“AGT” star in Iowa

Lauren Ulveling , A&E Writer

“America’s Got Talent” is one of the most-watched TV shows with nearly 9.74 million total viewers weekly. 

Getting a “yes” from all four judges is a dream for many, but for Cedar Rapids native, Andy Rowell, that dream became a reality. 

“It was extremely surreal. And I do not mean surreal like, ‘Wow, my wildest hopes are coming true!’ But more like, ‘This is weird and completely insane,’” Rowell said. “It is one thing to see the show on TV or online, but it is a whole separate experience when the entire reality television apparatus unfolds before your eyes — which is what happened. I look back on it like a scarily organized fever dream.” 

What was even more surreal for Rowell is that he did not even have to audition for “AGT”.

“The producers discovered me after a video of mine went viral online and they scooped me up and flew me to Los Angeles,” Rowell said. 

This is not Rowell’s first venture into comedy; he has been making people laugh long before a video of him doing karaoke to “Tequila!” went viral.

 “I suppose I’ve always had a proclivity toward being funny, or funny looking. Officially, I’d say it began in middle school. I was skinny, gawky and terribly pathetic looking, so comedy became a sort of defense  from my  peers,” Rowell said. 

As he grew up, comedy became less of a defense and more of a passion of Rowell’s. 

“I’ve worked in kitchens, offices and classrooms,” Rowell said. “Doing comedy has continued to be one of the few things that I do where I can say, ‘I think I can maybe knock this out!’” 

Rowell took his passion and newfound stardom back to his hometown. September 14 and 15 his comedy show, Andy! & friends, performed at Theatre Cedar Rapids and The Iowa City Yacht Club. Audiences had the chance to experience more than just karaoke. 

Fans who enjoyed the show or missed the show can follow and keep up with Andy Rowell on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube all @goodfriendandy.