Erik Knowles (USMC) Erik did his first stand-up set in the fourth grade at a summer camp talent show. Even at just nine years old, his two minutes of Nickelodeon jokes killed. His next performance was in 1999 while he was in the Marine Corps. One of his superiors, noticing Erik’s ability to make his peers laugh, ordered him to do a stand-up routine at the upcoming squadron Christmas Party talent contest. Erik won the contest by making fun of the Commanding Officer.