By Barbara Anne Kirshner
I usually share my theatre reviews with you, but this time I want to tell you about something a little different.
My husband and I love comedy, especially stand up, but haven’t gone to anything like that in a long time. We decided to try McGuires Comedy Club in Bohemia. McGuires and The Brokerage in Bellmore are sister clubs to Governors’ Comedy Club in Levittown, an institution in comedy that has been around for over 35 years and has featured home grown Long Island comedians in addition to national headliners such as Kevin James, Andrew Dice-Clay and Gilbert Gottfried. McGuires opened in 2017 and quickly established a reputation for bringing some of the finest comedy to Suffolk County for a reasonable price.
McGuires offers a variety of comedy nights. Sometimes it hosts headliners like Joey Kola (May 7) or Don Irrera (June 2). Sometimes it’s a 2-man show like Kevin Brennan and Bob Levy (April 29). Showcases are a popular staple like the All Star Comedy Show and the one we caught Friday night, April 15, Stars of Tomorrow. This showcase attracted us because we thought, who knows, maybe we’ll see the next Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld or Eddie Murphy.
John Trueson hosted the evening’s festivities. Trueson, an obvious professional, energized the audience with his personable banter as he kept the pace throughout the evening, quick and flawless, introducing one comedian after the next.
I consider stand up a challenging art form and I admire anyone with the guts to get up in front of an audience and try to make them laugh. Most of these comedians joked about themselves and the foibles of their families which made it good fun.
The playlist for the evening was well thought out. First up, Tim Gage, who jumped onstage full of energy and never let up. His jokes were about highly relatable family matters. His observation of, “Have you ever looked at your own parents and wondered what it was that brought those two together?” brought down the house. He poked fun of the school system with his son’s teacher telling him, “Your son’s got ADD, he might be good in sports.” So, he started coaching his son’s little league. “My son made it to first base once; he didn’t know where he was.” The jokes were quick and furious.
Next up was Nick Damadeo who started off, “My wife listed a few topics I’m not allowed to discuss.” He went through the list then concluded, “ Most people don’t give a damn about anything on that list.” He poked fun at his profession, “The doctor said to me you’re a lawyer, aren’t you? Yeah, how’d you know? I can’t find a heart.” Yes, there were lots of lawyer jokes.
Chris Roach introduced himself with put on snobbery, “I’m from upper Ronkonkoma.” He had the audience in the palm of his hand with jokes on the pandemic. “I want to pass a new law that anytime anyone says ‘variant’ I want to punch them in the mouth.” And “I’m not going back in the house. I’m going to kill somebody if I have to do one more puzzle.”
Not all the comedians were funny. There was one who was brave enough to let us know this was his first stand up gig and it showed. Another went into political “humor” that received groans. This crowd, like most of us, is done with political humor.
There were only two female comedians and they brought up the end of the billing. Debbie D’Amore, with her engaging smile, makes you feel like she’s inviting you into her living room for an evening of fun. She started by shaking her head saying, “Why do I do this? My friends are retiring and I go to comedy college.” Then she laments, “Gone are the days of the masks. Now I got to shave!”
Her timing was smooth as she segued from one joke into the next often making fun of her well-endowed self. She quipped about the time she and her husband went to Gurney’s Inn. She shared that he had red trunks, so she went to the resort shop and bought a cute red bathing suit. Only problem was it didn’t support her in the waves; the visual was hysterical.
The last up was 20-something blonde, Kelsey McKeon who said, “I recently became a blonde and if you wonder if blondes have more fun; with me, I’m a train wreck at any color.”
On the way out, I stopped to congratulate D’Amore. As we spoke, a young woman approached and said, “Thank you for making me laugh uncontrollably tonight.” That about summed it up for me too.
Don’t we all need an escape, a place we can rely on for some laughs? Come to McGuires or The Brokerage or the mother club, Governors. You’ll be glad you did.
Miller Place resident Barbara Anne Kirshner is a freelance journalist, playwright and author of “Madison Weatherbee — The Different Dachshund.”