Patrick Hastie, along with fellow comedian Gideon Hambright, hosts the stand up show JACKKNIFE COMEDY. The two year anniversary of the show is Thursday June 2nd at 8pm at The Creek and The Cave in Queens and will feature Joe Zimmerman (Conan), Rob Haze (Adam Devine’s House Party), Sarah Tollemache (AXS Gotham Live), Liza Treyger (Comedy Central’s The Half Hour) and more! If you are in the NYC area you should totally come because it is going to rule.
Hey folks! Guess what? Comedy is cool right now! Everyone is talking about it. TV loves comedy. The internet loves comedy. I love comedy. Hi, my name is Patrick and I’m a comedian in Brooklyn, New York.
One of my favorite things about comedy is when you get to go to a really good, really well produced comedy show. Sometimes it’s one that everyone knows about. Sometimes it’s like a secret. Either way, when people pour their heart and soul into producing something awesome with the sole purpose of making a room full of people have fun, that’s the best.
I asked a bunch of my favorite comedians from all around the country to tell me about their favorite local shows. These are their responses! If you live in one of these cities, or if you’re visiting, make sure to check out these shows and never stop supporting cool people doing cool stuff! Start off of course, by coming out to the Creek and the Cave Thursday June 2nd to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of Jackknife Comedy.
My favorite show happening right now is LATE LATE BREAKFAST at The Creek and The Cave. It was started in Chicago by Tyler Jackson and Liz and Danny Maupin who are franchising out to different scenes across the country, not to mention the festival circuit. This NYC edition, hosted by Peggy O’Leary and Lindsay Boling, is the perfect mix of stand up, stunts, camaraderie and competition. You have to check it out!
MERMAID COMEDY HOUR is my pick. Really diverse lineups, plus the showcase is all women. To go to Mermaid is the quickest way to dispel some dumbass’ rumor that all women comics talk about the same thing. I have never seen an exact copy of a Mermaid lineup anywhere around town. Plus a real crowd and a bar and a great host (Valerie Tosi) – what else do you need?
THE PAPER MACHETE in Chicago at the legendary The Green Mill is my favorite show in the country right now. Even though the show is at 3pm on Saturdays, it’s always packed with hard drink’n Chicagoans that are there, god forbid, to laugh. Created and hosted by the amazing Christopher Piatt, it’s a “weekly magazine” that hosts comedy, story telling, essays, music and also one of the most prolific and consistent great comics out there Josh Zagoren as Chad The Bird. There’s nothing else like it, except REALLY REALLY great pancakes! Paper Machete is the great pancakes of comedy shows!
I picked 3, because I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them and I suffer from option anxiety. 1) THE CENTRAL COMEDY SHOW is consistently stocked with cool people in a tiny black box studio with a LOT of wine and Isaac Novak’s posters are WOW! 2) LOUDMOUTH CUNTS is booked by women, for women and is consistently one of my favorite shows to go watch, also best name ever! 3) SUPER SECRET SHOW is a bi-monthly, late night show in an improv theater, it’s always packed and the lineups are always ridiculous.
Beside all the shows at ACME COMEDY CO, I’d say my favorite local show is BOY KISSES on Sunday nights at Universal Games (a board game store and coffee shop). My home club is Acme though, and they’ve always let me do whatever I want on stage. It’s a free and creative environment and they have never hesitated to book me because I’m female like a lot of other clubs have. Over the last thirteen years, I’ve had several clubs say something along the lines of ‘Oh, I’m sorry. We can’t book you in June, because we are already having a female comedian coming in April.’ About five years back during my headline week at Acme, I looked at the schedule that month and every week was a female headliner. It wasn’t a special month or anything. That’s just what worked out with those comics’ schedules. Man, is it nice to have the support of club like that. Right now, Minneapolis is developing at a rapid rate, and the city planning commission is making it extremely hard on the small businesses like Acme by taking up all street and public lots for new luxury apartment developments. Acme used to be one of the only businesses in the warehouse district that stuck with it, even when it was shady. It was the only draw to the area for most and one of the reasons, along with some other art spaces that people want to live in that part of town. There’s a petition people can sign to help Acme stay afloat by getting city planners not to take our parking away. If it were like NYC, it’d be no problem, but most show-goers come in from out of town where no buses go, and they need parking. These people won’t come if they have to park a mile away in -20 degree weather either. The club will go out of business without these folks, and that would be a big loss for the city and the comedy community on a national level.
My favorite show to do in Philly is WHAT’S MY LINE put together by Dave Metter along with Good Good Comedy. It’s based on the old game show. Dave hosts it. He has me in as a panelist when I’m in town and I absolutely love doing it. For the show, you sit with three other comedian panelists and you guess with yes or no questions what the guest’s line of work is in 10 questions or less. Some of the guests when I’ve played have been the announcer for the Phillies, somebody who was on Shark Tank, and a dog who competed in the Puppy Bowl. It’s my favorite things combined together: comedy, competition, and not having to prepare.
One of my favorite stand up shows in D.C. is DON’T BLOCK THE BOX at The Wonderland Ballroom (which just celebrated its 6th anniversary in May!). You get to see comics who’ve been in the scene for a while shine for 30 minutes plus in a place that is most definitely not a ballroom but certainly a wonderland of good food, beer and people. It’s one of the longest running comedy shows outside of a club in the city. With the talent I’ve seen come through there — and the growth in our scene — I think it’ll stay that way.
When I think of stand up in Austin, I think of LIVE AT COLDTOWNE. The show has been consistently run by someone who has their eye on the scene, so for a lot of comics in town it’s the first showcase they get to be on. It’s always a great mix of seasoned comics crushing and newer comics excitedly/nervously doing their best 5 minutes, but even when a comic is clearly green they always have a few gems in there and it’s fun to see their potential. The cozy room sits about 40 people and sells out easily, so it’s best to get tickets in advance!” Live at ColdTowne is every Friday at 10pm.
My favorite show in Des Moines right now is ADULT PIZZA PARTY, not only because it sounds like an orgy where people live out pizza fantasies, but because it’s a solid room and the host Tommy Morgan books really fun, diverse lineups of hard working comics. Major shoutout to THE BOMB SHELTER, a legacy show at the Beechwood, which is good for the same reasons, save for the pizza buffet. Ryan Solomon and Toll McGrane are gems.
My favorite show in Denver is LUCHA LIBRE & LAUGHS. It’s a hybrid show that combines pro wrestling with stand up comedy sets between the matches. It’s really great, ran by Nick Gossert, and on commentary Sam Tallent and Nathan Lund are the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.
COMEDIANS YOU SHOULD KNOW is the best show in Chicago. Hands down. It was when I moved here, and it will be when I am in the cold earth. It is always brimming with the cream of the comics in the city, along with the best in the country stopping by for a surprise set. Also, my favorite buffalo wings of any show are served. Every Wednesday at Timothy O’Tooles.
SECRET MEETING is a bi-weekly comedy show, falling every other Thursday at Pine Box Rock Shop in Bushwick (Morgan L). This showcase of silliness is the love child of Eli Yudin (Paste Magazine) and Casey James Salengo (Fuse TV) , two tall glasses of whatever refreshing drink makes you laugh the most. I’m not-so-secretly in love with both of them and I love chilling in the majestically wood-paneled back room to enjoy the fantastic lineups.
One of my favorite shows in St. Louis is FATAL BUS ACCIDENT at The Heavy Anchor. It’s a monthly sketch/talk show. Every month is packed with awesome sketches and videos and stand up. It’s a new show, but has quickly become one of the most original in town.
My favorite show in Chicago is WE STILL LIKE YOU. It’s a monthly show that showcases stand up comedians and other hilarious/great people telling a story of great shame that they maybe have never told an audience before. After their story, everyone shouts “we still like you!” and takes a drink together. The show has been in theaters, backyards, and apartments and I love how no matter where it’s at and what gets said, everyone is there to support each other in the end. It’s one of the few shows that I make a point of going to every single time.
LA’s comedy scene is crazy diverse. From house party shows, to hybrid comedy put togethers, all the way to the best clubs in the nation, but one stand-out and my personal favorite show is POWER VIOLENCE. The PV crew packs energy, weirdness, celebrities, and (most importantly) a genuineness to their art. The PV crew bleeds friendship, fun, and authenticity. To me, that’s what makes comedy great. Also, Mark Hoppus played Blink songs at one of their shows once. I mean COME ON!!!!!
ROAST YOURSELF is an original monthly show hosted by Mike Perry at the Slowdown in Omaha, NE. Audiences love roasts and when they go to a roast they want to see people burned alive. People get impatient when they don’t get what they want and Roast Yourself doesn’t mind making them wait. That’s what makes this show so much fun and such a challenge for the comedians. Before any roasting takes place, comics have to perform seven minutes of their regular material to an audience that can’t wait for them to feel pain. While they’re on stage telling jokes to a half-interested crowd, a panel of three other comedians – Mike Perry and two guests – are writing roast jokes based on the comedian’s material and appearance in first-person for them to read when their time is up. In other words, Roast Yourself asks the question: What could make bombing for seven minutes even worse? The answer is standing on stage for five more minutes tearing your set and yourself apart, but at least now the audience is laughing.
For my money, there aren’t many shows better than BACKFAT VARIETY. The show dips its toe in a little of everything and produces an outstanding non-standard comedy experience. From a 64 comic one-liner competition to a full on murder mystery investigation, BackFat not only does it all, it does it all in a killer way for free.
There are a lot of unique and really fun shows in Denver, but I never miss THE NERD ROAST. On the fourth Friday of every month, comics dress up as opposing pop culture crews and roast each other: DC vs. Marvel, Game of Thrones vs. Lord of the Rings, The Office vs. Parks and Rec. Every month is hilarious and silly and different. Plus, it’s in one of my favorite comedy venues in town, The Comedy Room Room.
You’ve heard of CHURCH NIGHT, right? No? How’s that rock you’re living under? Church Night’s the best, with its variety show send up of down home church services. The show’s creators (Linsay Deming, Landon Letzkus, and Jeremy Frank) have made something magically fun and won audiences all the way from Edinburgh Fringe to LA Webfest. Shows are usually the second Friday of the month at the Black Cat (that club Dave Grohl owns). www.churchnight.org
Looking for a good time in Boston with comedy? Join the fun at THUNDERBAR COMEDY every Thursday night at Wonder Bar in Allston. The only rule is new material/no material. If this is broken, get ready to see comics get shot! With a Nerf gun… which hurts you more emotionally than physically.
In Austin, it’s gotta be BUZZKILL at the Buzz Mill. Katie Pengra started this outdoor show (already a huge hurdle to clear) about two years ago, and it would bring in maybe 10 or 15 people, with another 30 or 40 people retreating to the far end of the bar. Once the show got delayed an hour because the western musical in the earlier timeslot went long. She stuck with it, kept promoting it every week, and now if you do that show you’ll be performing for 100, 150 people. It’s a fantastically fun show.
My favorite show in Oakland is MAN HATERS. It’s run by Ash Fisher and Irene Tu at the historic White Horse Inn in North Oakland – it’s the oldest gay bar in the U.S. The show exclusively features women comics, comics of color, and queer comics from the Bay and beyond. It’s always completely packed out, standing room only with an audience that’s super hot to laugh. I also appreciate their commitment to doing raffles – I think more comedy shows should do them, because I am part carny.
ADULT PIZZA PARTY feels like you’re being invited over to host, Tommy Morgan’s house. Probably because his family runs the restaurant it’s held in. At $10 a ticket, Adult Pizza Party is the priciest regular show in Des Moines, but includes all you can eat pizza and wings, which I would gladly pay for, even without the comedy. Tommy brings in fantastic stand ups from all over, as well as a fresh crowd of people, usually unseen at other shows around Des Moines. Also, if you are in Des Moines, you don’t want to miss Dan Umthun’s UNDERGROUND COMEDY shows (which you can find out about at undergroundcomedy.org). Dan and his Underground Comedy shows, have been a staple of the Des Moines comedy scene for more than half a decade, and for good reason!
One of the coolest concept shows in Phoenix is THE STORRS OBJECTION. It’s produced by Matt Storrs, a comedian who also happens to be a lawyer. Matt and an another comic serve as co-counsel during the show, interjecting with fact checks during comics’ sets. It’s all the fun of court proceedings, but in a comedy show!