A big story like this week’s Hippo comedy cover piece inevitably leaves a few things out. I wanted to talk about UNH’s Funniest Person on Campus and the feeder program behind it, and mention the upstart standup shows happening at Manchester’s Double Midnight Comics, but time and space prevented it.
I also reached out to perhaps the biggest comedy dog in the pack – Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, a place that books more big name comics than any room north of Boston. The interwebs conspired against the thoughts of the Ballroom’s Andrew Herrick arriving before deadline, but I thought his remarks worthy of a separate post.
How well does comedy do at Casino Ballroom?
I dare say it is our most successful “genre” in the sense that everyone loves to laugh and for comics our size room is like a rock band playing an arena.
How does it compare to a few years ago?
The comedy series has been in full effect for 10+ years and has always attracted the top 10 or 12 touring comics. The big difference now is that comedy has grown so much and there are many more comedians playing arenas, which wasn’t the case in 2005. Comedy in general is way more popular.
Do you have any favorite acts?
All of them, I LOVE the comedy series. Some of the best are Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, Brian Regan, Sebastian Maniscalco (I would call him the current reigning champ) and so many more. We have a bunch of first timers this year with Chris D’Elia, Kathleen Madigan and Hannibal Buress. It should be a fantastic series this year.
Are local comics on the bill?
Usually a Boston comic opens the show, usually they have some kind of former connection with the headliner, either opened for them before or know them personally.
If so, how did they work out?
Most of the time they are amazing because they are 45 min set comics being asked to do 15-20 mins of their best material.
Any other observations on the laugh business?
If you want to remember what it looks like to see large groups of people smiling together in 2016, just stand in our parking lot after a show. Pretty inspiring, laughter makes everything better.