Solomon Georgio was just 4 years old when his family moved from Ethiopia to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1985. He remembers there was a blizzard that winter and that he and his brothers watched nothing but comedies on TV.
They watched reruns of shows like "I Love Lucy" and "The Three Stooges," because that was the only thing they understood.
"Comedy was sort of a great translator of American culture for us," Georgio said. "It was the first thing that I adapted to coming to America, and it became something that stuck with me my whole life."
Georgio, who recently released his first half-hour comedy special and album with Comedy Central, will perform Friday night to a sold-out crowd at the Majestic Theatre. It is the second installment of Corvallis Comedy Night, the standup series launched by Corvallis residents Dusty Smith and Rachel Elsasser. Portland comic Caitlin Weierhauser is the opening act.
Georgio, an openly gay comedian, said when it comes to his standup material, he doesn't shy away from too many things.
"I do social commentary, but I tend to make it more personalized toward my own life and a little about growing up. It's mostly just me trying to figure out life, sex and government," he said, and laughed.
Georgio's family eventually relocated from St. Louis to Fresno, but he was raised mostly in Seattle.
Georgio's comedic influences run the gamut from George Carlin and Richard Pryor to Margaret Cho.
Georgio said he always knew growing up he wanted to perform, but wasn't sure comedy would work out.
"I didn't think it was an option, because I wasn't intentionally funny," he said. "Over time I realized, just take the risk, and things clicked. I have a better grasp of English than I did when I was a kid."
He attempted his first open mic performance at 17.
How did it go?
"I bombed," he said.
Eight years later, Georgio and a friend decided they would give it a try at Seattle's former Capitol Club.
"About a month of getting ready for the show, my friend backs out. So, I'm doing the show alone," Georgio said with a laugh.
He performed 45 minutes of material for the first time, and it drove him to commit to doing comedy full-time, he said.
After doing standup gigs between Seattle and Portland for five years, he moved to Los Angeles.
"I got to LA and just sort of started building myself up there, in the sense of trying to get better shows," Georgio said.
He made his TV debut on "Conan" in 2015, and has also appeared on "Last Call with Carson Daly" and "The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail."
Last October, Georgio recorded his first comedy album, "Homonégro Superior," which accompanied his half-hour standup special on Comedy Central.
Now he is back on the road as a touring comedian.
"I did an episode of 'Drunk History' that will be coming up soon," Georgio said.
The comedian said Friday night's audience should come prepared to learn something even while they laugh.
"I try to educate as much as possible, but I also want people to leave there having a great time and willing to come back to see me again," he said.