy On Fire 17 at The Firehouse Gallery.

Maybe bring him a burger.

I came to Phoenix with my bloated debt and all of my worldly belongings in the back of a 1988 Honda Accord hatchback.

I make art because... I suppose being able to make people laugh could be considered a work of art or artful. I think I continue to try my hand at comedy because I think I haven't 100 percent failed at it yet, which, objectively speaking, is a pretty subjective way of looking at it.

I'm most productive when I'm actually on stage, which is how I try to spend any free evening I have. I treat it like I do my other two jobs as in I pretty much just show up and hope people don't notice I'm wearing the same shirt I wore yesterday.

My inspiration wall is full of post-it notes that say "You should probably start working on an inspiration wall." My comedic influences are George Carlin, Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, and Louis C.K.

I've learned most from being alone and observing other people and seeing the weird things people do when they think no one is looking. Everyone is a weirdo just trying to hide their weirdness from all the other weirdos and seeing that play out is very entertaining to me. Also, one of the most important classes I've ever taken was a speech class in community college. It is probably the only college class from which I learned anything of any value.

Good work should always confuse people if it is actually good or not. Because ultimately that whether it is good or not doesn't matter, but the conversation of why you think it is "good" or "bad" is always interesting.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more people paying attention to it.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez 69. Bucky Miller 68. Liliana Gomez 67. Jake Friedman 66. Clarita Lulić 65. Randy Murray 64. Mo Neuharth 63. Jeremy Hamman 62. La Muñeca 61. Kevin Goldman 60. Emily Costello 59. Kerstin Dale 58. Vara Ayanna 57. Nathaniel Lewis 56. Ruben Gonzales 55. Lisa Poje 54. Bobby Zokaites 53. Frances Smith Cohen 52. Julie Rada 51. David Miller 50. Xanthia Walker 49. Kyllan Maney 48. Cary Truelick 47. Constance McBride 46. James D. Porter 45. Allyson Boggess 44. Abigail Lynch 43. Ashley Cooper 42. Jaclyn Roessel 41. Brandon Boetto 40. Melissa Dunmore 39. Gavin Sisson 38. Rossitza Todorova 37. Monica Robles 36. Josh Kirby 35. Jesse Perry 34. Yai Cecream 33. Nathan Blackwell 32. Carley Conder 31. Ben Willis 30. Nicole Michieli 29. Brian Cresson 28. Tyson Krank 27. Mikey Estes

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski