The very first live edition of Comedy 101 debuted on October 28, 2015 at the Bennington Family Thanksgiving Live Show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, and now for the first time ever, we’ve put the hour on iTunes for everyone to hear.
Comedy 101 puts open mic comedy acts together with four mentors, all New York crowd work pros. It’s an open mic meets a roast, as we send our young rookie open mic comics up like lambs to a slaughter– because our panel of mentors aren’t actually the advice giving types. Our open mic performers have to tell a joke, and fast, or they’ll be the joke.
New York club heavyweights Luis J. Gomez, Dan Soder, Joe List and Rich Vos served as our very first panel of mentors, sitting in judgement, with a bell ready to ring in to give “advice” to our open mic’ers. For the series debut, Jerry Lalee, Grant Lindahl, Rachel Joan, Freddie G, and Phil, plus a surprise guest took the stage. Ron Bennington and Gail Bennington hosted the show bringing up the open mic’ers to face the crowd and the mentors. The interruptions were fast, frequent and funny as fuck.
The new hour show killed in front of a packed out, standing room only crowd at The Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. It was a no holds barred night with some brutal advice and everyone had a blast.
Jerry Lalee was the first to brave the panel attempting to tell a story about shitting himself at the beach, and was interrupted right out of the gate by the Puerto Rican Rattlesnake Luis J. Gomez with some advice on how to start a set. Rich Vos jumped in seconds later with some even better advice, “never take advice from a Puerto Rican.” Soder suggested Lalee lose his school shooter laugh, Joe List rang in with “keep the school shooter look though,” and everyone learned that Rich Vos doesn’t know how to pronounce the word “bidet.”
Open mic comic and improv artist Grant Lindahl was immediately told he looked like a Victorian couch, but managed to get a few jokes out in between some brilliant shots from the panel. Long Island mic’er Rachel Joan disappointed everyone by being actually funny, she was the first to get a shot in at the judges, and she got offered a ride home by Rich Vos. South Korean born comedian Brian Kim learned he had a super power, the panel shredded Freddie G before he even got his first sentence out, but got his revenge right before heading off stage……and then there was Phil. Words can’t describe the magic that took place when odd open mic’er Phil took the stage. You’ll have to listen to the show to soak it all in for yourself.
Read more about our first episode of Comedy 101 here.