CHARACTERS


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Wix Wichmann


WATCH "BACKSTAGE ACCESS WITH WIX WICHMANN"

Age: 34
Hometown: Erlanger, Kentucky

BIO


Wix Wichmann's father is a city attorney. His grandfather was a mayor. His uncle was a circuit court judge. His sisters are both attorneys.

Wix Wichmann is a comedian.

"I'm the black sheep of the family," he says with a chuckle.

It wasn't always this way. Beginning in 1994, Wix worked his way up from an intern job in the mailroom at Sony Music Nashville - deliriously happy to be getting six free CDs a month - to a highly coveted spot as a regional promotion manager working with one of the label's most successful acts, the Dixie Chicks.

Then, in September 2001, around the time of his 30th birthday and the attacks on the World Trade Center and Washington, D.C., Wix was what's the word? Downsized.

By that time, he was already following his inclination into standup comedy. "I'm blessed with the gene of being a fun drunk," he explains. "People would always come up to me and say, 'Do you do standup?'" Finally, he began taking the suggestion seriously.

Three weeks after Sony informed Wix that his services would no longer be required, fate stepped in. His pals Eddie and Troy from the superstar country duo Montgomery Gentry called to suggest that he join them as liaison for their sponsorship deal with Jim Beam bourbon - and, more crucially for Wix's future, to warm up their audiences with a few minutes of comedy.

Wix jumped at the chance. Between the newfound employment and the free Jim Beam, Wix was lucky indeed - but now he had to earn that lucky break every day as both a businessman and an entertainer.

Talk about a baptism by fire: every night, Wix was thrust onstage in front of thousands of rowdy Montgomery Gentry fans eager to hear their heroes' potent brand of Southern-rockin' country. He thrived in this new environment, and parlayed his success into a gig warming up audiences for the hit TV talent show Nashville Star (and enjoys an expanded role with the series during the upcoming fourth season).

Now, Wix has come full circle - from working behind the spotlight to stepping fully into it - with the June 6, 2006 release of the CD and DVD package I'll Quit When Willie Quits. Not bad for the black sheep of the family.

FUN FACTS ON WIX WICHMANN


What celebrity do people say you look like?
Matthew Modine

What's on your playlist?
Shooter Jennings: "Electric Rodeo" & "Put the O Back in Country"
Green Day: "American Idiot"
Jim Gaffigan: "Beyond the Pale"
Todd Snider: "East Nashville Skyline"
Hank III: "Straight to Hell"

The craziest or most daring thing I have ever done...
Impersonate a standup comedian

What three things couldn't you live without?
Jim Beam and Hot Tea, Glaucoma medication

To learn more about Wix and see where he'll be performing, visit www.4wix.com.

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