So You Think You’re FunnY?

February 22, 2012 | Uncategorized

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The Story of Open Mic Comedy in the Tri-Cities

Origins – How did our Open mic Comedy get started at Jokers?  How do most things get started – usually one dedicated person and some lucky coincidence.

In this case the dedicated person was Emily Richman and the coincidence was an amateur comedy contest embedded in a Karaoke contest.  Our contest to send someone to the National Bowling Alley Karaoke finals seemed a little flat, and feeling like Ed Sullivan (or Ted Mack for people even older than me), I decided to add an amateur comedy contest.  Emily didn’t win the contest, or even get voted into the finals, but after the contest was over, she expressed her dream to start an open mic in Tri-Cities, Wa; similar to ones she went to in Spokane.  Jokers is such a place where dreams come true and I let her and the Riff Raff Laff Staff use the event center for free.  So now every Tuesday night at 8:30, a vastly improving troop of comedians takes the stage to test out their material.

Here’s a word from some of the Laff Staff -

Aaron Derrick

“As an aspiring comic, it can be very difficult to find opportunities to test your material and delivery on a live audience. Going to an open mic for comedy is the perfect remedy for that.

The atmosphere at Open Mic Night is much different from that of performing in front of paying audience. People come to Open Mic Night to not only be entertained and have fun, but to be supportive and help one another build on their material. That’s helped many of the performers, myself included, become more comfortable on the microphone as we work on new material every week. Knowing that we’re performing in front of friends and supporters takes a lot of the pressure off.”

Jeremiah Leibold

“Open mic means community. Week after week you get to spend time with an extended family of comics; you get to watch each other grow. Each week you get to see the same people trying out new or reworked material, which can be pretty scary, and you get to support them the same way they support you. This open mic is nice, because we aren’t judgmental, we help each other out. We offer each other notes, and positive reinforcement. It’s like a community.”

Carmen Garrison

What open mic means to me…. A place to work on new material and build old material into longer bits with tags, etc. I also like the camaraderie and feedback from other comics. Third, but certainly not least, I love watching other comedians grow and mature.

Adam Kessler

“Open mic means that there is a comedy scene in the Tri-Cities now. Not only are there comedy clubs but there is a place for comedians just starting out to go & get on stage, get advice, and get opportunities to take part in some actual shows. I’ve been doing comedy since 2003 & I’m certain if open mic night was local back then I would be better than I am today. It’s a very supportive environment and it’s great to have someplace to work out new jokes. ”

Come on Down - 

The Laff Staff put on a “Fun”draiser to send Emily to the World Series of Comedy in the summer.  They also put on a “Funny for Food” show the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to raise money for the Tri-City Food Bank.  They raised over $1000 in cash and food and also made some money in the pie throwing booth for a Jokers security guard who had two recent accidents.

The Staff plans on doing 2 or 3 fundraising shows a year – most likely at Jokers Comedy club.  So if you’re thinking you’d like to try stand-up comedy or just looking for a cheap date; come down to Joker’s at 624 Wellsian Way in Tri-Cities, Washington on Tuesday night at 8:30.  Only two rules – no heckling (especially the new comedians), and be ready to laugh.

 Link to Funny for Food clips

Link to my first open mic

Link to comedy schedule


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