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Local Businesses Cash in on Comedy

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The Great Basin Brewery in Sparks is doing its part to grow a new crop of comics here in Northern Nevada. And last night local comics went head-to-head for the title as winner.

“I have a friend who doesn’t like Hawaiian pizza,” said Charlie Woodman who also works as a producer here at Channel 2. “I told her she was Pizza Judas. Hey, that’s a great name for a restaurant. But no, we all know the obvious name would have to be Jesus Crust…right?”

“Why am I here,” said James Fleming who works at TMCC. “I’m here because who doesn’t feel grateful to talk with people who are chiseling at a bread bowl with a fork. I guess I feel that if I can get that guy’s attention maybe someday my own parents will love me.”

There were eight comics performing last night.

“This is where we come to try out new material," said the emcee who goes by the name Justin Time. “Comedy is kind of like skateboarding: you have to practice and you have to try jokes a thousand times before you really know what will stick.”

Opportunities for comics are on the rise as casinos look for ways to fill a room for less money. They are able to give future comics a chance and those working on material are happy to take the stage. Before you can get to the big stages though like Catch a Rising Star and Empire Improv, comics generally see a lot of open mic nights and smaller stages first.

And they all have goals.

“I’m hoping to go on to Chinese restaurants and maybe even laundromats,” Fleming told me.

“I would really just like to make money at this,” said Cliff McGrady, who won last night’s competition.

The Great Basin Brewery will start the weekly contest up again in the fall. Until then there are a number of other places for comics to practice.

Catch a Rising Star www.catcharisingstar.com

Reno-Tahoe Comedy www.renotahoecomedy.com

Pioneer Underground www.pioneercenter.com

Empire Comedy   www.empireimprov.com

www.RenoStandup.com

Written by Erin Breen
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