Laugh Out Loud
Comedy Clubs a Great Date Night Option
Comic relief is no joke.
When people walk into a comedy club for a show, they often appear stressed and high-strung. But when they leave it’s with a smile stretched across their face, residual tears of laughter on their cheeks and an air of light-heartedness.
“Live comedy is medicine for the soul,” says Jeremy Aevermann, owner of Liquid Laughs Comedy Club in Boise.
Few things are as rejuvenating as a good laugh. For little more than the price of a movie admission, you can snag a ticket to a local comedy show. There’s something for everyone, from standup clubs to improv joints to family-friendly comedy specials.
If you’ve never attended a comedy club, it may be time to give it a shot.
“There is nothing like live entertainment,” says Keith Stubbs, comedian and owner of Wiseguys Comedy in Salt Lake City, Ogden and Jordan Landing. “There is a different energy to live entertainment because anything can happen. The material is usually created then and there, and it’s interactive.”
A good comedian works off the crowd, so no two shows are the same. Well-known comedians have popular material they perform regularly but create fresh content all the time. They find the humor in what’s happening in the world and their life and go off that, Stubbs says.
“We try to book a broad range of comedians from all different backgrounds, beliefs and nationalities to appeal to a broad audience,” he says.
The typical comedy club format is a host, a feature and a headliner. By design, the comedians are funnier as the night goes on.
Of course, what’s funny to one crowd may not be as knee-slapping to the next, but that’s what’s great about comedy in the digital age — just Google a comedian’s name ahead of time. Most have videos on YouTube or Instagram or a following on Twitter or Facebook. Some clubs, like Wiseguys, include suggested ratings for shows on their websites, and many clubs are for ages 21 and up.
“Comedy is more accessible now than it used to be,” Stubbs says. “Comedians are able to make contact with their fans easier through social media and podcasts, and develop fan bases. Back in the day, the only way to really make it was if you had an HBO special or you were on the ‘Tonight Show’ with Carson.”
If you’re a stickler for clean comedy, you’ll feel safe at Dry Bar Comedy in Provo. Unlike a typical club, Dry Bar records comedy specials in front of a live audience, which are later aired on social media. They generally film on weekends in the fall, but dates for other times pop up now and then.
Regional clubs frequently bring in national headliners, and many bigger-name comics actually got their start at clubs like Wiseguys or Liquid Laughs. But don’t hold off going to a show until you recognize the name. Aevermann says his club always gets a big crowd when Pauly Shore or Tom Green come to town, but the undiscovered comedians usually draw the biggest laughs.
“They are almost always better than any big-name comic because they’re hungry, they’re young, they are trying super hard,” Aevermann says. “The best shows I’ve ever seen are people I’ve never heard of.”
Shows featuring lesser-known comedians are less expensive, too, with tickets as low as $15. Expect to pay at least $25-$30 for more established comedians.
“Just go and break out of your own skin,” Aevermann says. “At the end of the day it’s the real-world stuff that is the funniest, and if we can’t laugh at real-world stuff, what are we doing?”