The Funny Bone Comedy Club may have closed in November, but the jokes aren’t lost on Baton Rouge just yet.
Previous Funny Bone emcee Gregg Hamilton will begin hosting new live comedy events two nights a month, starting Feb. 20, at the Londoner.
Owner Chip Gary said he and owner Luke Betts have always loved local comedy and wanted to fill the gap left by the Funny Bone’s closure. Coincidentally, Hamilton was also looking for a place to host live comedy again.
“I wanted to bring in some guys who knew more about the local comedy scene,” Gary said. “Greg knows every single act that’s come through. He knows everyone who’s hit that stage. ”
Hamilton, a ten-year comedy vet, also wants to bring in acts he’s metout on tour, as well as local up-and-comers.
“I know a lot of comics from being on the road and from the Funny Bone,” Hamilton said. “Most of the guys that will be coming through are my friends and guys I’ve worked with. And some of the headliners are national touring comics.”
For the first night of comedy, Hamilton brings two appropriately English comedians into the Londoner: opener Paul Oswalt and headliner Steve Hirst.
Hamilton describes Oswalt as an up-and-coming comedian with five years of motivational speaking under his belt. And he says Hirst, a regular headliner at the Funny Bone, has been in comedy for more than 15 years.
“He’s energetic; he’s not like most British comics people would assume,” explained Hamilton. “He’s more like laugh-so-hard-you-throw-up-on-yourself funny.”
The Londoner will host another comedy night March 6, opening with Mike Honore and headlining with Tommy “T-Ray” Bergeron.
Each comedy night will feature two shows: one at 8 p.m. and another at 10 p.m., with both shows showcasing the same comedians. Hamilton says this is the norm, and it allows those who can’t stay out late to see an earlier show.
For the time being, The Londoner’s new live comedy will take place on the first and third Thursdays of each month, but Gary says the bar hopes to expand the events to every Thursday.
“We want to get a feel for what the demand is first,” he explains.
These new comedy nights will use the recently renovated second story area of the pub, where a wall was knocked down to better seat an audience – roughly 100 people. And while upstairs may be roaring with laughter, Gary said regular customers can still enjoy the downstairs area as it usually is — filled with music from the British Invasion.
– Austen Krantz