Friday, April 30, 2010

Catching Dave Dyer's Act

Comedian Dave Dyer headlined a multi-comic act Tuesday night at Grumpy Dave's Pub.

A Grand Rapids, Mich. native, Dyer pokes fun that he was the unsuccessful son in a four-child home.

Below is an audio clip featuring snippets of Dyer's act and interviews after the performance featuring owner Steve Sabo and operation and acquisition manager Tim Hoyt of Inside Joke Productions.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Audiences pour out billions for comedy

Comedy always laughs to the bank.

Each year, millions of Americans and billions of dollars are spent on comedy movies.

Whether we go to escape the reality of the cruel world or visit the theaters to change our lousy moods, Hollywood can always count on comedy to rake in the big bucks.

Just recently, 2009 breakout movie "The Hangover" received the distinction of being the top-grossing, R-rated comedy film ever. The movie brought in $277 million and ranks third among all R-rated movies ever.

Movies use the term "gross," which means the total income generated from the movie prior to deducting expenses such as production and actor costs.

Other 2009 movies ranking grossing high include "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" with $177 million, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" with $146 million, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" with $122 million and "Couples Retreat with $107 million.

"Julia & Julia," "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail," "Zombieland," "Hotel for Dogs," and "I Love You, Man" grossing $71 million round out the top ten from last year.

Outside of "The Hangover," 2009 fails in comparison to other comedy movies in years past.

Here is a list of the top-grossing comedies of all time with the figures adjusted for inflation, according to

One note of interest: No. 10's "Meet the Fockers" is the only movie in the top 10 from the past decade.
RankTitleGross Domestic Box OfficeAdjusted Gross Domestic Box Office1
1Beverly Hills Cop (Paramount / 1984)$234,760,478$433,887,669
2Home Alone (20th Century Fox / 1990)$281,493,907$413,257,012
3Tootsie (Columbia Pictures / 1982)$177,200,000$409,075,093
4Blazing Saddles (Warner Brothers / 1974)$119,500,000$404,656,100
5National Lampoon's Animal House (Universal Pictures / 1978)$141,600,000$383,297,700
6Mrs. Doubtfire (20th Century Fox / 1993)$219,194,773$321,796,582
7Three Men and a Baby (Touchstone Pictures / 1987)$167,780,960$310,095,167
8Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me (New Line Cinema / 1999)$205,444,716$305,218,107
9Beverly Hills Cop 2 (Paramount Pictures / 1987)$151,663,265$280,306,213
10Meet the Fockers (Universal Pictures / 2004)$279,167,575$279,167,575
11Liar Liar (Universal Pictures / 1997)$181,395,380$269,489,309
12There's Something About Mary (20th Century Fox / 1998)$176,484,651$262,193,704
13My Big Fat Greek Wedding (IFC Films / 2002)$241,437,427$258,059,625
14Porky's (20th Century Fox / 1982)$111,289,673$256,917,795
15Home Alone 2 (20th Century Fox / 1992)$172,676,450$253,503,724
16Look Who's Talking (Tristar Pictures / 1989)$136,950,770$253,114,370
17Bruce Almighty (Universal Pictures / 2003)$242,589,580$249,831,060
18Big Daddy (Columbia Pictures / 1999)$163,479,795$242,873,093
19The Waterboy (Touchstone Pictures / 1998)$161,487,252$239,912,879
209 to 5 (20th Century Fox / 1980)$103,290,500$238,451,303
21Coming to America (Paramount Pictures / 1988)$128,113,607$236,781,399
22Stir Crazy (Columbia Pictures / 1980)$101,300,000$233,856,134
23Austin Powers in Goldmember (New Line Cinema / 2002)$213,079,163$227,748,985
24Trading Places (Paramount Pictures / 1983)$90,404,800$208,704,018
25Stripes (Columbia Pictures / 1981)$85,297,000$196,912,405

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Improv props up at BGSU

Dozens of students entertained an audience and donated money to charity during the Ninth Annual Improv-A-Thon.

In front of the Union on Friday, theatre honorary fraternity Theta Alpha Phi hosted a 10-hour charity marathon of improv, or the act of performing comedy without any preparation.

Any student buying a T-shirt could participate in the sketches.

A portion of the funds received will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, said Justin Campbell, senior and fraternity member.

“It’s a lot of fun. I love improv comedy even though I’m not good at it,” Campbell said.

The event is a success each year because of the positive reaction from students and their overwhelming participation in the comedic sketches, Campbell said.

“This is one of the best things I have ever done and it’s something that is really unique,” he said.
Some of the skits performed during this year’s Star Trek-themed Improv-A-Thon include:

• Kenny: “Kenny” acts as the person no one likes in a group of friends, yet always invites himself out. The performers play out a scene depicting the awkward situation.
• The Dating Game: Similar to the popular TV game show, contestants act out question-and-answer segments.
• The Party Game: Students guess what weird objects people bring to a party.
• Don Pardo: In honor of the former game show announcer, students play charades to guess wacky prizes.

This is one of the fraternity’s biggest events or fundraisers of the year, said Pat Mahood, senior and fraternity member.

“It definitely takes a lot of work and effort to get it done,” he said. “It’s sort of an endurance trial of imrpov.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The greatest TV skit ever

Just because it's my blog and I can post whatever I want:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Great clubs stretching past northwest Ohio

Earlier this week, Northwest Ohio Comedy took a look at the comedy venues in and around northwest Ohio.

But comedy stretches much farther than the heartland of America.

Wondering where some of the funniest comedians perform?

In 2005, USA Today writers traveled across the country to the find the elitists of comedy clubs.

And after traveling to hundreds of clubs and listening to dozens of experts, the newpspaer compiled what they believed to be the top-ten clubs in the United States.

Here is their list of the craziest chuckle clubs:

The Laugh Factory, Los Angeles, 323-656-1336

Richard Pryor got his start here, Saturday Night Live alum Jon Lovitz holds forth on Wednesday nights and Fox TV's Comic Strip Live is taped here on Saturdays. "So many comedians move to Hollywood, (the club) always has a good choice" of headliners.

The Punch Line, San Francisco, 415-397-7573,

Margaret Cho, Dave Chapelle and other cutting-edge stars have graced the Punch Line, which bills itself as the city's longest-running and only full-time comedy club.

Gotham, New York, 212-367-9000

Its chic ambience ices the cake of decent prices and good sight lines. When comics are happy, the crowds are, too.

The Comedy Club at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, 609-317-1000

A "tremendous room" in both senses, it's also a rarity — it holds about 900 people. The room boasts tiered seating and "understated, classy décor."

The Riviera Comedy Club, Las Vegas, 877-892-7469

Booked "consistently well" by Steve Schirripa (who plays Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri on HBO's The Sopranos), this club "always has three or four comics on the bill, usually from L.A. or New York.

The Punchline, Atlanta, 404-252-5233

This might be the best club in the country, with its top acts and a room that holds "185 rabid comedy fans." The stage that has featured such stars as Robin Williams.

Hilarities 4th Street Theatre, Cleveland, 216-241-7425

The old Hilarities Comedy Hall helped revive the city's historic Warehouse District; its successor is part of a restaurant and entertainment facility. Although the theater can hold up to 425 guests, it still feels intimate.

Charlie Goodnight's, Raleigh, N.C., 919-828-5233

A lot of stand-up comics come from the South, and they'll base themselves here, or Atlanta or Chattanooga. The greats and near-greats have autographed the stage wall, where one yukster scrawled, "Raleigh: Where Barney Fife goes to party.

Bear's Place Ale House & Eatery, Bloomington, Ind., 812-339-3460

This one, just off the Indiana University campus, presents its "Comedy Caravan" only two nights a week, but it gets packed, and everybody who's anybody in comedy has played there — there are pictures of them on the walls.

Note: Comix Cafe, located in Tonawanda, N.Y. shut down and no longer exists. It was on the top 10 list

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Locating the laughs

Several comedy clubs and venues exist in and around the northwest Ohio area.

Below are 20 locations all within a two-hour drive from Bowling Green, Ohio.

The different marks indicate:
Red: Clubs located within 20 miles of Bowling Green, Ohio
Blue: Micigan comedy clubs
Green: Offering hypnosis/magic in acts
Yellow: Improv
Purple: Open mic nights

Click each placement for more detailed information, pictures and links.

Click the link below the map to view a bigger map.

View Locating the laughs in a larger map

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Curing other ailments of failed acts

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 08:  (FILE PHOTO) Come...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

We read earlier this week stage fright is a daunting characteristic of bad comedians.

But what are some other tumultuous tendencies comedians use in their set which can turn their performance from promising to detrimental?

After visiting comedy clubs, doing research and writing this blog for three months, I have come up with annoyances turning me off from a performance. Maybe up-and-coming comedians can learn a thing or two.

1. Excessive swearing.

Swear words get a rise out of the crowd when used emphatically. But to me, it's just a lazy substitute for word that could be better suited.

It seems the louder a comic screams "asshole" or "son of a bitch", they expect the crowd to laugh because it's a "naughty" word.

While George Carlin's "The Seven Words" joke is one of the greatest bits in the history of comedy, it shouldn't be the model of comedy. when modern-day comedians rely on these words, it can come across as ignorant and lazy. Someone wanting substance in their comedy won't get it from repeatedly hearing the "f," "S," and even the dreaded "c word."

2. Singling out audiences members.
Chrissy Burns performed a truly awesome set at Grumpy Dave's Pub on March 2. She was creative, brilliant and made fun of her insecurities when on stage.

But one bit of her material irked me really badly. She kept calling one of the audience members out, saying how she wanted to take him home and basically have sex with him.

Funny the first time. Tired after the fifth time. Horrible after a couple dozen times stated.

I believe the audience gets turned off when they are singling out one member of the crowd. It becomes then the entertainer is not performing their function of pleasing a large group.

When journalists write profile stories, they don't concentrate on the one person. They need to include all aspects of that person's life within the article.

3. Egomaniacs

Most comedians performing in northwest Ohio are here because they can't get gigs in more luxurious, higher-paying cities.

But that's OK for many.

Comedian Steve Brewer said he gives 100 percent into every performance, regardless of location, time, day or number of attendees.

This should be the mindset of not only comedians, but people in life. Put forth your best effort into every aspect of your life. It can only pay dividends for whatever endeavor you choose, especially comedy.

What are some things or tendencies comedians do that annoy you? Let me know in the comments section!

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to cure stage fright

Silence. Fear. Apprehension.

These are the worst qualities a comedian can display when on stage.

Lacking confidence and forgetting the basic elements of what makes a comedian successful can be detrimental to a performance.

Audiences will see right through a weak act. The comic-in-question will never get the deserved laughs he or she deserves because of insecurities plaguing one's performance.

The No. 1 principle a comedian must embody is believing their jokes are funny. According to Steve Sabo, owner of Inside Joke Productions, a joke is good as long as you think it is. It's just a matter of telling and delivering the joke in a certain way.

This is where the confidence needs to kick in.

To remedy stage fright, here are exerts from Steve Roye's article "Becoming a Comedian: Overcoming Stage Fright" written for Article Alley. These article could come in handy for an upcoming amateur contest.

1. Own the stage

"As soon as I am introduced, the stage is mine. The building is mine. The entire property is MINE until I relinquish the microphone. The seats that the audience is sitting in are mine."

2. Take your time

"Speak at your natural speech rate. The more the audience sees that you are at your leisure, the more comfortable they will be and the more confident you will appear."

3. Be prepared

"Rehearsal can only boost your confidence. And confidence is a critical factor in overcoming stage fright."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Amateur comics to compete for cash at Grumpy Dave's Pub

Aspiring comedians will have the chance to be treated like professionals for one night.

Inside Joke Productions will host the Best in the Midwest Amateur Comedy Competition at Grumpy Dave's Pub on April 23. The event begins at 9:30 p.m. with the comedians expected to hit the stage shortly thereafter.

The contest is open to any amateur including University students, said Tim Hoyt, operation and acquisition manager of Inside Joke Productions; however all spots are booked as of March 25.

Amateurs wishing to compete can contact Inside Joke Productions ( for more information.

An amateur is considered someone who hasn't received money more than five times for comedy sets in the past, according to Hoyt.

Hoyt, who will be one of the 15 competitors and hopes to be a professional comedian, said money is not important to him. All that matters to Hoyt is supplying laughter while entertaining audiences during a set.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity," Hoyt said. "My whole goal [in comedy] is making people laugh and wanting people to have fun."

To avoid a conflict of interest, Hoyt said he will not be affiliated with Inside Joke Productions for the event. He will solely be a competing comedian on April 23.

The winner of the contest will receive $100 in cash. Second and third places will receive $40 and $20 gift certificates to Grumpy Dave's Pub located above Easy Street Café at 104 S. Main St.

A fee of $5 is required for all entrants.

Steve Sabo, owner of Inside Joke Productions, said the competition will give nonprofessional comedians the prospect to test their comical skills in front of a live audience.

"It's an opportunity for somebody that hasn't done comedy before, [or] has only done comedy a couple of times, to actually get some stage time," Sabo said.

The winner will be decided by a panel of three judges, one of which will be a random audience member. Grumpy Dave will be the tie-breaking vote if necessary.

Sabo said the winner will not be guaranteed a comedy deal or future shows. Yet, that night's comedy champ will be awarded professional advice, such as writing jokes and presenting material, in hopes to get sets in the future.

Hoyt is looking forward to next month's event. Even though he will be facing tough competition, Hoyt is excited people care about comedy in the area.

"It shows comedy is still growing and it's alive and well in the Bowling Green/Toledo area."

As a professional comic, Sabo knows what makes or breaks a comic on stage. Here are some tips he offers to help aspiring comedians for the competition.
* Prepare: Make sure you've done your stuff over and over and over again so you know it. Once the light hits you, it's a whole different world.
*Don't second guess yourself: If you think the material is funny, it probably is.
*Don't freeze or panic: If the audience doesn't like the first joke, go on to the next one.
*Make eye contact
* Don't take it too seriously: It's fun

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Related links to help amateur comedians:
Standup 411
Joke Starter

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Comedians take painful stabs at health care bill

Health care is a big deal -- even to comedians.

After the House of Representatives narrowly passed a resolution (219-212 Sunday) supported by President Barack Obama, health care reform took the important first step of being implemented into the lives of Americans.

The new law, signed by Obama on Tuesday, will be "a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system," according to the New York Times.

Obama then signed into law "a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system" on Tuesday.

What health care means to the future of America

Yet celebrity comedians and late-night show hosts are remedying their cures on what they want in their health-care packages.

Here are some views on health care comedians are prescribing to their audiences. Information compiled by Daniel Kurtzman of

"If conservatives get to call universal healthcare 'socialized medicine,' I get to call private, for-profit healthcare 'soulless, vampire bastards making money off human pain.'" --Bill Maher

"President Obama is turning up the pressure on Congress to pass this health care reform. In fact, he's telling Democrats, if they don't vote for this bill, he will go out and campaign for them in November." -Jay Leno

"It looks like Democrats have their 60 votes for healthcare. Harry Reid said the bill will save us hundreds of millions of dollars. Well, it would have, except for the hundreds of millions of dollars we had to pay to buy the 60 votes." –Jay Leno

"President Obama says that Congress is very close to getting a new health care plan, but due to compromises, it 'won't include everything that everybody wants.' For instance, it covers everything except trips to the doctor or the hospital." –Conan O'Brien

"Well, here's some news. President Obama's healthcare plan passed the Senate Finance Committee this afternoon. Republicans are disappointed because they had their own version of the health plan. That was going to be swine flu masks and Purell." --David Letterman

Got a good joke on health care? Let's hear it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The dirtiest joke ever?

"The Aristocrats" joke is one of the oldest, crudest and most popular jokes throughout the history of comedy.

Comedian Steven Wright said once a stand-up comedian successfully performs the joke, it's as if they have garnered acceptance into the laughable world of comedy.

The joke is awesome because it's not absolute -- it can be told an infinite amount of ways.

The length of the joke can be seconds, minutes or hours long.

Details can be interchanged from comedian to comedian.

The delivery can be loud, soft, deliberate or to the point. The story is up to the comedian.

But there are some constants the joke needs in order to be worthy. The three elements the joke needs are:

1. The setup
The joke always includes a family meeting some sort of entrepreneur or agent in hopes to perform a skill. The family takes part in an act. The most popular one comes from the movie when the family gets involved in a circus routine.

2. The act
This is where the gloves come off. In describing the actions, comedians use gory, bloody, volatile descriptions to get the point across. The family usually performs incest as many sexual acts are performed within the family.

3. The punchline
The punchline always ask with the agent or manager asking the family, "what do you call yourselves?"

The family then replies by emphatically stating, "The Aristocrats!" It makes fun of the social, well-to-do social class by saying the wealthiest of all people are the dirtiest.

Below are two of the funniest clips from the 2005 film, "The Aristocrats" featuring Gilbert Gottfried and Bob Saget:

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The funniest fathers in sitcom

Fathers can provide some of the best funnies on television.

In the real world, fathers are strict, stern guardians. The typical dad wants his son to succeed in sports and his daughter to avoid boys.

And while fatherly values are prevalent throughout many sitcoms -- both past and present -- the dominant males also have an innocence about them. TV dads are the funniest when they are sincere, honest and display a boy-like attitude in all facets of adulthood. Most of the time, these notations show stupidity, but capitalize on humor.

Phil Dunphy of ABC's Modern Family is the funniest father on television today.

He is hilarious because he resembles a father of a modern family: trying to stay hip with his children, impressing his wife at all costs and not thinking about the repercussions of his actions.

Full episodes of Modern Family can be watched at

Who are your favorite funny fathers? Do you agree with this list? Let your voice be heard in the comment section.

Here are some of my other favorite TV dads:

Homer Simpson ("The Simpsons")

Bill Cosby ("The Cosby Show")

Frank Costanza ("Seinfeld")

Martin Crane ("Frasier")

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

NWOH-it-all: Steve Brewer

Steve Brewer is no stranger to comedy.

Performing in hundreds of venues for nearly a quarter-century, Brewer doesn't treat any performance different from one another. He said he treat each one as if it's the most important show.

Before his Tuesday show at Grumpy Dave's Pub, Brewer chatted with Northwest Ohio Comedy via phone interview.

Brewer shares how he got his start, his opinion on comedy in smaller venues and where he enjoys going when in Bowling Green.

Hometown: Detroit

Age: 39

Years Professional: 23

Approximate number of shows performed yearly: 150 to 200.

Comedic Influences/Inspirations: George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce.

You might know Brewer from: Filth Fest:
an unrestricted, uncensored three-man comedy tour specializing in dirty jokes.

Fun fact:
"Guilty pleasure" is riding and refurbishing motorcycles.

Q: When did you first want to be a comedian?
SB: I knew it started in kindergarten when I was required by the teacher to draw what I wanted to be when I grew up. I drew a stand-up comedian standing up on stage telling jokes, saying 'ha-ha.'

Q: How did you get your professional start?
SB: By the time I was 15, I had written my first five minutes of material. I stole a buddy's ID - the guy I worked for at Domino's [Pizza] - so I got into the club. I was hooked. From that point on, I did everything I could to get on stage.

Q: How would you describe your style of comedy?
SB: It's definitely controversial, political, truthful. If nothing else, my show is truthful. When I write, I take an intelligent idea and I try to turn it into a dick joke. I try to make my shows where the doctor goes 'wow this guy is really smart. He took this really great idea and disguising it so that guy can enjoy it.' And I want to guy who doesn't know any better to be able to go, 'ha, he said f***.' I want it to be enjoyable for everyone.

Q: What are the benefits to performing at smaller venues compared to a grander stage?SB: I really, really believe that it's more important to go and do these small shows than it is to do the big shows because these are the people who come out and they might be spending maybe $50 for the night. But that might be their entertainment budget for the entire month. I feel the responsibility of the headliner to go in and to really give them their money's worth and then some.

Q: What does the true value of comedy mean to you?SB: [Comedians] are in a business that is so focused on success that we forget what it is we are actually doing. If we only do this to be on TV, if we only do this to make a huge paycheck, then what is the value?

I started doing this because for that 45 minutes to an hour, [when] I'm on stage, I can make people forget how s***** their life is for that week. I'm actually doing something that's making peoples' lives better. That's where I get my pleasure. 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring comedians?SB: The first thing I tell them is don't. The reason I tell them don't is because it's so hard. It was hard when I was coming up, but now it's just unbelievably difficult and competitive and hard to make a living at.

Really though the best way to do it is to get on stage. There is no secret to it. Perform as much as you possibly can. Do everything you can to get on stage as often as you can. Write, write, write and write. Don't write about the [material] everyone else is writing about. Stay away from whatever seems easy.

Q: What do you enjoy about Bowling Green?
SB: I like Main Street. I like the sense in that kind of two-mile radius from Grumpy Dave's [Pub], it's like a really cool mix of old and new. Its got that kind of sense of community and its also got that we can party deal. And the Pita Pit. Christ that place is awesome. After throwing down a bunch of beers, there is nothing better than Pita Pit.

Q: Why should people come see you Tuesday?
SB: I give the best damn show you will ever see. I give them the same show I would give if I were filming a special or if I were performing for the f****** queen. I give them everything I got, no matter how I feel.

NWOH-it-all: Rye Silverman

Columbus native Rye Silverman will be the feature act Tuesday night at Grumpy Dave's Pub.

Silverman, a nine-year professional comedian, gave some personal insight to a comedian's life in an exclusive phone interview with Northwest Ohio Comedy.

Silverman will be the feature act Tuesday night during comedy night at Grumpy Dave's Pub. He will be opening for headliner Steve Brewer.

The Ohio State University graduate said he's gained passion for comedy over the past decade.

Below are some fun facts, advice and what Silverman plans to do with himself in the near future.

Hometown: Columbus

Age: 28

Years professional: Nine

Approximate number of shows performed yearly: 200

Comedic Inspirations/Influences: Steve Martin, Dana Carvey, David Spade, Mitch Hedberg

You might know Silverman from: Previously performing at Grumpy Dave's Pub. He visits the club twice a year.

Fun Fact: Usually doesn't eat right before a show.

Q: When did you first want to be a comedian?
RS: I've always wanted to do it since I was a kid. I was a giant fan of comedians when I was younger. I really fell in love with it.

Q: How did you get your professional start?
RS: When I was a freshman in college I saw an ad for a local open mike at the Columbus Funny Bone. And I just was like, 'if I don't do this now, I'm never going to do it.' So I made myself go out and do the open mike.

Q: How would you describe your style of comedy?
RS: I'm somebody who's not afraid to take chances. What I do in my act is very personal. It's a lot of stuff from my own life. I embrace my peculiarities and talk about them on-stage, so my act runs the gauntlet of talking about things like having to move back in with my parents to pay off debt, geekiness and even cross-dressing.

Q: As a comedian, what must you do to remain successful?
RS: I think just continuing to hone a quality act. I've gotten to a point in my life where I'm not so concerned about the financial gains from comedy. Thinking how rich you want to be is a mistake. I think you have to do it for pure love of comedy. The more that I make my act into something that I love and the more I am happy with my act , the more I feel like everything will click into place behind it.

Q: How do you stay motivated performing night in and night out?
RS: I'm always fine-tuning and shaping my act into something different. Even if I'm telling the same jokes, I find nuances to them or changes to them or new ways to deliver them. It's almost this rise to constantly be getting better and then the thrill of being on stage. I just love doing comedy I love everything about comedy. It's like a compulsion almost.

Q: Where are some of the places you enjoy visiting when you come to Bowling Green?
RS: Finders Records and Grounds for Thought.

Q: Any big plans in the near future?

RS: I plan on moving to [Los Angeles] to kick my game into the next level. The reason why I'm going to L.A. is because I want to study comedy in a bigger venue and also take classes and hone my craft. It is an art form, in my opinion and I want to take advantage to strengthen my art.

Slideshow from March 2 comedy night at Grumpy Dave's Pub

Click on photos for captions and descriptions from the night's festivities.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Comedian uses awkward silences to impress crowd at Grumpy Dave's Pub

Silence is often considered the muted killer in comedy. When audiences aren't laughing, a comedian's act is usually dying.

Yet professional comedian Kris Shaw thrives off awkward pauses and idle reactions from crowds. He understands and has perfected the art of comedic timing.

"He's got spaces where he uses silence in his act and it actually works in his favor," said Steve Sabo, founder of Inside Jokes Productions and friend to Shaw. "He's got a special quality. He's got an energy, a presence that draws you in."

Shaw headlined the multi-comic show Tuesday night at Grumpy Dave's Pub. Shaw, who performs about 40 shows a month, said his joy for comedy has grown exponentially since his comedy career started seven years ago.

"It's more fun than what it was before," the 36-year-old said. "I like to keep connections with younger crowds and younger audiences and comedians."

Shaw uses life experiences and memorable misfortunes to compliment his raunchy and off-color jokes.

Shaw, who has four daughters and one son, said his house is just like "The Cosby Show" sans the multi-million dollar endorsements. Shaw asked the audience to pray for him as he is in "negotiations" with Telemundo to set up cameras in his house.

All kidding aside, Shaw values the benefits family provides, especially when he is consistently touring away from his home.

"[Family] keeps me balanced. When I go home, I try to make sure my family is my first commitment and then afterwards I go back to jokes," he said.

Veteran Grumpy Davers were impressed and entertained after Shaw's hour long-set.

"I really liked him. He had a different perspective of comedy. He was a really good comedian for Grumpy Dave's," said senior Drew Barnes who has been to comedy night about 25 times before.

Tim Hoyt, marketing manager of Inside Joke Productions, said Shaw's performance "stacked up really well" compared to other comics the company schedules to perform at Grumpy Dave's Pub.

Shaw always has a good time in Bowling Green. Whether it's following the last few people out of the comedy club and into the bars or winding up at Bob Evans before leaving Northwest Ohio, Shaw said he'll keep performing where he's wanted.

"As long as people are coming to support [me], it means they are having fun and enjoyment. When the place is empty, that's when there is a problem."

Blogger's Note: This story was originally published in Friday's online version of The BG News.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Seinfeld Breaks the Bank Yet Again

It's safe to say the majority of comics performing in Northwest Ohio aren't rich.

But most of them are OK with that.

Northwest Ohio-based comedians are entertainers because they truly love comedy.

They don't get on stage purely for money. Venues such as Grumpy Dave's Pub, Connxtions and Fat Fish Blue don't have the capabilities or resources to bring in A-list comedians.

In exchange for money, these venues offer a stage and a headlining vacany local comedians can take advantage of. If the joke is funny, people will still laugh no matter whose mouth it comes out of.

Nevertheless, comedy is a multi-billion dollar industry.

I was stunned to find out 2009's top-earning comedian after listening to a KISS FM radio telecast on Tuesday.

It was none other than Jerry Seinfeld.

Shut up.

No Elaine. You shut up.

Seinfeld raked in $85 million in 2009, according to a Forbes Celebrity Valuation study.

This is impressive, considering Seinfeld has few credits to his name since his mega-popular, self-titled sitcom ended 12 years ago.

Celebrity comedians/actors earn the bulk of their income through syndication (i.e. re-runs) and DVD Sales. Seinfeld also earns millions of dollars because he co-created, produced and wrote episodes for his self-titled sitcom.

Seinfeld has consistently been comedy's top earner each year since his show was in its prime during the mid 1990s.

How rich is Jerry? Well, by my estimations, he could pick up Cosmo Kramer's lunch bill everyday for the next 40 years while leaving a 15 percent tip -- all while still living the luxurious life.

It's safe to say Seinfeld will never have to pick up another script or tell a Superman joke for the rest of his life. He is financially set.

Combined, the top-10 comedic earners of 2009 earned $256 million from June 1, 2008 through June 1, 2009

Here is a breakdown of all other comedians --none of which scheduled to perform at any northwest Ohio venue anytime soon -- that topped Forbes' list:

2.Chris Rock ($42 million)
3.Jeff Dunham ($30 million)
4. Dane Cook ($20 million)
4. George Lopez ($20 million)
6. Howie Mandel ($15 million)
7.Larry the Cable Guy ($13 million)
8.Jeff Foxworthy ($11 million)
9.Terry Fator ($10 million)
9. Russell Peters ($10 million)

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Slideshow from Kris Shaw's show at Grumpy Dave's Pub Tuesday night.

Click on photos for details captions and descriptions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kris Shaw Performing at Grumpy Dave's Pub tonight

Kris Shaw will be providing the funnies tonight at Grumpy Dave's Pub.

The show begins at 9 p.m. with Shaw scheduled to perform an hour into the show.

As reported at Northwest Ohio Comedy and The BG News, Shaw brings his comedy act to Bowling Green where he's previously performed five times prior.

Dan Simon will be the opening act.

Grumpy Dave's Pub is located at 1004 S. Main Street above Easy Street Cafe. Free parking is available on Wooster and Main Streets. Bowling Green doesn't check meters after 5 p.m.

Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for general admission (21-plus).

Check back tomorrow for a full recap, pictures from the show and (hopefully) an interview with Shaw.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What I Want in a Comedy Show

If laughter is medicine, then consider me the healthiest person in the world.

Whether the words come from me, a comic or a situation, I am chuckling loudly at anything I consider even moderately funny.

In fact, if you stand outside my apartment or Bowling Green State University's West Hall -- the two places I spend the majority of my time -- five minutes won't go buy without you hearing me chuckling or cackling prolifically.

Even though laughs aren't hard to produce, there is a certain criteria comics must meet in order for me to enjoy.

There is nothing worse than attending a comedy show and sitting without a smile on your face.

So if you are a comic, here are some tips to make sure the performance is top notch:

Talk about real situations
Anecdotal experiences are stories people can relate to, and enjoy with the comic. Chances are, if you have car trouble or wait in long lines and can find a way to relate it to comedy, people will laugh because they can relate.

We are not against you
Unless there is a rude heckler or a severely immature audience member striving for attention, people attend a comedy club to enjoy the performer. While it might seem like a tough crowd, it's because you are making it that way.

Have your own style
Popular topics are great to talk about such as sex, alcohol and any other indulgence. But every comic needs to have their own spin. We already know how Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and Chris Rock delivers their material, so don't do the same. The world is accepting of comedic diversity.

The audience typically likes being involved in the performance. Even if you are making jokes or slants against them, chances are, they will understand the situation, give you the benefit of the doubt, and laugh along with the audience.

The Jinni Blog posts an insightful blog, detailing who are today's best comics and why they make people laugh.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kris Shaw to perform at Grumpy Dave's on Tuesday

Dave won't be frowning when a well-known comedian makes a stop at his pub this week.

Stand-up comic Kris Shaw will bring his coast-to-coast tour to Grumpy Dave's Pub on Tuesday. Dave Simon will be the warm-up act.

The set starts at 9 p.m. A $3 cover charge will be required for anyone attending (18-plus).

The Indianapolis native has traveled to hundreds of venues across the world in the seven full years he has been a professional, including Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.

Shaw said he has been to Bowling Green at least five times in the past.

Patriotism is important to Shaw. The comic said he tries to thank the military prior to each show.

"I'm glad we have people who want to come over and fight for our country," Shaw said in an interview with U.S. Army. "I want to give back. I'm a giver. I want to entertain and do my part for the country, but I'm not a fighter."

Shaw performed overseas four times for the military and said each performance has been "awesome."

In an exclusive interview via Facebook Chat, Shaw explains how he got his start into comedy.

"My grandmother gave me a joke book in 1978 and I still have it," Shaw recalled when he was 5-years-old. "She owned a beauty salon and I used to go up and down the aisle to all the beauticians and their customers and tell them jokes. I was really shy at the time and it helped me come out of it."

And after being a professional comedian for nearly a decade, Shaw still loves the feeling of entertaining his audience and fans.

"I still do it because I love to see people happy and laughing. It's the highest compliment when you make someone laugh," he said.

Check back next week when Northwest Ohio comedy has a full recap of Shaw's performance.

Below is a clip of Shaw during a set in Jacksonville, Fla.

Video provided by Madison Comedy

Saturday, February 13, 2010

NWOH-it-all: Demetrius Nicodemus

This is the first installment of 'NWOH-it-all' where Northwest Ohio comedy will profile a local comedian providing the funnies to Northwest Ohioans.

This week, we will talk about 92.5 KISSFM personality and stand-up comic Demetrius Nicodemus.

Photo courtesy of Madison

Demetrius Nicodemus is one of the crudest, raunchiest and over-the-top personalities traveling the Northwest Ohio comedy circuit today.

And while his material is nothing new or out of the ordinary, Nicodemus provides a freshness and sense of enjoyment while delivering his jokes.

Unlike comic Artie Lange (who is featured in a Feb. 10 posting below), Nicodemus seems to really love what he is doing. This is evident by the tone of his voice and how he interacts with other on-air personalities during 92.5 KISS FM's "Andrew Z in the Morning" show. The show airs Mondays through Fridays from 5:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

Nicodemus strengthens his comedy by relying upon certain comedy styles valuing timing and creativity. They include anecdotal (story telling), wisecracks (wits) , repartee (comebacks and replies) and Freudian slip (random blurts that come out of nowhere).

Nicodemus, who is a frequent performer at comedy club Fat Fish Blue at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, Ohio, is not afriad to make fun of other races, ethnic groups or stereotypes. He often makes fun of himself because of his light-skin tone and his African American lineage.

A veteran comic in the area, Nicodemus frequently visits several Toledo establishments, such as night clubs, bars and restaurants, and also make himself available to the public via social networking sites. He has both a Facebook and MySpace account, and is featured on with the rest of the morning crew.

Below is a clip of Nicodemus performing from his MySpace page (

Demetrius Nicodemus

Demetrius MySpace Video