TL;DR – Dando had a hot night. The Miami comedy scene is a charming wasteland. Denver’s Comedy Works club is a model that could help terraform bad comedy scenes into sustainable laughitats.
ComedyWorks New Faces Contest 21 – Round 1, Week 2 – Anthony Armstrong, Daniel Reskin, Patrick Richardson, and Christie Buchele
This week I advanced to the second round in the Comedy Works New Faces contest!
I only mention it (humblebarf) for perspective. Back in my comedy-hometown, Miami, the current controversy is comedians using stolen/internet jokes to win contests.
If that sounds unbelievable, congratulations on having a good comedy childhood. Sadly, this is a regular crime in smaller scenes and outsider contests. The less connected and valued the comedy scene, the less that place will care about originality, creativity, and variety – things that true comedy scenes hold both sacred and basic.
It’s like how we can’t move forward with fighting climate change because Republicans won’t concede it’s a thing. The same goes with any scene that doesn’t reward originality, and see it as a foundational aspect of modern stand-up.
Comedy contest in themselves are curious beasts. I’ve never enjoyed them but learned to see their value – exposure, getting used to pressure, and getting used to failure. I’ve done a swath of dubious contests often because those were the only gigs available. I learned to see which contests were purely money-making schemes. I learned to Google random great jokes from stuttering first-timers. I learned sometimes they win anyway.
I’m not trying to brown-nose the club, but to relay to you my relief that business doesn’t always corrupt art. Sometimes it’s a trellis to grow juicy joke-matos (to later be thrown). A club that cares about who is on stage before how many are buying drinks is one of the pillars for a solid scene. It’s not a novel concept, but considering there are no surviving comedy clubs in South Florida – population 6 million – even the obvious ideas are spread along the beach like seashells, easily appreciated and forgotten.
Recently I’ve been so enveloped in the new Casa de Haha, I forgot to post this milestone here last month. We love our round numbers, and must give them significance in our decade-based lives. A few thoughts.
My first dreams of stand-up comedy
10 years of stand-up comedy? Feels like only yesterday (for audiences)…
I made this picture in college after reluctantly trying a stand-up competition. I performed a few minutes of something resembling comedy, outside in the grass, in the dark, before the weekly Movie on the Lawn. I remember a joke about a rising Illinois Senator whose name sounded like a game on the Price is Right.
“It’s time to play OBAMAAAAA and win a brand new car!!!”
It was enough. I was in. I stopped the half-hearted grad school applications and got a job working lights and sound at SideSplitters, a Tampa comedy club. Over the next 10 years I’d have hustle times performing every night, my slow times performing a few times a month, work terrible road rooms, host a ton of shows, BINGO nights, and dove into acting, writing, podcasting, and production. Just embracing life as a creative (and waiter/cook).
I have too much to say about comedy, and it might never have anything to say about me. That’s part of it. I don’t have a hunger to be famous or “the best”, which probably works against me.That’s okay. I do have a fire in me to create things for people to enjoy.
I’m gonna! Thanks to all the comics and audiences for your lessons.
p.s. Now I don’t have to make a big post until 15 years!
10 years ago I was doing stand-up for the third time in this college contest. I made it to the finals so a lady dressed me in $200 of American Eagle clothing, and looks like I wanted to wear it all at once. No salt yet in my pepper. Almost my entire set is about donating blood. What is this kid thinking?
I almost posted this yesterday, against the Bowls (Sup & Pup). That’d’ve been dumb! I would’ve cut viewership by half of my family.
Thanks to guests Cody Spyker and Jacob Rupp, & Jeremiah Zentz, Nicole Ryan, Wally Wallace, & Denver Open Media!
Thanks and apologies to Charlie Rose.
The next episode will be The Daily Show, with Dan Jewart.
That’s right! We did it! The suits upstairs* were tight-lipped about the show’s chances, but despite clashes with the producer*, creative differences with the director*, and diva host* — it looks like Casa de Haha will be back for a very different season 2!
Until then, check out the first season. 4 episodes in a season? The Brits get away with it.