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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Comedy extravaganza lives up to the billing

What a night! What a show!

Friday night saw the first ever live What's So Funny?... Actually, I'm not sure that's what it was, but a case could be made for it. It was a fundraiser for our host station, Co-op Radio. When we first decided to mount the live show, having never done one before, the fear was that we'd get 12 people show up in a room that holds a couple hundred. But I figured I'd seen plenty of shows with miniscule crowds over the years, and any ticket sold was a net gain, thanks to the generosity of the six comedians, four musicians, and Pat's Pub, who all gave their services to the cause.

In the few weeks before the big event, we had sold 30-odd tickets. By the day of the show, we topped out at 70 so we were thrilled. And we had almost as many walk-ups, making it standing room only. Unbelievable. In all, we raised over $1500 for the station, which is about $1000 more than I've ever raised before.

Best of all, it was a kick-ass show. James Danderfer and the What's So Funny? Orchestra, featuring Pat Metzger on bass and Joe Poole on drums and Danderfer on clarinet and bass clarinet, warmed up the crowd until showtime and were fantastic, as usual. They even played our theme song, The Song is You, to bring me up.

Yes, I emceed, and I apologize. But I kinda had to. I certainly wasn't your typical comedy show emcee because I wasn't funny, but I had a different role. I had some announcements I had to make, bring Co-op's Viveca Ellis to the stage to make more announcements, make draws for prizes from Yuk Yuk's and the Comedy MIX, ask a couple questions to the comics after their sets, and move the show along. I had solid pros on so I knew they could handle the comedy. And boy did they ever.

What a line-up. Dino Archie got things started, followed by Erica Sigurdson, Charlie Demers, Shirley Gnome, Graham Clark and Ivan Decker. The crowd loved every single one. People were sitting on the floor with their pitchers of beer below the stage soaking in every joke.

And when the comedy ended, my old pal Eric Cottrell of She Was the Law played us out with our closing theme song and then sang some of his original songs while people mingled. It really was a special night. If you made it out, thank you very much. We appreciate it. If you didn't, well, I'll let you know if we ever do another one.

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