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Comedian kicks off Columbus’ own late-night talk show

Courtesy of Justin Golak

A quiet bookstore in the back of a coffee shop will transform into into a talk show stage with an estimated 40 people arriving for laughs and music Thursday night.

Justin Golak, comedian and 2007 Ohio State alumnus, will be hosting “What’s Up Columbus (with Justin Golak),” a talk show comedy act featuring local guests at Kafe Kerouac located at 2250 N. High St.

Golak said the late-night talk show pattern allows him to create new conversational humor based on the different guests. Thursday’s guests will be Green Thumb Revolution and DJ Artist George Brazil.

“I do a monologue off the top, but then all the other humor comes from just talking to the guests,” Golak said.

Golak said this will be the third act he’s done in the series, and the venue is small and intimate, but provides a more personal feel.

“It’s the most fun I think I’ve had on stage all month since I started doing it,” he said. “I always thought that would be a really fun job to have, being a laid-back talk show host.”

Golak is also part of the comedy duo, The Sumukh and Golak Attack (SAGA), with Columbus comedian Sumukh Torgalkar.

Drew Ullman, comedian and 2008 Ohio State alumnus, said he is familiar with the duo and thinks the combination of their humor styles creates a witty and entertaining show.

“Sumukh has this … trademark deadpan sense of humor. Golak is very good at observational humor,” he said.

Working as a regional director rallying petitions for Senate Bill 5 for Northeast Franklin County, Ullman said he’s a political jack of all trades.

“We’re all a bunch of degenerate losers and we all have wage-paid jobs, myself excluded from that,” he said.

Ullman, who refers to himself as the world’s only Jewish comedian, said comedy acts typically start at around 10 p.m. at bars and coffee shops, because comedians tend to have other jobs as bartenders or waitresses.

“All the hipsters are drinking coffee and writing their screenplays on their Macs,” he said. “Kafe Kerouac isn’t just a coffee shop, it’s like an arts space.”

Christine Annarino, managing partner and educator at Green Thumb Revolution, said she will be attending as a guest to the show.

Green Thumb Revolution is a business that creates gardens for local offices to reduce stress among coworkers, promote environmental-friendly choices and cultivate office relationships, Annarino said.

“Our motto is personalized gardens for your workplace green space,” she said.

Annarino said the business works with offices to determine the available space and type of garden, but also provides workshops on choosing healthy foods and reducing carbon footprints.

“Do they want to grow food? Do they want to grow herbs?” she said. “We want to encourage teamwork and community involvement.”

As for the talk show, Annarino said she hopes audience members will find a newfound love for the environment, but is ready to enjoy the comedy.

“I’m just hoping for some candid monologue and humor, I suppose,” she said.

There is no cost to attend a taping, though Golak asks patrons to donate $5 if possible.

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