Country Club Kudos

Friday May 25th, 2012 – Frankfort, IL

   When things go like they’re supposed to, standup comedy is the best high I could ever imagine. It’s a feeling of utter euphoria for the performer, but the audience gets to enjoy it too. How many who ever watch a drunk or a drug addict end up having any amount of that pleasure themselves?

Comedy is the ultimate win/win, but only when it works. When it doesn’t, it’s miserable for the performer but in most cases the audience doesn’t even care. That’s what really makes it a horrific experience. Nobody watching it has any clue of how much the performer is hurting on that stage.

It’s never a one way proposition – it’s a dance. The performer leads but an audience must come along right behind in order for it to work. When that happens, magic follows. It’s a feeling I have never grown weary of experiencing, and I felt it once again tonight. This is what keeps me going.

My friend and fellow WLS radio ‘Jerry’s Kidder’ Ken Sevara booked me for a show tonight at Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, IL. It was the first time they’ve ever tried comedy, and I’m flattered Ken asked me to kick it off. It couldn’t have gone better, and I hope they keep it going.

Everything about this situation was right. The place wanted us, which is always a plus. A lot of times shows end up being booked by places who don’t want it. They think it might only be a way to make some easy money quickly, which is never the case. NO money in comedy is ever ‘easy’.

This show was done correctly. The first thing I saw when walking in the door was a nice poster placed in a conspicuous spot where it could be seen by people who might actually want to see the show. What a novel concept! Way too often posters get taped up above the urinals – or not at all.

The General Manager Jim Johnson made it a point to greet opening act Brian Hicks and myself at the door, and get our introductions so he could bring us up on stage with some credits. He was the host, and did an outstanding job of bringing us up with class and respect. That sure does help.

Brian always does a professional job, and tonight was no exception. He set the tone and put the audience exactly where they needed to be. They were there to laugh, but they weren’t necessarily a comedy audience. There’s a different vibe from a crowd that’s in a comedy club and have been trained as opposed to a show like this where they’ve never seen it before. Brian knew what to do.

They took a break between acts, not something that’s popular with comedians because it breaks up the focus the opening act had to work so hard to get. I informed Jim about that fact, but didn’t make it an issue. I told him I’d roll with it however he wanted, and I could tell he was getting it.

By the time I got on they were primed and ready to go. I knew exactly what to do from the start and they were with me the whole time. They weren’t drunk or nasty, and let me take them where I wanted. That’s what makes it fun for everyone, and I know these people will become regulars.

So many things about this whole experience were pleasant, it gives me hope that comedy is not dead quite yet. From Jim Johnson to Ken Sevara to Brian Hicks to the whole audience, this was a perfect example of everyone doing their parts to perfection. Why can’t every gig work this well?

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