One Night Standing

Wednesday November 7th, 2012 – Clinton, WI

   With all the boring details that have to be looked after constantly and all the fires and potential fires that need to be put out, it can be all too easy to forget just how much fun comedy should be. Nights like tonight are a sweet reminder of why I have continued to stay in the game for so long.

I had a fantastic time in Clinton, WI of all places, and I wish every single one nighter could be even half this well run. Everything about this gig was on the money, and it all has to do with the people running it. I wish I could clone them to make every gig run as smoothly as this one does.

The place is called ‘Boxcar Pub & Grub’ and I worked here once before. I’m not exactly sure when, but it was maybe a little over a year ago. I was impressed with the entire operation then as I recall, but I was even more impressed tonight. This is a well run establishment and I love that.

I’ve been around so many mismanaged hell holes in my life that when something runs like it’s supposed to it screams out at me. There was a warm feeling of welcome from everyone from the time I walked in the door to the time I left, and I felt it last time as well. It’s not always that way.

The owner’s name is Tim Pogorelski and he’s a former musician that loves live entertainment of all kinds. He’s been a performer himself, so he knows how important promotion is. I thought he did a spectacular job last time, and it was even better tonight. He had a full house that paid a $10 cover on a Wednesday night in a bad economy in Clinton, WI – a town of probably 2500.

To his extreme credit, he knows his market and plays to them very well. He has done comedy shows on the first Wednesday of the month for a couple of years now, and has built an audience who looks forward to it and supports it. It would be all too easy to get greedy and try to stretch it to weekly shows, but that would burn it out in a hurry. Tim knows exactly what his market bears.

He maintains the perfect mix of promotion, frequency and quality of shows and that’s why he’s been able to last as long as he has. He pays a very fair wage – especially for a middle of the week show – but that allows him to get some very good acts which in turn keeps people coming back.

To make it even better all around, the opening act had to bail out at the last minute and I found out Jim McHugh was off and was willing to drive up and join me. That gave the audience a huge bonus as it was a double headliner kick ass show and then some. They got their money’s worth.

Tim was smart enough to know it was a break for him, but it was a break for Jim too. He pulled in a payday on a Wednesday, and I had a great opening act who got the crowd red hot for me and made my job easier. It was win/win/win, and Jim and I talked all the way home about how much fun it was and how we wished every one nighter could be run this well. It was a treat for us all.

Jeremy Danley is the booker of this gig, and he’s also a comedian. He knows what it’s like also so between him and Tim and Jim and me there were people in charge who had a clue as to how a show should be run correctly. I’d work with and for any of these guys at anytime and anywhere.

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