Home » A+E » Alumnus makes way back to Columbus to promote new book ‘The United States of Laughter’

Alumnus makes way back to Columbus to promote new book ‘The United States of Laughter’

Andrew Tarvin speaks at a Humor That Works presentation. Credit: Courtesy of Andrew Tarvin

In 2015, Andrew Tarvin went on a cross-country journey to every state with nothing but two carry-on sized suitcases for 18 months, living life like a “nomad.”

The 2006 Ohio State graduate wrote “The United States of Laughter” about his wild experience, which was published in September 2017. On Sunday, The Book Loft of German Village will host Tarvin for a book signing and discussion of his latest work.

Following graduation, Tarvin worked at Fortune 500 company Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati as a project manager. But he said he never forgot about the passion for comedy he developed at Ohio State, thanks to his best friend convincing him to co-found the student organization 8th Floor Improv Comedy Group.

When he relocated from Cincinnati to New York City with P&G, he participated in many opportunities for improv groups, comedy classes and stand-up comedy. In 2009, Tarvin started his current business, Humor That Works, as a part-time venture.

Humor That Works provides programming by Tarvin that teaches organizations how to incorporate humor to increase productivity and workplace happiness. He left P&G in 2012 to pursue his business full time.

“It was in college that I fell in love with comedy and that passion stayed even after I started working, so I wanted to do something more with it,” Tarvin said. “I started to naturally bring [humor] into my own work, using it in meetings and emails, and saw that was getting good results, so I decided to teach other people how to do that.”

Tarvin didn’t travel without a purpose; he spoke or performed in each state during his journey, he said.  

“So ‘The United States of Laughter’ is the story of my journey told through a story from each state,” Tarvin said. “It starts in Ohio at dinner with my mom when I was nervous about the trip, and it ends in Hawaii where I did a storytelling show that talked about my entire journey, and then it hits up all of the states in between.”

At the book signing, Tarvin said he plans to talk about his decision to travel across the country and the craziest experiences he had along the way.

“I’ll talk about some of the interesting stories [in the book], whether it is going to the Grand Canyon and being impressed by its beauty, to going to Alaska and singing to a bear to make it go away while I was hiking, to pushing a Ferrari in the desert in California,” he said.

Tarvin shared that he is especially excited to participate in a book signing in Columbus because he attended Ohio State, and Welch added the Book Loft is very happy to host someone connected to the local community.

“[Our recent book signings have] been so grim lately, it will be nice to have a humorist visit. He’s our first humorist that’s going to be here this year,” said Glen Welch, sales manager and event coordinator at The Book Loft. “We’re proud to have him.”

The book signing will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

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