Franck Chevrier’s first experience with Kalamazoo was at a windowless bar located right next to the county jail. One might think something like that would chase the Montreal comedian far away from Kalamazoo, never to return, but that assumption would be wrong.
Last Saturday at Louie’s Trophy House Grill, Chevrier returned to Kalamazoo as part of his current Midwest comedy tour and gave a hilarious, sometimes offensive, but certainly all-around crude, performance to a crowd gathered to bid farewell to the infamous “Tanking It” comedy showcases at Louie’s.
Chevrier’s first time in Kalamazoo was at the Duck Inn, which he described as “a biker bar with no windows between a prison and a trailer park.”
“I walked in there mid-afternoon and there were three 60+ (people) sitting at the bar,” Chevrier said “My favorite type of bar to drink at, but the last place I’d want to do a show.”
Chevrier was at the Duck Inn to participate in their now-defunct open-mic night comedy show. Chevrier was passing through Kalamazoo during a comedy tour and decided to try out a Kalamazoo audience.
Luckily, the Duck Inn show didn’t go as poorly as Chevrier had anticipated.
“By the time the show started the place had filled up,” he said. “The show went well and the local comics were pretty cool so it turned out alright.”
It was at the Duck Inn that Chevrier met Brett Jones, a local comedy promoter.
“Jones…is basically just another me,” Chevrier said. “Turns out we had a bunch of friends in common and had pretty similar stories. He offered to have me back and I booked this U.S. tour around the (Louie’s) show.”
Chevrier got started doing comedy after he spent some time booking shows for comics in Montreal.
“That forced me to look for local comics to put on the shows, which led to me meeting a bunch of cool people,” Chevrier said. “I was partying with one of them, Dan Derkson, and he took advantage of my inebriated state to convince me to do a set.”
Chevrier followed through on his promise to Derkson and tried comedy. He’s been active in the Montreal comedy scene and touring across the U.S. ever since. On the possibility of coming back to Kalamazoo in the future, Chevrier was optimistic.
“I’ll keep coming back as long as you guys want to have me,” he said.
The show last Saturday was the final “Tanking It” comedy showcase at Louie’s Trophy House Grill. Jones created the showcases, naming them after what he said was “a term comedians use for having a bad set.” According to Jones, the “Tanking It” shows were designed to “showcase southwest Michigan’s best comedians with an up-and-coming local band that people may not have heard before.”