Carbondale Comedy

Knock, knock…who’s there?…savior…savior who?…savior laughs and come out to see the Carbondale Comedians! Ok, ok…I’ll leave it to the professionals to make the jokes from now on. The Carbondale Comedians have established the comedy scene in Carbondale with their stand up performances over the past few years, and they didn’t even need cheesy knock knock jokes to get there.

On Monday and Wednesday nights, you can catch a few laughs, and maybe a few drinks, while watching their stand up performances. Monday night open mic takes place at Hangar 9, while Wednesday nights are held at Station 13, located just ten minutes from campus on IL-13 towards Murphysboro. Regulars and newbies alike, the Carbondale Comedians welcome anyone with the drive to make people laugh, whether you laugh with them or at them.

If you have never been to a stand-up comedy show, then you know the usual routine, but if you have never been to a live one, you are in for a treat.

Each comedian has ten minutes to prove they stand out on the stand-up stage, complete with the typical single microphone against the red curtained background. You will hear some raunchy sexual innuendoes and even some stereotypical snide remarks; but you have to remember you are at a comedy show, so it is perfectly acceptable to laugh at politically incorrect, and sometimes downright dirty jokes.

You may even have the fortunate honor to get a shout-out at one of the shows; as a comedian ended his skit by bending down and humping the chair onstage while awkwardly moaning for two minutes, finishing with “Put that in your magazine!” I personally got a good chuckle out of that one.

But who are these Carbondale Comedians?

Mike Garvin, Andrew Chandler, and Erin Zimmerman run the shows and have been regulars to the comedy scene here for a while. Since they have quite a few performances under their belt, they never disappoint in getting a laugh from the crowd. Garvin’s hosting brings a lively and hilarious transition between each performer to keep the crowd thirsty for more entertainment (and alcohol).

Garvin and Chandler also host their own hour long comedy radio show. Every Thursday at 9 a.m., they provide something to laugh about in the early morning hours on WDBX 91.1. If you’re like me and not morning person whatsoever, a little humor to start out the day is more refreshing than that overpriced coffee from Starbucks.

At the live shows, the audience gets a variety of comedians who come to perform. Anyone and everyone is welcome. Some are doing it for the first time, some are trying to find their style, while still others keep coming back for more.

“I thought all the comedians were funny and brought something to the stage, but I came here to support Jay,” said Kurtis Weiss, a senior at SIU.

Jay McNamara is no stranger to comedy. If he’s not cracking jokes to his friends, he is up on stage making people laugh with his Ace Ventura impressions.

“You’re in an environment where people want to hear something funny. That’s what I love about it, you have the freedom of creating and saying whatever you want,” he said.

A marketing major at SIU, McNamara describes his humor as “outlandish and unique”. His use of personal stories makes you wonder if he just has a creative mind or if his life really is full of strange and insane experiences. Regardless, he assures his audience, “yes this happened, I am not shitting you.”

McNamara has only done the Wednesday night shows, but he says he is eager to continue to perform and get more people to come and watch.

“I do little quips in front of my friends to practice, but I always keep the present in the wrapper,” he said with a wink.

Another familiar face to the Carbondale Comedians is T. (Terry) Murph. He started his stand-up career at Station 13 and even though he has moved up the comedian ladder, he still enjoys performing in Carbondale.

A previous theater major at SIU, Murph describes himself as “a breath of fresh air to the stand-up circuit.” Since his first show, he has gone on to perform at the famous Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago and has headlined his own show, Jokes and Notes. Recently, Murph landed a guest appearance on the Comedy Central show Key and Peele. He brings his big time sketches to the small town of Carbondale, proving that he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

“The Carbondale comedy scene really started my career, so it’s something special to me,” Murph said.

He definitely has a presence onstage and you can’t help but pay attention to the hilarious things he says. Like McNamara, Murph gets his inspiration from real life situations and his own observations.

“My favorite topic to talk about is relationships. I think the differences in the way men and women approach them is interesting and relatable,” he said. “I also like talking about older black men because they are always cracking me up.”

No matter what your sense of humor is, the Carbondale Comedians are always cooking up something for your viewing pleasure. The cover and the laughs are free, so you have no excuse not to show up. And so, I leave you with one last joke.

A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: “That’s the ugliest baby that I’ve ever seen. Ugh!” The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!” The man says: “You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I’ll hold your monkey for you.” Thank you, and goodnight!