Western Herald – Tonight: comedy showcase to light up the stage at Old Dog Tavern
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Tonight: comedy showcase to light up the stage at Old Dog Tavern

Michael Reeves

A&E Reporter

The winner of Western Michigan University’s 2012 “Last Bronco Standing” comedy competition, Joe Stando, will host this month’s Old Dog Tavern Comedy Showcase on Monday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m.

This is the third of what is planned to become a regular monthly comedy showcase at Old Dog Tavern. There are five comedians scheduled to perform in a show that should run for about an hour and a half.

Old Dog Tavern is located at 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave. There will be a $3 cover charge.

“This is one of the best line-ups we’ve had so far and the comics are once again coming from all over,” said Alec Robbins, the event organizer and a local comedian.

Monday’s showcase will feature Jen Dama of Kalamazoo, the second-place runner-up in last year’s Kalamazoo Comedy Competition; Andrew Van Houten, who Robbins called, “one of the cleverest joke-writers I know;” Gad Holland, who Robbins said, “can make me laugh just by asking a question with the right inflection;” Mark Roebuck, who was scheduled to perform at last month’s showcase, but, due to a scheduling conflict, had to postpone until this month; and D.K. Hamilton, “the consummate professional,” Robbins said. “This guy has it together, and he’s one of the best guys performing out of Grand Rapids.”

“I guess this kind of accidentally became the diversity show,” Robbins said. “There’s a girl, a Canadian, a white boy, and two scholarly black gentlemen on the line-up.”

These Showcases are not to be confused with an open-mic. A showcase features the cream of the crop in local comedic talent.

“There’s a big difference between watching a comedian hone his or her craft at an open-mic versus watching them perform like it’s a real evening of comedy,” Robbins said. “Think of it like a football player at practice versus a football player on game day.”

As far as the future of comedy at Old Dog is concerned, Robbins is optimistic.

“I’d like to focus on the monthly shows for a while,” he said. “And if things keep going well, I’d be interested in expanding some of the off-Mondays into open-mics.”

Robbins got started doing comedy four years ago when he joined the now defunct Stand-Up Comedy Club at WMU.

“[Stand-up] is something I absolutely love doing, and I genuinely wouldn’t be able to live without it,” Robbins said. “There’s a shared companionship between comics, like war buddies or an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. We’re all in this together, and at the end of the day we’re all just trying to be funny.”

For more information about Monday’s showcase check out the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/294954687272373/.

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