Charlie’s Standup Comedy Journal
This was my third trip into the ‘Comedy Vault’ at Remington’s Bar in downtown Boston. The place is a bit nerve-wracking, for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s a ‘bringer show’, which means that you get to go onstage only if you find two people willing to come — and pay — with you.
(Or, as I found out in February, if you’re willing to pay for ‘phantom’ people, if none of your friends can stand your jokes any more. Damn ‘friends’.)
It’s also a bit odd in that the comics going onstage are sequestered for the evening in an actual vault — the building used to be a bank, and while the crowd is arranged in a more open area in the basement of the joint, the performers are stationed in what used to be the money pit, pacing and practicing and waiting to go onstage. Now, other places have similar setups, but with two key differences:
A. In most other clubs, I know more of the comics, and can pass the time catching up.
2. In other places, there’s not a fourteen-inch-thick steel door that could close at any moment and lock you in what passes for the ‘green room’
All of that said, the Comedy Vault is actually a really fun place to play — the food’s pretty good, they pour a mean Guinness, and the room is usually pretty packed. I did find, on this trip, that the local colleges (and by ‘local’, I mean two located within a three block radius, if not less) contribute significantly to the Sunday night crowds. The schools are out for the summer now, so the audience was a bit smaller than usual. Still more crowded than most places, but not ‘jammed to the gills with drunken frat boys out to hoot at their friend telling five minutes of dick jokes’ crowded. And since I, too, tell my share of ‘dick jokes’, I am all about having those kids around.
But even without the student contingent, we soldiered on, and had a really great night. I went through a recent set that I’ve been working on, trying out some new bits here and there, and generally had a grand old time. Sure, I had to pay for a ‘phantom guest’ again — my wife’s apparently the only real trooper I know — but still, it’s worth seven bucks to get to go onstage and try to make three dozen strangers laugh. Even if it is with a bunch of dick jokes. Hee.
Download Clip of 06/06/04 Set —
The Comedy Vault at Remington’s, Boston, MA (4 minutes, 49 seconds):
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