Class of 2007

Presenting the 20 Under 30 Class of 2007.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

(page 9 of 21)

The Mystery Man

Jeff Houghton, 28

Field Representative, CBCO; Skinny Improv

Jeff Houghton has a burning question. What should he do with his life: entertain or help people? We say he’s already found the perfect answer—do both.

“Mystery Jeff” is, quite simply, one of the funniest people in Springfield. So funny, in fact, that he now has his own Skinny Improv vehicle, The Mystery Hour, a talk show and sketch comedy hybrid inspired by his hero, David Letterman (Jeff interned for Letterman after graduating from the University of Iowa.) Launched in November, the monthly Mystery Hour has become one of the Skinny’s biggest successes. During the day, Jeff fills his non-profit goals organizing blood drives over a four-county zone for the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, a job he learned about while watching Iowa Hawkeyes football games with fellow alums at Classic Sports. Jeff and his wife, Michelle, were married last year and have two dogs: Lucy, a mutt, and a stray Corgi that Jeff hopes to get rid of and refuses to name. “I just call it The Corgi,” he says. If only the two dogs work out as well as his two jobs.

Finish this sentence: When I’m 40 I hope ____________: “I have my adult braces off.”
Favorite bar or nightclub: Virgil’s Bar and Self Storage. “It’s a storage business with a bar, north of Springfield on Highway 13. I’ve only been there once. There was a band.”
If you could eat one meal in Springfield, and budget isn’t an obstacle, where would you eat? “I’d go back in time to Yen Ching, when it was on Sunshine. It’s closed now. I’d bring back the two owners and have them cook me a meal. It was a Chinese mother and son and they would laugh at everything that was said. I’d go in once a week and they’d take care of me.”
You have an iPod and can only download one album. What is it? Patty Griffin, Impossible Dream
In an honest moment, what would you tell someone about your job? “Generally, my big secret is I have no idea what I’m doing. But that kinda goes with improv.”
Who would play you in a movie of your life? “My wife would say Paul Bettany. I think it’s just because he’s blonde and pale.”
If you could be on a reality show, what would it be? America’s Next Top Model. “A lot would have to change for that to happen; I’d have to become a woman and become good looking.”
First website you hit every morning: MySpace, then ESPN, then the News-Leader
Biggest phobia: “It’s weird, but my one phobia is fuzzy things in my mouth. My dad was the tennis coach at Iowa, and I must have gotten a tennis ball in my mouth at some point…I can’t handle getting Kleenex or paper towels in there.”
One night, no complications, whom do you seduce? “I would say Evangeline Lilly…but not as Evangeline Lilly, as Kate in Lost.”


Movie: The War with Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood
Adult beverage: Blue Moon beer with an orange slice
TV show: Lost
Fast-food indulgence: “Uh, I don’t know, it messes up my stomach. Probably the fruit and yogurt parfait at McDonald’s.”
Book: “Probably Into the Wild or Blue Like Jazz.

Take your pick:

Time machine or omniscience? Time machine. “So I could go back to Yen Ching.”
Black tie or comfy sweats? Comfy sweats
John or Paul? John
MySpace or Facebook? MySpace
Deal or No Deal? No Deal

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