The promoters behind Valley Comedy draw from a rib-tickling lineup of local comedians and touring comedians who perform in monthly shows at Shamrock's Irish Pub in Bakersfield, weekly shows at the Aviator Casino in Delano, and bimonthly shows in Fresno. Valley Comedy also provides entertainment for public and private events, dispatching standup comedians to fundraisers, charity events, corporate events and parties throughout the Central Valley.
More than half a century ago, three partners raised a vibrant, multicolored tent on an underdeveloped industrial site and established the Westbury Music Fair. It followed its first production, The King and I, with a decade of top-name talent and Broadway musicals. Then, recognizing its place on the theater scene was permanent, it planted its roots as a fully enclosed theater-in-the-round. Expanding its repertoire to match its new digs, the theater showcased performers such as The Who, Bruce Springsteen, and Julie Andrews. Today, past a lounge blazing in purple and red lights, guests find that same circular stage hosting equally great musical acts, musical theater, and competitive musical chairs.
Every Thursday, Comedy Hideaway ushers in a lineup of HBO- and Comedy Central-anointed performers, its stage still echoing with the bygone riffs of such national acts as Zach Galifianakis and Whitney Cummings. The club's founder, Andrey Belikov, often hosts and performs at the evening's revues, spinning impressions of his Ukrainian father and detailing his foibles in American society. Between sets, guests avail themselves of a menu of Italian fare, sip laugh-loosening drinks, and stand in line for autographs from nationally touring microphone stands.
Though he's used to hitting night clubs and touring, Adam Richmond's star is rising with appearances on Last Comic Standing, Last Call with Carson Daly, and a gig warming up the audience for The Best Damn Sports Show Period. The in-your-face comedian?blessed with a gravel-toned voice and pointed cadence?expounds on the big-picture and small-picture aspects of life, from religion and history to the ethics of killing ants and ideas for hypothetical horror movies about coconuts. He'll hit the Thai Palms Restaurant and Bar stage with a posse of comedians yet to be announced. Until then, customers can catch up on Richmond's lively online life, which abounds with a personal website, a video blog christened Suck My Shtick, and the occasional anonymous post on Gargoyles message boards.
At J.R.'s Comedy Club, owner Randy Lubas has a knack for curating a top-notch rotation of established and up-and-coming comedians. Perhaps that's because he's a comedian, too, with observational humor skills that have led to 23 national TV appearances, including A&E's An Evening at the Improv. During many of the shows, comedian Jeff Johnson frequently hosts.
The club also teaches aspiring standups with its six-week comedy workshop, and works closely with the community to host fundraisers that benefit schools, churches, medical facilities, and sports teams. If some comedians smell better that they should, it's due to J.R.'s fragrant location inside Marie Callender's restaurant and bakery, where patrons can feast on entrees and pies during shows