Comedian Mark Sweeney considers St. Louis his hometown, though he and his family didn’t settle there until he was in the eighth grade. “We moved around constantly the first 15 years of my life,” he recalls. “I was constantly the new kid in class, showing up in the middle of the semester, which always sucked.” Being funny helped. “I think that came from having moved around all the time. I sometimes got into fights when I was little, because everyone picked on the new kid. In third or fourth grade I found out that being funny was a lot easier than getting into a fight after school by the flagpole.” He didn’t turn comedy into a vocation until after a stint in the Marines and four years in college. While working at bar in downtown St. Louis, his boss, a former comedy club manager, suggested Sweeney try stand-up. Within a year he was doing it full-time. He wound up in Los Angeles, where he soon made a discovery. “I didn’t like acting as much as I thought I would,” he says. “You can go months without an acting job, but you have bills to pay on Monday.” Today he headlines across the country entertaining in clubs and theaters. “I can pretty much appeal to any demographic.” Sweeney performs Thursday-Sunday at The Funny Bone on the Levee.