I’m going to take credit for this years from now even though all I did was give money to a kickstarter.
Last night, October 8th, 2015, I attended the first show of the Rogue Island Comedy Festival. A Newport located independent comedy festival. The organizer, Douglas Key, chose very wisely when developing a festival in one of New England’s most popular tourist destinations. October, Columbus Day weekend, very local and old timey burger bar, just add humor.
I was upset to learn I already had plans during the weekend of Columbus Day. (Now I know not to book it for anything else in the future.) So I wanted to make sure I made it to the Thursday night 8pm show. I work in Kendall Square, Cambridge so the long commute to my car then drive to Newport was not something I was looking forward to but through encouragement from Doug that I would not be late or disruptive, got me on my solo journey.
I found parking instantly. For real. I was shocked that about 2 blocks away I found a spot listed as 15 minute parking until 6pm. It was now 7:45pm. I parked, put on some makeup….they said there would be a professional photographer, so I had to be prepared, just in case. 🙂 Upon entering Brick Alley Pub I followed the crowd of people up the stairs to Plumby’s. A queue went up to the host podium where a girl with cool hair (and complimented mine) took my name, handed me swag and told me my table was Table 8.
The Swag. Now I know this is not the point of a Comedy Festival but I have to talk about it. From the beginning of this Kickstarter and probably earlier, Doug had a clear vision of the marketing angel he wanted to present to his audience. The freehand script font used was actually copied from Rhode Island historical figure and original rogue (OR) Roger Williams‘ signature. Doug himself is a Newport, RI native. Probably no one better to start such a grand idea and his passion is felt as you see him greet and thank everyone he runs into as he floats around the space. (Personally, if more of my friends invited me to accomplishments and not weddings, I would be thrilled.)
Back to swag, I was a Kickstarter backer which was stated on my VIP pass, which now hangs proudly from my rear view mirror. They were out of Small t-shirts but that’s okay, I got a Medium, I plan on cutting it up anyway while on my sewing retreat this weekend. Last a koozie, which has become the big merch item around bands and bar dwellers, comedy is no exception. This new koozie for me will be added to a collection I have an intend for only the fanciest of events. (Along with my Glitter Gangster Club koozie and my “I earned this” Roller Derby Convention koozie.)
I proceeded to Table 8. The girl who sat me, asked me “How’d you get Table 8?” I seriously hope she said this to everyone, because if she did, it would make everyone feel like their seat was amazing. I told her, shrugging “I have no clue, maybe because I’m a comedian?” although I was wearing a VIP pass…stop being dumb Jax. Table 8, wasn’t a table but rather a MS. PAC-MAN GAMING TABLE TOP. No not the Galaga/Ms. Pac-Man combo, just Ms. Pac-Man. It wasn’t plugged in unfortunately but between this table and all the old timey cars and toys hanging from the ceiling this place screamed New England and possible Antiques Roadshow. I liked it. My Ms. Pac-Man table was empty but reserved. A cute inkwell tea light feather pen centerpiece mimicked the logo. My seat was amazing prime.
I was later joined by former SkyPunch member Dave and a former coworker of Doug’s and her friend. (I’m sorry I don’t remember your name even though I tried really hard.) Dave bought me a Shipyard Pumpkinhead and we both remarked at how the cinnamon rim is a garbage concept which should not happen. Thanks for the beer sir!
The stage was set with a Rogue Island Comedy Festival banner (same logo!) and black curtains. I’m pretty sure a vintage drive-in movie speaker system was on stage with the comedians but I’m not sure. Thr show started on time with an announcement from what I can imagine is the manager of the place and then Doug took the stage.
Does anyone else have the feeling they should bid on him as if this was a fundraising auction? I must have not been the only one because someone else yelled “Take it off!” to which Doug responded “Not yet, that’s for the later show.” I wasn’t at the later show. If you were, I’d love to hear about it.
Doug is an excellent performer who is comfortable on stage and I bet he was enjoying the beginning of his epic comedy weekend. Performers for the evening included Dan Boulger, Scott Chaplain, BIRTHDAY BOY John Porch, Orlando Baxter, and Sam Morril. If I had to point out two jokes I remember, it’s John Porch talking about getting likes on Facebook, (how many with this article get?) since most of my interactions with him are on Facebook. Additionally, one of the other comedians, can’t remember who, sorry guys, was talking about how there is no such thing as “Cinnamon Toast Crunch vagina”. If there was ever a need for a spokesperson of flavored vaginal lube, I’m pretty sure that comedian would do well at it. Would General Mills have a partnership? (On a side note, I’d say cinnamon might burn. Never tried it, just my guess.) The overall tone for the jokes ranged from grammer jokes, Bill Cosby debate, dumb youth stories, and raunchy sex jokes. There were a few in the crowd who may have not been familiar with how comedy shows go, and a few awkward moment which are usually the ones which make me laugh the loudest. I had a blast and I think my laugh is obnoxiously random and loud in a crowd of which I can only assume is part Newport locals and friends of Doug.
All in all, a successful event, SOLD OUT, very well presented and I wish them the best in the rest of the evening. Please help me in my support of LIVE LOCAL COMEDY by attending a comedy show near you. You might get offended the first time but eventually you’ll realize, everyone is equally ridiculed and it can be fun to laugh at the world in all it’s stupidity.