It was a Friday night here in RI and once again a national comedian worthy of the effort had come to one of the two major clubs in town. Kurt Braunohler had come to town to do some shows on our fair coast and we here at Comic's Corner couldn't have been more thrilled. Why were we so thrilled? Why are there only two actual comedy venues? Why are comedy fans, including us, so pretentious? We will try to answer all of these questions and perhaps raise some more but, no need for name calling.
The Comedy Connection in East Providence, RI is a great place to see a show and since the new ownership, these past couple years have seen some terrific guests. One of the cool advantages the club has is that it is booked through the Wilbur Theater in Boston, MA. So the acts passing through New England have a place in RI to stop and give us a show. Saving us a forty-five minute drive and not to mention gas and food money. It is great savings for fans and even better savings for aspiring stand-up-comedian-blog-writers.
This is something that is important to a new comedian's career track; watching shows and meeting as many fellow comics as possible. There were a few local comics that also work at the club as hosts and features at the show watching. As I have mentioned before there are only two chain clubs in RI. The rest of the comedy rooms are privately booked through a touring comic's publicist or the comedians themselves. Places like Fete Music Hall and the Columbus theater are more independently booked where as the PPAC is more of a nationally booked venue. So it is not unlikely to see working comedians at an established club with a local comedian hiring policy. Going to an alternative and or corporate venue is a great way to see national acts and study the craft. For some past reviews from these rooms, check outEugene Mirman @ The Columbus. Which also featured Braunohler and hopefully future Comic's Corner guest, Derrick Brown.
Talk about the show? OK! it was a chilly New England Friday in January but that didn't stop comedy fans from coming out. There was a decently sized crowd of Kurt Braunohler fans. The few people I had spoken to have heard of and or are regular listeners to the K-Ohle Podcast. Braunohler has also made three television appearances, his last one was in August of 2013 when he appeared on Conan. So it was no surprise that he brought out a great crowd.
The show was hosted by TJ Curran. TJ had won the Phoenix Best Comedian award in 2012 here in Providence. I had spoken to Curran before the show and he had said that he hadn't gotten out much to perform since the 2012 win. It was good to see a local comic hosting though there were a few hiccups. If this were not a blog for comedians I may not mention this but as the host of a weekend show one may not want to bring a notebook on stage. Tested, trusty material works best. Practice and exposure can make or break a joke and or set.
It did not effect the show however, the crowd was responsive and ready to laugh.Josh Gondelman was the feature comic for the evening. Josh is one of my favorite comedians to come out of Boston and it has been over a year since I have seen his set. In 2012 Josh was my secret Santa and gave me the notebook I am still using to this day. He remembered this and said that he loves giving notebooks for gifts. Josh lives in NYC these days. He told Comic's Corner that he met Braunohler through the Eugene Mirman Comedy festival a few years ago. Not a big surprise, Gondelman is a sharp and talented comic. He is the co-creator of the twitter feed, Seinfeld Today. Which are brand new Seinfeld episodes in 146 characters or less. And they are fantastic. It takes fan fiction to a new level. Josh's set was smart and his main points provided fun threads and call backs. He ended with a surprisingly heart warming story about a one night stand. If you get a chance to catch this young man in action, do so. His website is available here.
And now your headliner: Kurt Braunohler! Kurt's set was a longer version of his set here in November. There were a few jokes I recognized but overall it was a different set, other than being a half hour longer. As a comedian in a new venue, things can happen that make the show a unique experience. Whether it is a technical malfunction, a heckler or one too many pre-show drinks. In this case it was a heating duct of some sort. There was a loud static like interruption from the corner of the room. Kurt joked that the building itself was trying to go to sleep and turned on its white noise machine to drown out the comedy show and get some rest. The noise didn't last too long, under five minutes. Kurt did an excellent job of leaving his current joke, acknowledging the noise and then moving on in the set when it was done. He never lost us. That is a great way to deal with a heckle, whether it be human or not.
Overall it was a great night of comedy. Check out Kurt Braunohler on Episode #35 of the Comic's Corner. Josh Gondelman will be joining us on a future episode, TBD.
For a full calender of shows check out www.ricomedyconnection.com