This franchise comedy club has been a staple in Des Moines for as long as I can remember. In all the years that it has been here, I had only been there one time. It was for some show featuring lady comedians called the Untamed Shrews? It was a decent enough show it's just that I never had the desire to go back there again. That was until recently when I found out a fellow blogger would be performing there.
Bill Blank is a local comedian that is also a Juice blogger. It was hard to gauge his comedy from his writing style so I wanted to check out his live stage show. The problem was that his tour schedule didn't have him in Des Moines anytime soon. Luckily, something opened up where he would be emceeing shows there this week. He wouldn't be the headliner which meant it would be an abbreviated show for him, but it was still better than nothing.
My plan was to head to the Funny Bone Thursday night after work to pick up a ticket. Then I could hang out in a sports bar somewhere to watch some of the NCAA Tourney until it was showtime. The problem was that I didn't realize the club had moved. I went to the location I had known for years and found that there was a Subway there now. The trusty old Dex iPhone app informed me they were now in West Glen out in West Des Moines. It took a minute to locate, but it was much better than the hole in the wall spot they had in the strip mall where they were previously.
I made sure to get there early enough so I could get a niceseat. The nice thing about that place is there really isn't a bad seat in the house. It's a cozy setting where all of the tables have a great view of the stage. Their diner menu isn't the best, but what do you really expect for a comedy club? It's not like you're going there to enjoy the food. Although that really would have been an appreciated bonus.
Bill took the stage promptly at 7:30pm. Just as the UNI/UNLV game was getting good. I only say that because they were showing the game on the big screen before he came out. Yes, I know we were there to see the show, but I was getting into the game. As much as I do love me some comedy, this is March Madness we're talking about. To make matters worse, we would find out later that UNI would win the game on a last second long-range three-pointer.
Anyway, it was good to finally be able to see Bill's show live. He got off to a slow start which had me skeptical at first, but he eventually warmed up. It has to be tough to be that first act. You really wouldn't have a feel for the crowd as to what type of humor they would and wouldn't like so that would make you the guinea pig more or less. Plus, the emcee doesn't have enough time to do their full routine so I could tell that Bill was holding back a bit.
The first main guy was this cat named Dan Davidson. Never heard of him before. Bill told us he's been on Comedy Central but I've never seen him. It was obvious right away what his style he was shooting for. He was your early Jim Carey-type comedian. His stand-up was very similar to Carey's early work, minus the impressions. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Carey has been around so long now that most people probably forgot he got his start in stand-up. That bodes well for Davidson.
The headliner was Bert Kreisher. His resume was a bit more padded. He had been on "Last Comic Standing 2", Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" and even had his own FX show called "Hurt Bert". Still had no clue who he was. Dude was very funny though. I especially liked his ability to connect with the audience and seamlessly find humor there that we could all appreciate. That was helped tremendously by the fact that there was an actual pig farmer in our audience. I'm still trying to figure out if that guy was a plant though. It just seemed like his appearance conveniently supplied the perfect fuel for Bert's show.
So now that is a whopping two times I have been to Funny Bone in all the years that it has been here. It will soon be three coming up in May when D.L. Hughley is doing a special engagement. I'll have to make sure to get there even earlier for that one so I can get an even better seat. Just not close enough that he can zone in on me and make me the butt of his jokes. It's just good to know that our Funny Bone is able to get a big name like him. If they can attract even more of my favorite comedians, my visits there just may increase.