Make ‘em laugh.
Make ‘em cry.
Make ‘em laugh so hard they cry.
That has been the philosophy Gordy Pratt has carried with him to more than 55 years of public performances, many of them in the Northern Black Hills. As a stand-up musical comedian, Pratt has entertained thousands of locals and visitors over the years in theaters, convention centers, restaurants and various other venues.
Pratt got his start performing as a young boy in Colorado in the 1960s. Playing the guitar and singing was the “way to get chicks” back then, he said, and he joined with two of his buddies to begin his musical career.
After bouncing around the country performing Pratt landed in Deadwood for 10 years, Pratt said. “ I produced these shows, put them together and wrote them.” There were about 14 little musical comedy melodramas.” Show titles included, “The Desperate Damsels of Deadwood”; “Virtue, Villains and Vixens”; “Wild Bill Hiccup”; “Dialpidy Jane”; and “My Favorite Dance Hall Girl, Miss Kitty Litter.” Over the course of those 10 years, Pratt said he worked with other local talent to perform approximately 2,400 shows in Deadwood.
But after 10 years in Deadwood, Pratt decided to spread his wings— performing at conventions and other special events in SD.. Soon, he became acquainted with and adored many SD artists and fans.“That was wonderful for me in every way,” Pratt said.
During his years of performing, Pratt said he wrote at least 50 original songs. While many of them were parodies that poked fun at South Dakota life, some were also serious “tear jerkers. Pratt now enjoys less commercial performances, where he can share his love for SD, music and comedy with small groups and “no microphones”!