Discriminating Comedy

I waited a week to write today’s entry, because I simply couldn’t fathom having to write such an article, but after a week, I still haven’t been able to make sense of the incident, so I’ll write about it anyway, and see what you guys think. Here’s the story:

So, last week I’m driving around Mobile and I pass by a nightclub with a marquee advertising a comedy show every Thursday night. Well, that week I had been researching regional booking agents and actively scouting for clubs that have an “open mike” within a few hours drive. (My current act is about ready for some previews) Now, to discover simply by accident that my own city is experimenting once again with a comedy night at a club was music to my ears. (okay, it was more like music to my eyes…Poetry to my eyes…well, whatever)

Anyway, I decided to visit the club the night BEFORE the comedy night; just to check out the atmosphere, the stage, the crowds, etc.

I dressed in my favorite “going-out” clothes, (Admit it, you have some too)and headed to the club a bit early, hoping to maybe even speak with a manager or bartender and do some reconnaissance.

I pulled in to a virtually empty parking lot at around 8:30PM. (that’s still early, so I wasn’t too worried) and barely noticed the car that pulled in behind me as I was parking.

I got out of my car and went to the door of the club.


I noticed another entrance to the side of the club and thought, “Okay, wrong door” and headed to the side entrance.

By then and while I was headed to the side entrance; the guy and his girlfriend/wife? had emerged from their car and approached me.

“Can I help you?” he asks.

I said I was planning on going in the club but the front door was locked and I was trying the side entrance.

“We open at 10”, he said. And then he added, “we are under new management now, we ain’t a sports bar anymore, we are strictly ‘A Club'” And he said it with somewhat of an attitude; like a sports bar was bad, that the old management was bad, and that now that they are a “CLUB”, they were somehow much, much better.

By now, I notice that the guy is kinda looking at me suspiciously; inspecting my attire. (Were my jeans unzipped?)

I tell him I’m interested in the following night’s comedy show and I assumed by now he was the manager, employee, etc, so I ask him about the comics that would be performing.

“Are your comics local or regional?” I asked.

Then he did it again. He looked me up and down, again and paused before he answered.

“All of OUR acts are from places like BET‘s ComicView and “Def Comedy Jam

“Okay” I say, “that’s cool, I used to do some comedy and I’m getting ramped up to do it again; will you be doing “open mikes”, as well?

He looks at me again. (What’s wrong with me, do I have a “booger” on my nose?)

He said. “We are just doing this one night a week, we WON’T be doing ‘open mikes'”.

And then it dawned on me. Some days I’m way to slow or naive’.

I’m a WHITE guy.

Here’s this nice, well dressed African-American male, telling me that:

1) This ain’t a sports bar. (obviously I appeared to be sports-oriented; I’m not)

2) Our comics are from Black Entertainment Television

3) We aren’t interested in new comics that apparently look and dress like you.

So, I thanked him for his time, told him I was just dropping by that evening to check out the “CLUB” and have a beer, but I wasn’t going to hang around till 10PM , ’cause I had “work” the next day. But, I said, I might drop in and see “the show” the next night.

He looked at me again with somewhat of a sneer and said “Okay dude, alright.”

I never went to the show.

I’ve been to all kinds of bars in my life; “dive” bars, sports bars, “gay” bars, biker bars, disco bars, redneck bars, and yep, even “urban-hip-hop-rap-predominantly black-and-I’m the-only-white-guy-there” bars; but I didn’t go back to this club.

I like discriminating comedy, but I’m just not ready for comedy clubs that discriminate.

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About Dave Robison

Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave. From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.
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2 Responses to Discriminating Comedy

  1. jason says:

    Maybe Toby Keith could write a song about this place.

  2. Not sure Toby would be any more welcome than I was.

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