Louisville Laughs comedy events on tap for May

Louisville Laughs has a lot of great comedy shows, open mics, comedy classes and laughs scheduled this month. Here is a breakdown of what’s on tap for May.

Thursday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday Comedy Showcase

Aloft Louisville Downtown

Free tickets

Join Louisville Laughs for our Thursday Comedy Showcase on May 12 at Aloft Louisville Downtown.

This standup comedy show will feature veteran comic Mike Nilsson, as well as a demonstration of the Same Game from comics Keith McGill and Donna Watts where the audience can participate.

Also on the show are comics Katy Bevins, Evan Lewis, Lacey Biller and Samuel Lee.

Admission is free. Tickets are requested to ensure seating.

Come for a night of laughter and great food and drinks from the Corner bar/restaurant in Aloft’s inviting lobby.

Sunday, May 15, 7 p.m.

Comedy at TEN20 open mic

TEN20 Craft Brewery

Free admission

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at TEN20 Craft Brewery in Butchertown.

Comics — some new, some veterans — do their best to make you laugh and try out new material.

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

Come enjoy some laughs, craft beer, food from MozzaPi and Happy Belly and more.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Comedy TEN20 is every first and third Sunday.

Monday, May 16, 7 p.m.

Louisville Laughs New Comics Workshop

TEN20 Craft Brewery

Free

Louisville Laughs is holding this free workshop aimed at giving new comics the basics to perform — from how to handle a microphone to how to find stage time.

Instructors will include comic Keith McGill, comedy writer Bret Sohl and Louisville Laughs’ Creig Ewing

To sign up for the class, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m.

Comedy Night at Gravely

Gravely Brewing Co

Free tickets

Join Louisville Laughs on April 21 for another night of laughter with Comedy Night at Gravely Brewing.

This showcase of standup comedy features appearances by Tyson Cox and Brian Pitre of Indianapolis; Austin Deller of Cincinnati and Louisville’s Katy Bevins, Lena Beamish, Eric Groovely and host Creig Ewing.

Come for a night of fun, fresh beer and great food from Mayan Street Food.

Friday, May 20, 8 p.m.

Never Say Die Comedy Hour (or two)

Never Say Die

Free admission

This is a special show at Never Say Die. We will open the show with performances by local favorites Tim Northern and Jeff Toy.

After that show, we will hold an open mic for comics.

Have a craft cocktail and join the fun.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Never Say Die shows are every third Friday.

Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m.

Bob Batch & Friends

Falls City Taproom

Tickets

Join Louisville Laughs for this special standup comedy event at the Falls City Taproom.

It will be a night of Louisville Legends of comedy with Bob Batch, Mark Klein and Donna Watts.

This is a show you won’t want to miss and can bring the whole family to see. Bob and Mark have worked across the country and on cruise ships and corporate events and have acts proven to entertain everyone.

Bob Batch is a veteran of more than 10,000 shows and has worked with everyone from Ray Charles to Robin Williams.

Mark Klein has entertained some of America’s largest corporations and has worked for numerous cruise lines.

Donna Watts is a veteran of radio and TV who recently features at The Comedy Caravan.

Tickets are $15. Join us for a night of laughter, fun and great beer and wine.

The event is sponsored by Falls City Beer and Old 502 Winery.

Sunday, May 22, 7:30 p.m.

Bard’s Town Clean Comedy Showcase

The Bard’s Town

Admission $10

Louisville Laughs has a great night of comedy for the whole with some of our favorite comics from around the region doing clean comedy sets.

You’ll have a great night laughing along with Zach Wycuff, of Cincinnati; Jerrel Beamon, of Dayton, Ohio; Julie Heckman, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Chester Goad, of Cookeville, Tenn.; and Louisville’s Alex Whittenburg, Crystal Phoenix and host Creig Ewing.

This standup comedy show will take place in The Bard’s first floor lounge. Patrons wishing to dine should arrive early to dine in the main restaurant. 

Thursday, May 26, 7:30 p.m.

Clean Comedy Showcase

Aloft Louisville Downtown

Free tickets

Join Louisville Laughs for a Clean Comedy Showcase on Thursday, May 26, at Aloft Louisville Downtown.

This show features comics from around the region performing material suitable for the whole family.

It’s going to be a fun night with Adam Minnick from Cincinnati, Kris Izzi and Andy Imlay from Evansville and Louisville’s Lucious Williams, Hillary Boston, Lena Beamish, Andrew Riggs and Patrick Lynch.

Admission is free. Reservations ensure seating.

Come out for a night of laughs. Food and drinks available at the Corner bar/restaurant in the Aloft’s lobby.

Louisville Laughs comedy events on tap for April

Louisville Laughs has a lot of great comedy shows, open mics and fun scheduled. Here is a breakdown of what’s on tap for April.

Sunday, April 3, 7 p.m.

Comedy at TEN20 open mic

TEN20 Craft Brewery

Free admission

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at TEN20 Craft Brewery in Butchertown.

Comics — some new, some veterans — do their best to make you laugh and try out new material.

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

Come enjoy some laughs, craft beer, food from MozzaPi and Happy Belly and more.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Comedy TEN20 is every first and third Sunday (no open mic on Easter this month).

Friday, April 15, 8 p.m.

Never Say Die Comedy Hour (or two)

Never Say Die

Free admission

This is a special show at Never Say Die. We will open the show with performances by local favorites Brad Lanning and Lucious Williams.

After that show, we will hold an open mic for comics.

Have a craft cocktail and join the fun.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Never Say Die shows are every third Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 7 p.m.

Comedy Night at Gravely

Gravely Brewing Co

Free tickets

Join Louisville Laughs on April 21 for another night of laughter with Comedy Night at Gravely Brewing.

This showcase of standup comedy features a special appearance by touring headliner Mark Viola of Florida.

Also on the show are Cincinnati comics Jon Holmes and Nick Noble, Lexington’s Mike Fields, Louisville comics Bonita Elery and Hillary Boston and host Creig Ewing.

Admission is free. Reservations are requested to ensure seating.

Come for a night of fun, fresh beer and great food from Mayan Street Food.

Sunday, April 24, 7:30 p.m.

Kelly Collette with Lee Kimbrell

The Bard’s Town

Tickets $15

Louisville Laughs has landed another incredible comedian for The Bard’s Town Sunday Showcase: Kelly Collette!

Kelly Collette was named Cincinnati’s best comedian by CityBeat in 2020 and has toured clubs and colleges throughout the country. She can be heard on SiriusXM and Pandora. Her DryBar Comedy special, “I Made You This,” was filmed in November 2020.

Kelly will be joined by fellow Cincinnati comic Lee Kimbrell.

This standup comedy show will take place in The Bard’s 2nd floor theatre. Patrons wishing to dine should arrive early to dine in the main restaurant. 

Thursday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.

Louisville vs. Indianapolis Comedy Battle

Aloft Louisville Downtown

Tickets $10

Join Louisville Laughs for one of our popular comedy battles. This time four comics from Louisville take on four from Indianapolis, and the audience decides which city is the funniest!

Louisville comics include: Lucious Williams, Evan Pride, Jeff Toy and Jen Cooper

Indianapolis comics include: Dustin Burkert, Sara Huntington, Nolan Miller and David Brooks

Tickets are $10.

Come to the Aloft Louisville Downtown for a night of fun and laughter where you are the judge!

What people say about your comedy set and what it really means

You’re looking for feedback from your open mic set at Harry’s Haven of Ha Has or wherever and ask a couple comics what they thought. Some comments may sound positive, but this may be what they really mean:

Good set — I was smoking in the alley and didn’t see you.

You’re a good joke writer — Your ability to tell a joke sucks.

You showed a lot of confidence — Your material was terrible.

That was really edgy — That was really inappropriate.

You really went there! — You said m*ther f*cker 27 times at a retirement home gig!

I can see that set killing on Netflix — I actually heard those jokes on Netflix.

Your jokes never get old — You have been doing the same 5 minutes for 10 years.

You have a lot of energy on stage — You were pacing around in circles.

Good to see you doing some crowd work — You were the seventh comic to ask everyone how they were doing.

Not bad — Your set was better than mine, dammit!

About the author

Creig Ewing is a comedian and show producer. He has put on hundreds of open mics, showcases and comedy shows in the Louisville area. He has hosted numerous shows and has featured at The Caravan Comedy Club in Louisville. He gets a lot of seemingly positive comments on his comedy.

Tips for your first or next time doing standup comedy

You decided you want to try stand-up comedy. Congratulations. Whether it’s a bucket-list goal or you believe you’re the next Dave Chappelle, here are some tips to make your first (or next) time on stage a success.

Gather your jokes

Some people try to go onstage and wing it. Don’t be one of those people. Compile your set of jokes.

Whatever jokes you tell should say something about you. Anyone call tell a joke about the the president. You are the expert on your family, your friends, your life.

Write your ideas down

At first, I wrote down every joke by hand. Now I do a lot of the editing in my head, but I always carry a notebook or something to write down joke ideas.

If writing by hand isn’t your thing, type or dictate them into a phone. Ideas may come to you at any time. A cashier says something funny. You’re helping a friend move. If you have an idea, write it down or record it. If you are certain you’ll remember it later, you will be sorry.

A pretty good way to spot a comic is to find someone scribbling in a well-worn notebook.

Practice your routine

Go over your material. You can do it in front of a mirror, before other comics or in your head. I often go over what I am going to say in my head while I’m taking a walk. It helps to keep you free from distractions.

While reviewing your jokes, always look to get rid of words that aren’t needed to get laughs.

Time yourself

As a new comic, you probably will get 3 to 5 minutes on stage. Comedy clubs are serious about the time allowed. At most places you will get a light alerting you there is a minute left. If you go over your time that is called “running the light” and is frowned upon.

It’s no sin to leave the stage with some time left. It is to go over your time. When timing yourself, leave some room for laughs. But don’t count on laughs, especially your first time.

Cut out wasted words

Your job is to get laughs. Keep the words that are needed to get to the funny and cut the rest. What words could be cut out of this joke, for example?

“Common sense isn’t so common anymore, is it? Yesterday I had to run to Kroger to buy some groceries because we were running low on food and stuff, and the cashier put dryer sheets in the bag with my lunch meat. Now my bologna tastes like Bounce.”

Use original material

It is understood in stand-up comedy that the jokes you are telling on stage are jokes that you’ve written. Sometimes you will hear new comics tell jokes that have been told around the water cooler forever. Those are called “street jokes.” You don’t want to tell them on stage.

If you get successful enough, you can buy jokes from joke writers. For now, concentrate on writing your own material.

Sometimes you hear comics tell jokes that other comics have told. That is called joke theft, and you also don’t want to be known for that.

It’s not unusual for comics to arrive at the same basic joke at the same time. This especially happens if you are writing jokes about current events or common joke topics like online dating. The more original you are, the fewer problems you’ll have telling jokes similar to others.

I would encourage new comics to try clean or PG 13 material for their first times. Comics can get a lot of laughs being dirty and cussing in some places and turn off the audience in others.

See live shows beforehand

If you’re going on stage and you’ve never seen a comedy show outside of Netflix, see some in person. If possible, go to the club or venue where you are going to go up for the first time.

It will help to get more comfortable. You can see where the comics sit, where the list for the order of the performance is kept, who is in charge, what the audience reacts to and what doesn’t work. It will put you way ahead for your big night.

The more shows or open mics you see, the better grasp you will have of what works and what doesn’t. Be aware that all open mics are not equal.

Schedule your open mic

Not all open mics work the same. For a comedy club, you may need to email for a date that could be weeks away. If you email a club about an open mic, tell them your name, where you are from and you can tell them it’s your first time. Clubs like first-timers because they tend to bring audience members.

You don’t have to explain that your friends think you are funny or that you were in your middle-school play. It’s an open mic, so everyone gets the chance on stage.

A Thursday night open mic at a bar may be “show up and sign up” meaning you go and put your name on the list for a spot that night. Some of these types of mics are popular and the list fills up early.

Don’t assume that an open mic means you can show up with no warning with all your friends and get on stage. Do some research.

Be confident or fake it

Confidence is a big factor in successful comedy. Teachers often do well because they are used to talking to a room full of people. You’ve practiced your jokes, you know them by heart, your friends laughed, so get up there confident that the audience will love you.

You’re still going to be scared, but trust yourself. You got this. If you appear overly nervous, people may not laugh because they are worried for you.

Stay sober

It’s tempting to have a few shots of liquid courage before you go onstage. Save it for after your set when you are celebrating.

Remember when you went to the open mic and saw the guy say, “I’m so toasted I can’t remember what I was going to say?” Don’t be that comic.

Tell people it’s your first time

If it’s your first time on stage doing standup, let the host know and let the audience know. If it’s an open mic with mostly comedians, you will have their attention. And audience members are supportive of new comics. You’re doing something most of them couldn’t imagine doing.

Move the mic stand behind you

You’re introduced, and now you’re on stage. The first thing you should do is take the mic out of the stand and move the mic stand behind or beside you. You don’t want it to be in front of you blocking you.

My first time I was afraid I would drop the mic, so I left it in the stand. It’s fine, to leave the mic in the stand, and it frees up your hands. But if you take the mic out, you don’t want an empty mic stand in front of you. It’s a distraction for the audience.

Look at the audience

You are telling your jokes, but where do you look? Look at the audience. Move and  turn to address the whole room. Ideally, you look straight at certain audience members if a joke seems to relate to them (you’re telling a joke about dating and a couple is in the front row).

But if this is too much the first time, look slightly over their heads. Don’t put your head down and talk to the floor. The sooner you are able to look at the audience the easier it will be.

Hold the mic near your chin

You’re doing great and have moved the mic stand behind you. Make sure to keep the microphone close to your chin. Sometimes comics wave their arms around and forget they are holding the mic.

Also, don’t scream into the mic. You want everyone to hear you but you don’t want to pay for a new mic. Don’t fiddle with the stand. And definitely don’t drop the mic. It’s not funny and good mics are expensive.

Look for the light

You’re almost done. Keep an eye for the light signaling your time is almost up. It may be a small light from a phone. New comics often are so into the moment they don’t see the light.

You will have no sense of time on stage. Trust me. Your 3 minutes can seem to go by in 3 seconds or 3 hours. But you have practiced and timed yourself so you know that your time is wrapping up just by where you are in your jokes.

The light signaling your time is almost up should not be confused with the spotlights. Don’t stare into them. They may be really bright.

You did it

You’re wrapping up. Put the mic back into the stand and put the stand back in front. It’s a signal that you are done. Thank the crowd and wait for the host to come up on the stage.

Congratulations!

Stay for the rest of the show

Unless you were the last comic, don’t leave the show with all the friends and family you brought till it’s over. Nothing kills the vibe of a show like a first-time comic who brought 30 people and who all leave as soon as their friend performs.

Stay till the end. Talk to some other comics afterward. That’s your first step to getting on your next show.

About the authors

Creig Ewing is a comedian and show producer. He has helped to put on hundreds of open mics, showcases and comedy shows in the Louisville area. He has hosted numerous shows and has featured at The Caravan Comedy Club in Louisville.

Keith McGill is a comedian who toured internationally working cruise ships and is a much sought-after entertaining for corporate events.

Louisville Laughs comedy events on tap for March

Louisville Laughs has a lot of great comedy shows, open mics and classes scheduled. Here is a breakdown of what’s on tap for March.

Sunday, March 6, 7 p.m.

Comedy at TEN20 open mic

TEN20 Craft Brewery

Free admission

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at TEN20 Craft Brewery in Butchertown.

Comics — some new, some veterans — do their best to make you laugh and try out new material.

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

Come enjoy some laughs, craft beer, pizza from MozzaPi and more.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Comedy TEN20 is every first and third Sunday.

Friday, March 18, 8 p.m.

Never Say Die Comedy Hour (or two)

Never Say Die

Free admission

This is a special show at Never Say Die. Cincinnati comic Chris Weir is coming down to do a set to prepare for his album recording.

After that show, we will hold an open mic for comics.

Have a craft cocktail and join the fun.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Never Say Die shows are every third Friday.

Saturday, March 19, 8 p.m.

Melissa Doran — Next Stop: New Jersey

Falls City Taproom

Tickets $10

Melissa Doran has been one of the most popular comedians in the Louisville area for the past decade. She’s leaving to go back home to New Jersey and take her career to the next level.

Join us as we enjoy Melissa’s comedy one last time here in Kentucky.

Also on the show are William McKenzie, June Dempsey, Misty Stine, Nathaniel Pott-Wells and host Creig Ewing.

Tickets are $10.

Come for the laughs, fresh beer and wine from Old 502 Winery.

Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m.

Comedy Night at Gravely

Gravely Brewing Co

Free tickets

Join Louisville Laughs for the popular Comedy Night at Gravely Brewing Co.

This show features comics from across the region, including:  Hanna Ljungholm and Spencer Domolky from Cincinnati; Jetta V from Indianapolis; and Louisville’s Jake Hovis, Lucious Williams, Reed Sedgwick and host Creig Ewing.

Admission is free. Ticket reservations are requested to ensure seating.

Come for the laughs, fresh beer and great food from Mayan Street Food.

Sunday, March 27, 7:30 p.m.

Jake Ruble and A.J. Wilkerson

The Bard’s Town

Tickets $15

Two best friends — comics who travel the country together with some of the biggest names in comedy — bring their stories from the road to the stage!

Join Jake Ruble & A.J. Wilkerson for a night of standup, story telling and crowd participation as these two comedic travelers take the stage together for this very special engagement!

Enjoy a night of laughter and dinner and drinks at The Bard’s Town for a one-of-a-kind evening.

Thursday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.

New Comics Showcase

Aloft Louisville Downtown

Tickets $5

Join Louisville Laughs for our New Comics Showcase at Aloft Louisville Downtown.

Come see some of the most promising new comics in the area, including Nathan Alexander, Lena Beamish, Danielle Schwolow, Jake Macias, Kelli O’Toole, David Santos, Melman and Esther Sturgeon.

The featured performer is Dayton’s hard-working Jerrel Beaman, who is a star in the making.

Come out for a night of laughs and enjoy a drink and great food at the Corner restaurant in the Aloft lobby.

Admission is just $5.

Louisville Laughs comedy events on tap for 2022

Louisville Laughs is moving some things around for the holidays. Here is what is on tap for 2o22:

Sunday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m.

Comedy at TEN20 open mic

TEN20 Craft Brewery

Free admission

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at TEN20 Craft Brewery in Butchertown.

Comics — some new, some veterans — do their best to make you laugh and try out new material.

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

Come enjoy some laughs, craft beer, pizza from MozzaPi and more.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Thursday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.

Comedy Night at Gravely

Gravely Brewing Co

Free tickets

Comics from Bloomington take over the popular Comedy Night at Gravely Brewing Co. They include Shanda Sung, Mark Bookwalter, Emily Blackwood, James Tanford, Maria Bluck and Eric Groovely.

Admission is free. Please reserve a ticket so that seating can be arranged.

Come for the laughs, fresh beer and great food from Mayan Street Food.

Friday, Jan. 21, 8 p.m.

First 30 Show

Never Say Die

Free admission

It’s a new year, so it’s time for some new jokes.

In this show, 30 comics are invited to tell jokes written in 2022 (up to 2 minutes per bit).

Have a craft cocktail join the fun and let the comics know if their new jokes are a hit.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Sunday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m.

Momics!

The Bard’s Town

Tickets $10

It’s a night of standup momedy as Louisville Laughs presents Momics!

This popular show features comedy by moms for everyone.

Comics include Shanda Sung, Crystal Phoenix, Misty Stine, Keri Sprinkle, Dom Simone and host Jen Cooper.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, if available.

Enjoy your night out at The Bard’s Town with laughs and great food and drinks.

Thursday, Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday Comedy Showcase

Aloft Louisville Downtown

Free tickets

Join Louisville Laughs for the popular Thursday Comedy Showcase at Aloft Louisville Downtown.

This show will feature New York City comic Caitlin Peluffo — The Lovable Loose Cannon. You may have seen her on Late Night with Stephen Colbert or other TV appearances. It’s a chance to see Caitlin before she headlines at Planet of the Tapes on Friday and Saturday.

Also on the show is another New York comic, Jill Weiner, plus several of our favorites from the Louisville area.

Tickets are free but seating is limited so reserve yours today.

Thursday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.

New Comics Showcase

Aloft Louisville Downtown

Tickets

Join Louisville Laughs at Aloft Louisville Downtown on Feb. 3 for our New Comics Showcase featuring comics on the rise.

This show will feature a performance from Jerrel Beamon of Dayton, Ohio, one of the hardest-working young comics in the Midwest.

Also on the show are a selection promising new comics:

Chester Goad

Lena Beamish

Danielle Schwolow 

Cat Fowler 

Kelli O’Toole

David Santos

Melman

Esther Sturgeon

Enjoy a night of laughter, plus food and drinks from the Corner restaurant in the Aloft’s comfortable lobby.

Louisville Laughs comedy events on tap for the rest of 2021

Louisville Laughs has a lot of great comedy shows, open mics and classes scheduled. Here is a breakdown of what’s on tap for the rest of 2021, including a Promo Code for half off a show.

Nov. 19 — Never Say Die Comedy Hour (or Two)

Never Say Die

Free

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at Never Say Die cocktail bar and art gallery in St. Matthews.

This show features a special appearance by nationally touring comic Stef Bright.

Come on out for a fun night of laughs and craft cocktails. We also have comics coming from as far as Colorado, Canada, Bloomington and Bullitt County!

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

Nov. 21 — Comedy at TEN20 open mic, 7 p.m.

TEN20 Craft Brewery

Free admission

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at TEN20 Craft Brewery in Butchertown.

Comics — some new, some veterans — do their best to make you laugh and try out new material.

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

Come enjoy some laughs, craft beer, pizza from MozzaPi and more.

A couple spots remain to perform. To sign up, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Nov. 26-27 — Melisa Doran at The Caravan

The Caravan Comedy Club

Tickets

Extend your holiday with some laughter and a night out with the hilarious Melissa Doran at The Caravan Comedy Club.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov., 26, and 7:30 and 9:30 on Saturday, Nov. 27.

Louisville Laughs’ own Creig Ewing will be the featured comic, and Louisville Laughs followers can get free tickets to the show.

Simply email The Caravan at TheCarvan2017@gmail.com and mention Louisville Laughs. Make sure to let them know which show — Friday’s show or Saturday early or late — you would like tickets for how many you need. Then pick them up at the box office the night of the show.

You will not need a reply from The Caravan to pick up your tickets.

Nov. 28 — Sunday Comedy Showcase Improv Faceoff!

The Bard’s Town

Tickets

Join Louisville Laughs for this Sunday Showcase that will feature a blend of improv groups  — The Hystericals and Kentucky Bill — and stand-up comedy from Sean Smith and Jake Hovis.

Enjoy dinner and drinks at The Bard’s Town and this one-of-a-kind show!

Dec. 2 — Louisville vs. Cincinnati Comedy Battle!

Aloft Louisville Downtown

Tickets $10

Join Louisville Laughs at the Aloft Louisville Downtown where top standup comics from Louisville go head-to-head with some of Cincinnati’s best — and the audience judges which city is funnier!

Louisville comics are: Alex Whittenburg, James Ferguson, Jake Hovis and Lena Beamish.

Cincinnati comics are: Phil Pointer, Zach Wycuff, Cali Botkin and Jon Holmes.

We will also have a special appearance by Keith McGill.

Tickets are $10, but for reading this far you can use the Promo Code CINCY to get $5 off tickets while they last.

Come have some laughs and enjoy dinner or snacks and a drink at the Corner bar in Aloft’s comfortable lobby.

Dec. 5 — Comedy at TEN20 open mic, 7 p.m.

TEN20 Craft Brewery

Free admission

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at TEN20 Craft Brewery in Butchertown.

Comics — some new, some veterans — do their best to make you laugh and try out new material.

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

Come enjoy some laughs, craft beer, pizza from MozzaPi and more.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Dec. 16 — Comedy Night at Gravely Brewing

Gravely Brewing Co.

Free tickets

Join Louisville Laughs on Thursday, Dec. 16, as Indianapolis comics take over Comedy Night at Gravely Brewing Co.

We have a great show with some of our favorite comics from Indianapolis.

The show features Gwen Sunkel. Gwen is one of the most popular comedians in the Indy area. She has opened for Iliza Shlesinger and performed in the 2021 Limestone Comedy Festival. She co-hosts a series of comedy shows that have raised over $15,000 for reproductive health groups in the Midwest.

Also appearing will be Griffin Sciarra, Dyke Michaels, Dustin Burkert, Tennah McDonald and Blake Champlin.

Your host is June Dempsey, and there will be a special appearance from Louisville’s Hillary Boston.

Admission is free. Tickets ensure seating.

Join us for laughs, fresh beer and food from Mayan Street Food.

Dec. 17 — Never Say Die Comedy Hour (or Two)

Never Say Die

Free

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at Never Say Die cocktail bar and art gallery in St. Matthews.

Come on out for a fun night of laughs and craft cocktails.

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Dec. 19 — Comedy at TEN20 open mic, 7 p.m.

TEN20 Craft Brewery

Free admission

Join Louisville Laughs for our popular comedy open mic at TEN20 Craft Brewery in Butchertown.

Comics — some new, some veterans — do their best to make you laugh and try out new material.

Comics also have the chance to earn $25 for sets of the night!

Come enjoy some laughs, craft beer, pizza from MozzaPi and more.

To sign up to perform, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Dec. 26 — Sunday Comedy Showcase Home for the Holidays

The Bard’s Town

Free

Join Louisville Laughs for this Sunday Showcase that will feature comics who have had their fill of egg nog and in-laws and sneak out to entertain you.

One of the featured performers will be Tyler Jackson from Los Angeles.

If you’re interested in performing, email LouisvilleLaughs2@gmail.com or message Louisville Laughs on Facebook.

Tips for your first (or next) time doing standup comedy

You decided you want to try stand-up comedy. Congratulations. Whether you are challenging yourself or believe you’re the next Dave Chappelle, here are some tips to make your first (or next) time on stage a success.

Gather your jokes

Some people try to go onstage and wing it. Don’t be one of those people. Compile your “set” of jokes.

Whatever jokes you tell should say something about you. Anyone call tell a joke about the the president. You are the expert on your family, your friends, your life.

Write your ideas down

At first, I wrote down every joke by hand and edited them. Now I do a lot of the editing in my head, but I always carry a notebook or something to write down joke ideas.

If writing by hand isn’t your thing, type or dictate them into a phone. Ideas may come to you at any time. A cashier says something funny. You’re helping a friend move. If you have an idea, right it down. If you are certain you’ll remember it later, you will be sorry.

A pretty good way to spot a comic is to find someone scribbling in a well-worn notebook.

Practice your routine

Go over your material. You can do it in front of a mirror, before other comics or in your head. I often go over what I am going to say in my head while I’m taking a walk. It helps to keep you free from distractions.

While reviewing your jokes, always look to get rid of what isn’t needed to get laughs.

Time yourself

AS a new comic, you probably will get 3 to 5 minutes on stage. Comedy clubs are serious about the time allowed. At most places you will get a light alerting you there is a minute left. If you go over your time that is called “running the light” and is frowned upon.

It’s no sin to leave the stage with some time left. It is to go over your time. When timing yourself, leave some room for laughs. But don’t count on laughs, especially your first time.

Cut out wasted words

Your job is to get laughs. Keep the words that are needed to get to the funny and cut the rest. What words could be cut out of this joke, for example?

“Common sense isn’t so common anymore, is it? Yesterday at Kroger the cashier put dryer sheets in the bag with my lunch meat. Now my bologna tastes like Bounce.”

Use original material

It is understood in stand-up comedy that the jokes you are telling on stage are jokes that you’ve written. Sometimes you will hear new comics tell jokes that have been told around the water cooler forever. Those are called “street jokes.” You don’t want to tell them on stage.

If you get successful enough, you can buy jokes from joke writers. For now, concentrate on writing your own material.

Sometimes you hear comics tell jokes that other comics have told. That is called joke theft, and you don’t want to do that.

It’s not unusual for comics to arrive at the same basic joke at the same time. This especially happens if you are writing jokes about current events or common joke topics. The more original you are, the fewer problems you’ll have telling jokes similar to others.

See live shows beforehand

If you’re going on stage and you’ve never seen a comedy show outside of Netflix, see some in person. If possible, go to the club or venue where you are going to go up for the first time.

It will help to get more comfortable. You can see where the comics sit, where the list for the order of the performance is kept, who is in charge, what the audience reacts to and what doesn’t work. It will put you way ahead for your big night.

The more shows or open mics you see, the better grasp you will have of what works and what doesn’t. Be aware that all open mics are not equal.

Schedule your open mic

Not all open mics work the same. For a comedy club, you may need to email for a date that could be weeks away. A Thursday night open mic at a bar may be “show up and sign up” meaning you go and put your name on the list for a spot that night.

Some of these types of mics are popular and the list may fill up early.

Don’t assume that an open mic means you can show up with no warning with all your friends and get on stage. Do some research.

Be confident or fake it

Confidence is a big factor in successful comedy. Teachers often do well because they are used to talking to a room full of people. You’ve practiced your jokes, you know them by heart, your friends laughed, so get up there confident that the audience will love you.

You’re still going to be scared, but trust yourself. You got this. If you appear overly nervous, people may not laugh because they are worried for you.

Stay sober

It’s tempting to have a few shots of liquid courage before you go onstage. Save it for after your set when you are celebrating.

Remember when you went to the open mics and saw the guy say, “I’m so toasted I can’t remember what I was going to say?” Don’t be that guy.

Tell people it’s your first time

If it’s your first time on stage doing standup, let the host know and let the audience know. If it’s an open mic with mostly comedians, you will have their attention. And audience members are supportive of new comics. You’re doing something most of them couldn’t imagine doing.

Move the mic stand behind you

You’re introduced, and now you’re on stage. The first thing you should do is take the mic out of the stand and move the mic stand behind or beside you. You don’t want it to be in front of you blocking you.

My first time I was afraid I would drop the mic, so I left it in the stand. That’s fine, too, and it frees up your hands. But you don’t want an empty mic stand blocking you. It’s a distraction for the audience.

Look at the audience

You are telling your jokes, but where do you look? Look at the audience, move and  turn to address the whole room. Ideally, you look straight at some audience members if a joke seems to relate to them (you’re telling a joke about dating and a couple is in the front row).

But if this is too much the first time, look slightly over their heads. Don’t put your head down and talk to the floor. The sooner you are able to look at the audience the easier it will be.

Hold the mic near your chin

You’re doing great and have moved the mic stand behind you. Make sure to keep the microphone close to your chin. Sometimes comics wave their arms around and forget they are holding the mic.

Also, don’t scream into the mic. You want everyone to hear you but you don’t want to pay for a new mic. Don’t fiddle with the stand. And definitely don’t drop the mic. It’s not funny and good mics are expensive.

Look for the light

You’re almost done. Keep an eye for the light signaling your time is almost up. It may be a small light from a phone. New comics often are so into the moment they don’t see the light.

You will have no sense of time on stage. Trust me. Your 3 minutes can seem to go by in 3 seconds or 3 hours. But you have practiced and timed yourself so you know that your time is wrapping up just by where you are in your jokes.

The light signaling your time is almost up should not be confused with the spotlights. Don’t stare into them. They may be really bright.

You did it

You’re wrapping up. Put the mic back into the stand and put the stand back in front. It’s a signal that you are done. Thank the crowd and wait for the host to come up on the stage.

Congratulations!

Stay for the rest of the show

Unless you were the last comic, don’t leave the show with all the friends and family you brought till it’s over. Nothing kills the vibe of a show like a first-time comic who brought 30 people, who all leave as soon as their friend performs.

Stay till the end. Talk to some other comics afterward. That’s your first step to getting on your next show.

About the authors

Creig Ewing is a comedian and show producer. He has helped to put on hundreds of open mics, showcases and comedy shows in the Louisville area. He has hosted numerous shows and has featured at The Caravan Comedy Club in Louisville.

Keith McGill is a comedian who toured internationally working cruise ships and is a much sought-after entertaining for corporate events.