The Columbus Comedy Showcase is brewing a double shot of laughter Friday for about the price of a peppermint latte.
The showcase is held at Kafe Kerouac the last Friday of every month and hosted by a different comedy group from the Columbus, Ohio, community. February’s show, hosted by local improv troupe Uncle Fun, will feature improv groups Slumberjacks and Trash Boiz, as well as comedy group Two XX Sketch and comedian Shaena Rabbani.
Anthony Windsor II, founder of Uncle Fun, put together the lineup for the show and said that while the focus was improv, he wanted to have a little bit of everything.
“We want to give the audience a variety show, kind of like the breadth of what Columbus comedy has to offer,” Windsor said.
Trash Boiz is an alter ego for improv group Donut Sundae.
“Occasionally, they’ll do this schtick where they’re the Trash Boiz, and they’ll dress in jorts and chug beers on stage. It’s hilarious,” Windsor said.
The showcase series was organized by Scott Wheeler, half of local sibling improv duo The Wheeler Brothers, and created to give local acts more opportunities to perform, Windsor said.
“There’s a lot of improv troupes in Columbus. There are very few places where we can actually perform at, so this kind of gives people a platform to get out there,” Windsor said.
Windsor said Kafe Kerouac is especially easy to work with because of its public calendar, lack of booking fees and flexible seating and audio arrangements. Michael Heslop, owner of Kafe Kerouac, said the coffee shop and bar began hosting events as a way to engage with the Columbus community. It regularly hosts poetry, music and comedy events.
“People really enjoy comedy. It makes them happy, and the space we have is separated from the bar, so it acts like an ideal spot if you need a quieter place to do stand up,” Heslop said. “We do rent the room out for different guys. But if it’s an event that’s bringing in a lot of people drinking on a Friday night, then we’ll make our money at the bar.”
Revenue from the tickets will be split evenly among the performers, which Windsor said was an arrangement he wanted to try out in the hopes it would catch on. He estimates he’s made about $50 during his three years performing and spent much more.
“We put on shows. We perform,” Windsor said. “A lot of times, no one really makes any money off of it. And I kind of want to see a bigger push in the Columbus improv community to start charging for their shows, because there’s a lot of really good comedy out there.”
The Columbus Comedy Showcase will begin at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Kafe Kerouac, located at 2250 N. High St. Doors will open at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $5 and are available both on Eventbrite and at the door.