The Grand Ole Opry is one of Nashville's most hallowed institutions, and comedian Dusty Slay graced the Opry stage for the very first time this year. He's now set to return to the venue on Friday, April 12, and the stand-up star couldn't be more thrilled.
"This means so much to me to be invited back to the Opry," Slay told PopCulture.com. "Country music has been such a big part of my life. These are my people and to get to perform my comedy for them on the Opry stage again is really everything I could ever dream of."
Slay has been bringing his unique brand of stand-up to comedy clubs for over 10 years, and in 2018, he performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and sold a sitcom pitch to ABC based on his upbringing.
In a video shared on the Opry's YouTube channel, seen above, Slay, who grew up in Alabama, shared that he first visited the venue when he was around 10 years old.
"I grew up listening to country, still listen to it," he shared. "It's just a good feeling. I feel very comfortable in here. As a comic, to be here, it's amazing."
Slay grew up in a trailer park and moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 2004. He began taking improv classes, which led to performing stand-up, though he quit after a series of less-than-stellar gigs before getting back into the comedy scene in 2008. He later moved to Nashville, and the Southern locale has helped Slay stay true to his roots and his comedic brand.
The Alabama native isn't afraid to discuss his upbringing in his sets, often regaling audiences with tales of his childhood including snacks from his mom, his clothes and the Home Depot.
Slay's wife, Hannah Hogan, shared that her husband's goal to play at the Opry "began when he was born."
"He's a true-blue Southerner — he loves country music and this is just an absolute dream for him," she said.
As for Slay, he knows that when the first laugh hits, things will be smooth sailing for the rest of his set.
"I feel like these are my people," he said, "so I'm gonna have a good time."
Photo Credit: Getty / Rick Diamond