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Topic: Comedy Clubs??
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 8, 2009 11:15AM)
Where are the comedy clubs booking magicians these days???

I worked the Funny Bone and Catch a Rising Star with Kozak and Amazing Jonathan but that was a long time ago (last century actually).

Who are the comedy magicians working the clubs now?? I'd love to see something new but I'm out of the loop these days.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Apr 8, 2009 11:32AM)
I know there's one in Boston that does a Magic night. Danny Hustle and Mike Bent perform at it.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 8, 2009 11:41AM)
In the mid 1980s, actually early 1980s I did a gig for a record company in Templepatrick. I don't think that's too far from you, then we drove down to Dublin in the dark. Once we passed the border it was the craziest dark ride ever. I think there were three lanes of traffic on a two lane road. Whilst there, I learned the real secret of Irish Coffee. That's what we came home with besides the warmth of the hospitality.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Floyd Collins (Apr 8, 2009 03:04PM)
Tabnab,
Most all comedy clubs will feature comedy magic. Maybe not on there Thur, Fri or Sat show but many comedy clubs offer Wed spots for local comedy magicians. I would just call around and see. The thing I find that has changed from the 90s is that now if your not part of a package show with your own opener and headliner many comedy clubs don't want to pay you much. Many comedy magicians have moved their shows to college campus where they can perform in the student hall. You may want to check there if you want to see a comedy magic show. Comedy Clubs still make great venues for trying out new routines and getting the pipes all warmed up for bigger shows.
Good Luck.

-Floyd
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Apr 8, 2009 08:22PM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-08 12:41, tabman wrote:
In the mid 1980s, actually early 1980s I did a gig for a record company in Templepatrick....I learned the real secret of Irish Coffee.
[/quote]
Hey Tb, yeah I do a load of shows up there, some for their school and others for the hotel.
Dunno what the secret is; maybe something to do with an extra whiskey and there's also a trick with a teaspoon.

I don't really have to sell myself to comedy clubs as a comedy magician. I say I'm a comedian and include the effects as a wee bonus. Everyone seems pleased to see something different and I come on without the expectation of being magic.

George
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Apr 8, 2009 08:54PM)
The 1980's were the heyday with 500 comedy clubs in the USA, today there might be 100. Back in the day there was plenty of comedy club road work for magicians, jugglers, vents, not as much today.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Apr 8, 2009 09:01PM)
500? Doesn't seem too many in a country that size. Are you sure you have your numbers right?
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 8, 2009 10:42PM)
Thanks for all the good feedback. I love comedy. I mean, you wouldn't call AJ a magician I don't think even though he actually is one and Kozak is a well versed magician and expert at misdirection but he uses the magic as a back drop for his comedy. They were both headlining the comedy clubs in the 90s and there were a ton of them.

I'm asking because Ive moved myself out of the mainstream to a small town in south Georgia in the SE USA to be near my Mom to watch out for her in her golden years so to speak. The closest city is Tallahassee, FL and its over 2 hours away so I just don't know what's going on. I was dismayed when I saw that the big chains of clubs like Catch shut down because the audience dropped off.

We worked the Catch downstairs at Ballys Casino and George Carlin was upstairs in the big room. We were there a month and the joint rocked every night. This was AJ and Koz break into Vegas. I dropped out and went back to Tennessee and kept building magic and built a recording studio next to our shop. I'm writing a book about those and other experiences now. The chapters on AJ and Koz are good. Theres lots of back story on the inner workings and dynamics of two powerful personalities working toether and interfacing with me.

Anyway, can we find out about the places around the world where audiences turn out for funny people who bring magic into the picture? I really love making people laugh and being part of a good joke. I try to make my Mom laugh every time I talk with her and everyone else.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: harris (Apr 9, 2009 12:52PM)
Back in the 80's there were even more in our area.

Bars, pizza shoppes, and even restaurants had comedy rooms.

Memories....
Message: Posted by: markmiller (Apr 9, 2009 01:58PM)
I think Noble1 is referring to actual full time 100% comedy clubs, in which case I think the figure is more or less accurate. If you include all the "one nighters" at bowling alleys, chinese restauants, flea markets, discos, sports bars, amd on and on, during the booming eighties, then yeah, there were thousands of comedy clubs.
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Apr 9, 2009 02:21PM)
Right.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 9, 2009 02:40PM)
That's exactly right. I remember a pizza and sandwich place in Hermitage TN that had a comedy night. Totally an unlikely place and hotel bars would have comedy nights. I rememeber thinking, [i]this is great[/i]!!! Maybe the Comedy Channel on TV ruined some of that live action, I just don't, know but I regulary watch them now.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Apr 9, 2009 03:23PM)
The chains like Punch Line, Funny Bone, Laff Stop, Comedy Stop, are largely gone, though there are still a few Improv and Comedy Store franchises.
Message: Posted by: harris (Apr 10, 2009 03:08PM)
Kansas City has produced quite a few comics both in and out of the magic area.

The 70's and 80's KC Comedy scene led to careers with folks ranging from Tom Burgoon to Eddie Griffin.

Harris
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 10, 2009 06:03PM)
Last spring they had a comedy night at The Cypress Grill on the lake. The comics were stopping over on Thursday night going between Atlanta and Jacksonville. They got peanuts for pay and a room and a meal. I was shooting pictures on those nights and saw most of em.

I'm doing a nooner at a big luncheon at the college in my hometown in a few weeks. I'll find out then if I can get some laughs. If they don't laugh it will be a long 20 minutes.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Cody Comet (Apr 10, 2009 09:20PM)
The Comedy Caravan in Louisville, KY has The Battle of the Hands comedy magic night the last monday of every month with a magic competition once a year, which I won in February. Though they are taking a break this month b/c of a scheduling conflict, they will start their next season the monday before Memorial Day if you want to check it out!
Message: Posted by: Magic Enhancer (Apr 11, 2009 11:09AM)
I perform at a bunch of local comedy clubs here in NYC quite frequently. There aren't many of us around like there used to be. But like Floyd said, they will uually hire us on 'non-prime' nights although I've gotten calls to fill in for a headliner now and again.

As Floyd mentioned, the pay really isn't that great- which is why many of us maybe no longer work these markets. I don't do it as much as I used to because of that issue.

Robert Haas
Message: Posted by: mumford (Apr 11, 2009 11:48AM)
Generally the clubs in NYC and LA pay little or nothing because the owners feel it's an industry showcase and very top comics that you see on TV play these clubs all the time for free to invite show biz pros to see them or to work on new material. The clubs that pay decent are the road gigs everywhere else. It always been like that.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 11, 2009 11:38PM)
The exact problem became that WAY too many places that had 5' of flat space, a spot light, and a mic, decided to be comedy clubs. Or have comedy nights. The saturation effect took place and guys were working who had no business working.

This caused the appatite for comedy to dwindle serverly. It happens and it tends to cycle, BUT the big thing which made it worse this time was Comedy Central showing shows like Premium Blend every 14 minutes. This made the effect far worse than it had ever been in the cycling effect.

Clubs have still not recovered. Combine this with the fact that the vast majority fo revenue came from drinks. Police have cracked down HARD on drinking and driving.

All these factors make it very tough for clubs to make a legitimate come back. And it sucks.
Message: Posted by: mumford (Apr 12, 2009 02:11AM)
I'd agree that's an accurate depiction, the herd was trimmed in the 90's and a handful of surviving road clubs were strong, but now a few more have bit the dust and the numbers are starting to dwindle further In the olden days they used to say live entertainment flourished during the great depression. Back then the only home entertainment was radio. It's a different game today with ten different types of TV, video games, DVDs, internet...
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 12, 2009 09:42AM)
There are still ways to cut your teeth in comedy club runs.

I know Dave Tribble used to have a nice little stretch through the Pacific Northwest.

There are some interesting places where you can do strings of one nighters for low pay to learn. BUT the problem is you get known as that guy and the larger clubs often will not touch you after that.

I have NO idea how I would go about breaking into the bigger clubs today. I know how I did it in the late 80's and the early 90's but that has gone the way of the T-Rex unfortunatly.
Message: Posted by: mumford (Apr 12, 2009 04:16PM)
If you are young and reading this with the hope of breaking into the comedy scene, start where you are. Always good to get experience even for low or no pay. Go for any one-nighters, open mics, talent shows, whatever, in your area. Don't worry, none of the bigger club bookers will have heard of you anyway so it won't matter, just try to hone your act so it's sure-fire.

If you survive and build a great crowd pleasing act, you'll want to try your luck in California. The Comedy Store, Improv, Laugh Factory. No or little pay, BUT if you are good you will be noticed by talent buyers, agents, managers, tv people, who are constantly trolling these three clubs for new young comedy talent.

Your local comedy club career can take you only so far. Decent comedy club pay can be had everywhere except NYC or LA and goes to headliners and today's top-of-the-bill acts are required to be a draw and almost always have had at least some national tv exposure. So most of today's headlining road acts have spent at least some stage time in NYC or LA, your chances are infinitely better in LA since most national tv comes from there. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 12, 2009 11:54PM)
Thoughtful answers. Thanks for the information. For those of you out working in the clubs, what are the audiences like?? How has the slower economy affected the draw??

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (Apr 13, 2009 07:16PM)
Just back from the Las Vegas Improv & we were pretty busy but not like before.

By-the-way the Funnybone chain is still around as is the Punchline.
Message: Posted by: markmiller (Apr 13, 2009 07:36PM)
There's also at least one Comedy Stop left and most of the Yuk Yuks are still in Canada. But I hear even the clubs in Vegas and AC are no longer economy proof and more than a few have closed. I guess the Improv chain is the granddaddy and still has some marquee value and staying power.
Message: Posted by: msmaster (Apr 13, 2009 08:11PM)
We used to have two local comedy clubs, now we have none.
Message: Posted by: Floyd Collins (Apr 13, 2009 08:21PM)
We have three within a 45 min drive from where I am and two are Connxtions Comedy Clubs and one is Funny Bones.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 13, 2009 08:28PM)
You must live in Ohio.
Message: Posted by: msmaster (Apr 13, 2009 08:35PM)
And be very proud.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 13, 2009 09:19PM)
I figured the Connexions. Toledo?
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Apr 13, 2009 09:56PM)
In the Detroit area, there are still 4 or 5 full time clubs (Wed.-Sat.). There are a few more that just do the weekends....

Ken
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 13, 2009 10:12PM)
In Detroit of all places. IBD.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Floyd Collins (Apr 14, 2009 05:21AM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-13 22:19, Dannydoyle wrote:
I figured the Connexions. Toledo?
[/quote]
Yes Toledo has one and so does Perrysburg, Funny Bones is near Cleveland.
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Apr 14, 2009 08:12PM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-13 23:12, tabman wrote:
In Detroit of all places. IBD.

-=tabman
[/quote]
We need to laugh here!!!!

Ken
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 14, 2009 10:40PM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-14 21:12, Ken Dumm wrote:

We need to laugh here!!!!

Ken
[/quote]

It's been five years or so since Ive been there. It surprised me but it makes perfect sense.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Apr 15, 2009 08:49AM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-14 23:40, tabman wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-04-14 21:12, Ken Dumm wrote:

We need to laugh here!!!!

Ken
[/quote]

It's been five years or so since Ive been there. It surprised me but it makes perfect sense.

-=tabman
[/quote]

We need a good joke around here, and the Lions don't count...

Ken
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 15, 2009 09:55PM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-15 09:49, Ken Dumm wrote:

We need a good joke around here, and the Lions don't count...

Ken
[/quote]

Last time I was there we went out to see the Tigers. I think there was a new stadium, not Tiger Field. Its getting hard to rememeber everything. Is there any comedy in the downtown casinos??

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Apr 17, 2009 08:31AM)
Occasionally they'll have comedians in, but not on a consistent basis...

Lions have a new stadium (2002), Tigers have a new stadium (2000), now the rumor, if the economy picks up, is a new stadium for the Wings....


Ken
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 17, 2009 10:55PM)
Both my sons lived in Southfield for awhile. I tried to get a job with the Silver Bullet Band so I could live up that way but I couldn't get it to pan out. Last time we were in Detroit it made me sad. We went out to old Tiger Stadium and looked through the chain link for a while and then left. Southfield looked like Belfast in '85. The downtown streets were a wreck with pot holes. It reminded me of Back To The Future II. That was five years ago about. I hope to hear all that has changed.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Apr 24, 2009 12:10AM)
Tabman, Paul Kozak is currently working a at the Comedy Stop in Atlantic City for a few years...(michael finney still makes an appearance every now and then)
That's as much as I know for the south jersey scene :)
Message: Posted by: tabman (Apr 24, 2009 02:04PM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-24 01:10, God-glorified wrote:
Tabman, Paul Kozak is currently working a at the Comedy Stop in Atlantic City for a few years...(michael finney still makes an appearance every now and then)
That's as much as I know for the south jersey scene :)
[/quote]

Koz is getting the big bucks he deserves. He's the best. I think MF is mostly making appearances at the golf course :)

Koz is a true gentleman of magic and beyond.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (May 3, 2009 11:00AM)
I suppose this would be a good thread to mention that I run a comedy night in Belfast:
http://www.nicomedy.com

If you find yourself in our fair city on a Monday night be sure to pop in!!

Also any Ukers looking to try out either stand up or comedy magic feel free to give me a shout!! We get a sweet crowd and there's a great atmosphere.
Message: Posted by: tabman (May 5, 2009 03:35PM)
Last time I was in Belfast in 1983 or 84 but if I was going to be there again I for sure would come by and hang on a Monday night. How abuot posting a picture of two from the club??

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (May 5, 2009 04:17PM)
The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, Calif., is still going very strong. Jay Leno works there almost every Sunday night.
Message: Posted by: tabman (May 7, 2009 04:30PM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-05 17:17, Pete Biro wrote:
The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, Calif., is still going very strong. Jay Leno works there almost every Sunday night.
[/quote]

Wow. I was there with Becky Blaney one night. I can't remember if she was working or not. Gigi Richard too. It seems so long ago. When did they start up??

-=tabman