Alabama

8 08 2011

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I just got back from a week at Stardome Comedy Club in Birmingham, Alabama. The Stardome is known as one of the top comedy clubs in the country and it deserves it’s billing. The club is set up perfectly with theatre seating and a great sound system; the management is absolutely top shelf and they pack the room nearly every night. I had performed there several years ago for two weeknights but this was the first time I’d had the chance to work a full week. To be perfectly honest, I had some really fun sets but I also had a few that I wish I could’ve taken a mulligan on. The crowds are great but you better be ready to bring it right outa the gate. A few of my sets I tried to ease my way in and they weren’t haven’t it….and I don’t blame them. Every club is different; different people, different beliefs, different value systems….its the comics job to make the connection, no excuses. Regardless, I had a good time, got to hang out with some great people, and learned a lot.

The headliner was Pete Correale and I really can’t say enough good things about him. He is the Malcolm Young of standup comedy and if you are not a Malcolm Young fan, I suggest you dismiss yourself from this blog immediately. Malcolm Young doesn’t need any frills, he keeps it simple; he plays a 1959 Gretch Firebird through a Marshal stack, no pedals and no effects and he holds it down everytime. This is the best way I can describe Pete’s comedy, it’s just rock solid top to bottom. Give him a mic and some people to talk to and he’ll kill it…6 out of 6 shows. He’s also a super cool guy…I had a blast talking shop with him this week.

I also have to mention a couple other standouts from the week; Tony is the manager at the Stardome and is a major dude.  He is a funny, funny cat…I’m a fan. The owners of the Stardome, Bruce and Cheech, are two of the nicest people I have ever met. They took us to their favorite restaurant, GianMarcos, and told us some amazing stories they had accumulated over the past 26 years running the Stardome. Finally, as you can see in the slideshow, Keanu Reeves works as a bartender at the Stardome. Who would have thunk it? Great guy.

You may see a somewhat odd picture in the slideshow which contains a wine glass, two tumblers, two sets of silverware, a lighter, some shampoo, and three condoms. These items were waiting for us in the green room each and every night. I can assure you they were not for me as middle acts don’t have riders and even if they did, my only request would be a Rita’s cherry Gelati.

In closing, if you ever find yourself in Birmingham, AL, check out the Stardome, GianMarcos AND Oak Mountain State Park. I spent my Saturday afternoon hiking  and swimming in the lake. It is an enormous park and simply gorgeous. Admission is only $3 and worth every penny. Do it.

Overall, I consider the week a successful mission. I had fun, I learned a lot, I made new friends, and got to see some really cool stuff. Alabama…you’ve earned an A.

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