I get asked all the time, “whats my favorite city to perform in?” It’s really not about the city, though, it’s about the club. So many cities, I love to visit because they are fun or I get to see friends, or even the hotel is amazing. But the places that I mark on my calendar as being “My favorite” are clubs that know how to run a show.
From promoting their comedians and shows to ensuring the show is a positive experience for everyone (comedian and audience), certain clubs just know how to make it work. Audiences know that if they go there, they will likely see one of the best comedians in the country. Comedians know that the audience will be well behaved and the staff will take care of them, if and when the crowd is rowdy. I have MANY favorite clubs and last week, I was at one of them: ACME comedy club in Minneapolis.
From the minute the first show started on a Wednesday to the last minute of the last show on Saturday, every moment was pure joy. The crowds were ready to laugh and the staff made sure the comedians were taken care of. I was actually depressed when I had to get off stage on the last show, knowing that it would be a while until I experienced such joy. Usually during a week of six shows, one show will be bad. Not at ACME. We were competing with Taylor Swift, Pride weekend, a few other festivals and amazing weekend of weather. The people came in droves to see comedy. They were well behaved, well informed and open minded. I can’t wait to be back. Thank you to Louis and the staff at ACME for a weekend of pure bliss. #standup #acme #formerlawyer #comedylife #minneapolis
Recently I headlined a show at one of my favorite clubs. I was having a good time until the "check drop" which is when the staff drops the checks about 35-40 mins into the headliner's set (some clubs wait till the end, which is awesome!) At that point, everyone is looking at their bills, doing math for the check or splitting checks. All momentum is lost, especially if you are in the middle of a 2-3 min joke/story. It went South fast for me because I didn't get the big laugh at the end of the joke I was in the middle of, and I panicked to get them to focus on me again. I did crowd work. I did jokes about them taking too long to pay the bills, everything. Nothing seemed to work. I felt like I lost them for a good 10 minutes before I did some closers and got them back. It messed with me.
I went to grab a cigar after the show at the cigar bar nearby where a guy ran up to me and said "I got whatever he wants!" to the clerk. He was at the show with his wife and they said they loved my set so much. They were regulars at the club and had seen me before, opening for another act. They kept track of me and when I was returning. I did tell them I was not happy with the end of the show and the "check drop" but they genuinely didn't seem to notice.
Soon, another group of four from the show sitting a little further back came up to me to take pictures, quoting my jokes back to me. They said I made their night, after a long trying day dealing with a tragedy. It made my night. Their kind words change the view I had of the show when I lated watched my video of the show as well. So share your good thoughts with comedians and artists when you see them, we may need it more than you know. #standup #careerchange #kindwords #laughs
I get this more than anything. Its funny to me because most of my stories are based in truth. I often combine two or three events to make them one or substitute a specific situation to make it broader. So if I am talking about a date I had, I will combine two or three situations into one. Or if I am talking about my nephew, I may incorporate or assign a story to him, which is really about my cousin or niece. Sometimes, I change the endings of a story to make them more palatable or comical. But ultimately, I would say each story is about 75% true.
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy