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It's a Living

Comic utilizes humor to inspire others


Comedian Tim Conniff has observed just how much things have changed with kids these days.

“My neighbor’s 14-year-old daughter goes on and on about how Aruba is her favorite island. When I was growing up in the 80s, I had two favorite islands—Fantasy and Gilligan’s!”

An open mic night at a club in Doylestown turned out to be the experience that started him down the professional comedic road. That night, Tim experienced what he calls an “I can do that” moment.

Tim moved to Doylestown in 1993. “It’s been my adopted hometown ever since,” he says.

Tim’s day job has been as regional sales director for a big pharmaceutical company since 1998, doing sales, sales leadership, and training.

He says his life as a comedian really began as a college student at the University of Scranton where he was assigned to talk about himself for two minutes in front of the class. He remembers that attempt left him “stammering and grasping for words.”

Yet in hindsight it was this less than successful attempt at public speaking that solidly set him on his present path.

A few months later, the same professor gave the assignment for students to “go out of their comfort zone,” a phrase that would resonate with Tim for many years to come. Students were to return to class and speak about the experience. The result? Grade A for Tim, and the birth of his new passion.

Last year, Tim performed over 100 shows and some of those performances were delivering his comedy keynote talk, “Your Comfort Zone Is No Joke!” He gives this talk for companies and community groups.

Tim says of his shows, “Not only do I get to make people laugh, but I also provide a powerful message that inspires them to get out of their comfort zone and do challenging things.”

That’s what distinguishes Tim from many other comedians. For him, it isn’t about the pay or applause. His goal isn’t to have his own Netflix special. Rather, he says he is “an advocate for personal growth and embracing new experiences.”

Tim wants to encourage his audience to “seek new challenges and to discover their own ‘I can do that’ moment,” which makes him just as much of a motivational speaker as a comedian.

“I do a lot of fundraisers,” he says. “I’ve done a designer bag bingo, a 95th birthday, and recently I did a show for patients in a long-term care center who were impacted by multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and traumatic brain injuries. That one touched my heart as many of them told me they had never seen a comedy show before and given their condition may never have had the opportunity.”

Tim even developed a friendship with one young man who came up to him in a wheelchair after the show who was also a motivational speaker. Since that night, Tim has watched the young man’s video and mentored him on the benefits of Toastmasters, an international educational organization that builds confidence and teaches public speaking skills with chapters in Doylestown and Levittown.

I ask what Tim’s favorite venues are, and he puts the Comedy Cabaret in Doylestown at the top of the list. “It’s my home club. It’s where I got started and it’s a great venue for comedy.”

Tim has started producing his own monthly show at Comedy Night at FZ Works in Yardley as well.

I ask Tim if his family thinks he’s funny. “Sometimes!” he says. Tim has been married for 26 years to Deb, and they have two boys, ages 22 and 18. “If I try out a joke on my wife and she doesn’t think it’s funny, I will test it out on my high school senior. If he says it’s funny, it almost always works!”

Where do you get your material? “My sets can be wide-ranging, from marriage to kids to current events to living in Bucks County.”

If you’re looking for inspiration, laughter, or a motivational speaker who can energize your team and help them explore uncharted territories, check out Tim’s website at

"It's a Living" is a weekly column showcasing residents who are making a living in an interesting way, or people who’ve reinvented their careers because they could no longer ignore the voice in the back of their heads telling them to start over, take a risk, chase a dream or set out on their own.

These are stories of bravery, persistence, resilience, and vision.

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