Well I’ve had this idea in my head for a while, and would love to open a comedy club in either Kent, Covington or the upcoming massive development LAKEPOINTE (off Highway 18 next to Covington). They’re all great places- well, not so much Kent unless you’re talking downtown (Kent Station- ooh, maybe there?!). Where I live, it’s a big bowl of mixed ingredients. Alot of foreign shops, “No English!” but that’s just an observation, not a slam. I’m no racist!
So a couple years ago, I was watching Paul Provenza & Penn Jillette’s “The Aristocrats”, and one segment featured a man & his puppet. George’s (puppet) head looked so goofy, I had to hear more! So I went onto my in-home computer machine and accessed the world-wide-web to uncover the wacky ways of Otto & George. NOTHING made me laugh harder- Impractical Jokers came close in 2nd place. But oh my gosh- George made me chuckle so hard I swear I was lifted to a better place, even if just for- sorry, quoting “Hardball” now. But I also read up on Otto, and it broke my heart to learn that he had passed away the year before. He, like myself, were “born too late” (not a negative thing, just relate more to old times). We appreciate The Godfather, comedy shorts, and so on. I think we would’ve had some great back-and-forth convos on social media.
Once I discover someone’s comedy or whatever else- I seek out interviews, sets, etc. I think it’s awesome Otto was able to make a living for decades with his act, and how many people can say they have a Lennon story?! So that’s the reason I chose to name it “Otto’s” Comedy Club. Sorry George, but your name will get out there too! THEY’RE READIN’ THIS RIGHT NOW, YOU DUMB BASTAHD!
“Jeni’s Food ‘N Pub” is for Richard Jeni. I think the first time I saw him was in “The Mask” with Jim Carrey back in ’94. Now, let me get this outta the way- I’m not crazy that he took his own life. But we’ve all read up on what went down. And that’s all I have to say about that. Anyways, brilliant comic. Such a suave presence, his star never got so big that we said “oh, THIS guy AGAIN?” He was a part of the pre-internet comedy world. Lots of Late Night Talk Show appearances, SHOWTIME & HBO specials, OH- did I mention he too appeared in “The Aristocrats”?! Heck, the club may be named that!?!
I never found many interviews with Jeni, but damn what a career in comedy he had. If he were still with us, I think we’d have a few Netflix specials, movie appearances and a great social media presence. Tons of great sets & bits online, such a talent.
Why Kent, Covington or Lakepointe?! The nearest Comedy Club to me is miles and miles away. Wouldn’t be like an Autozone across the street from an O’Reilly’s! I don’t even know of any places around here that do open mics. The concept is simple: a small club that takes care of comics. You eat, laugh & come back for more. I’m not that Shark Tank guy who’s like “T-SHIRTS, BUTTONS- GIFT SHOP!” Comics should have options. You wanna record a podcast (host or guest), guess what- during the day you can do so (like Dom Irrera’s Laugh Factory podcast on stage). You wanna sell merch, do a meet-n-greet? sure. If not, then don’t.
Now, I’ve watched enough specials and sets to know that you don’t want people spitting out their food ‘n drinks while laughing. No one taking your order during a comic’s set. Jeni’s Food ‘N Pub will be attached, but not in the main room. However, you can watch the stage from the bar. It’s hard to keep the laughs in the room when you’re playing MSG. Small, low-ceiling, intimate room (with AC). Not too small though, not a basement but an extended man-cave.
Okay- don’t leave- but just understand that you’ll have to go without recording on your fancy portable mobile talking phones! Not asking that people check them in, cause I’d lose 50%+ of business right there. But understand that comics work on material in clubs. You’re not being hired on to film their special. Calm down. You can still “check in” on your app or whatever.
What kind of food do you ask? Well, that’s something I haven’t really decided on. Maybe the first buffet-comedy spot? LOL fill up a plate, take a seat then spit ‘n spill your food on the stage! Nope. There’ll be tables for you to sit at by the stage, but only for drinks and lighting. What kind of food do you picture when you think of a comedy club? Oh, and we’ll do our best to fulfill every comedian’s rider. Unless it’s drugs. We might be able to send out an UberCrack but no guarantees!
Dream big, but live in the real world. Every business starts out small. Plan out everything, but things could be vastly different. I just wanna open a kick-ass comedy club with a food ‘n pub (<– not Roadhouse Double Deuce but more of a Mayberry type feel!) Help comics starting out make a name for themselves, attract headliners, touring acts, big names. I know, it doesn’t sound revolutionary or different. Well, it’s not! I just want something near me, too many auto parts stores, paint stores & golly them Starbucks are opening next door to eachother!
Where.. where are the laughs, Mr. Fredo? I think crowdfunding could help start things up. And/or a small business loan. I’d **like** to get this up and running next year or in 2019, but time is on my side. I’ll keep you updated with anything and everything here so come on back!