Michael Deeds: Liquid Laughs team works hard, laughs Hard

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By Michael Deeds This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Jen Adams has a fantasy, and in that fantasy, Boiseans are like Brits without the accent.

"I would love it if everybody looked at comedy the way England does," proclaims Adams, who books the performers at Boise club Liquid Laughs. "Stand-up in England is considered a high art form! They put it in there with a gallery opening."

"Here," she says, her voice deepening into something masculine and faintly Garden City-ish, "it's like, 'Oh, let's go get a drink and listen to some guy talk about masturbating.'

"And there IS a lot of that," she admits. "But I always like people to know that not all comedians are the same."

Nor or all comedy clubs.

Until late 2011, Liquid, 405 S. 8th St., was noncommital about comedy, focusing more on live music. Then husband and wife owners Jeremy Aevermann and Elizabeth Oldenkamp tentatively decided to present comedy four or more nights a week, calling the club Liquid Laughs.

Several months ago, they raised the stakes. Adams was given the go-ahead to book a semifamous-to-famous comedian once a month. This type of performer can cost from $5,000 to $15,000 for a four-show weekend. Liquid Laughs holds only about 150 to 180 people. (The physical size of the customers affects the club's sellout capacity - no joke.)

It's paid off so far. In January, Pauly Shore sold out three shows and was a handful of seats away from selling out the fourth. Brian Posehn sold out all four of his shows last month. More important, these performers help generate buzz about stand-up comedy, which sometimes seems like an underground phenomenon in the Treasure Valley.

"There's still people in this town that think the Funny Bone is still open," says Adams, who moved to Boise shortly before that long-standing club closed in 2007. "There's definitely a fight to get an awareness out there. And also, I don't think Boise, Boiseans, have really thought of themselves as a comedy place. So I'm hoping that will change. I'm hoping that bringing bigger names makes them aware of the club."

On the horizon:

• Jamie Kennedy ("Scream," "Malibu's Most Wanted") on June 21 and 22.

• Bobcat Goldthwait - who had a recent special, "You Don't Look the Same Either," on Showtime - on Aug. 16 and 17.

• Dave Coulier (Uncle Joey from "Full House") on Nov. 22 and 23.

• Loni Love, a regular on E! network's "Chelsea Lately," on Dec. 13 and 14.

(Hit the newly redesigned website at liquidboise.com for more.)

The payoff from booking known, pricier performers is multilayered.

"It really helps advertise the club," Aevermann says. "The people come down for that show, and they say, 'Man, that was great. Maybe we should try it on one of these other nights.' "

Often, these "other nights" pleasantly surprise patrons.

"I'm bringing in comedians that are just as good as the big-name guys every week," Aevermann says. "But they're just not famous yet."

Liquid Laughs' managers are sensitive to the talents of journeyman comedians - mostly because they've been there. Raised in New York by a musician mother and magician father, Adams has been doing stand-up for 14 years. She stopped touring two years ago to have a baby.

Along with Liquid Laughs manager and comedian Matt Bragg - who used to manage The Comedy Store in La Jolla, Calif. - she wants to nurture not just touring acts, but local hopefuls.

"I want Boise to be on the comedy map," Adams says. "And I think it will be at some point, if we keep doing things the way we are doing them."

Adams will launch a multiweek "Funniest Person in Boise" competition in July, pairing comedic newbies with mentors. She's also working on "girls night out" in July - all-female comedy lineups.

Meanwhile, touring comics who live in the Treasure Valley - Sean Peabody, Heath Harmison, Ryan Wingfield - help foster the Boise scene. Peabody even offers a comedy workshop Tuesdays at Liquid Laughs: "It's been great for the local open-mikers," Adams says.

This enthusiasm makes the investment seem worth it for Liquid's married owners, who work at the nightclub and their adjacent restaurant, Solid, nearly every waking hour.

"Laughter's so good for the body in the first place," Aevermann explains. "That's what I like about it. People leave happy."

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/05/17/2579418/liquid-laughs-team-works-hard.html

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Pauly Shore Kills it at LiquidLaughs!!!

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It would be really easy for Pauly Shore's standup act at Liquid Laughs to be an exercise in sadness. His acting career very much on hiatus, his fortune gone, his name a punchline, he could have shuffled out onstage like a washed up has-been, desperate for attention from an audience as far down the D-list as he is.  He could have danced like a circus monkey before losing the audience with some sort of Michael Richards-esque blunder. 

But that didn't happen. 

Though Shore's persona and history of stardom plays a major role in his act, rather than banking on it to carry water, he used it as a piece of common knowledge to poke fun at himself with new material. 

He talked about how he can't get acting roles because he is too recognizable, about how even in porn, where his face wouldn't be shown, his voice would still be recognized. 

"You think I'm bitter that Nick Cage is making millions? Of course I am," Shore cracked. Then he instructed a woman in the front row to write that one down so he'd remember it for later. 

In the hands of anyone else, it might have seemed bitter. But Shore's lighthearted doofusness gave his lamentations a whimsical tone, a WTF for for the ages. 

"No one ever thought they'd heard Pauly Shore say 'when I was your age,'" he said. 

Shore also got into his personal history, about working out in the same gym as Fabio, about being in the west Hollywood Cub Scouts and growing up in a comedy club—somehow he always managed to end up locked in the walk-in freezer. 

Shore's No. 1 topic may be himself, but the self-awareness that comes with later years of an artist's career tempered the ego. Tragedy plus time equals comedy. Shore has had the time for his fall from stardom to become funny. Whether it is enough to sustain a new rise is questionable, but for a night it works.

It could have been terrible. It wasn't. Instead, it was hilarious. 

Shore will perform two more shows at Liquid Laughs tonight at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Brian Posehn rolls into Liquid Laughs

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Journeyman comic Brian Posehn targets Boise next weekend.

By Michael Deeds This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In stand-up comedy, name recognition is everything. You can be the funniest human on the planet, but if people don't think you're a celebrity, they won't go see you.

That's why there's a photograph of that bald man on the far right.

Ever heard of Brian Posehn? Maybe not. But chances are, you recognize that middle-aged Hollywood nerd.

Posehn, who will headline April 19 and 20 at Liquid Laughs, 405 S. 8th St., is proof that sometimes only a few people need to know your name - people who live in Los Angeles.

Posehn is the sort of guy that most of us recognize from nearly two decades of TV ("Mr. Show," "The Sarah Silverman Program," "Seinfeld," "NewsRadio," etc.) Or from movies ("Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd," "The Devil's Rejects," etc.) He's that one guy who pops in and out of scenes - you know, that redbearded gene splicing of Chuck Klosterman and Chris Elliott. (Wait, you don't know who those guys are, either?)

Arguably, Posehn is the coolest comedian booked yet by Liquid Laughs, even if he's not quite as well-known as the club's other rare "superstar" bookings. (Pauly Shore, cough-cough.)

Posehn is a multi-talented comic. A few years ago, he penned an episode of Adult Swim's animated heavy-metal series "Metalocalypse." He also directed a gut-busting, must-see music video for the '80s hair-band parody group Steel Panther.

Bottom line: Pressure's on, Posehn.

Tickets are $20 at www.liquidlaughs.com.

Location

  • Boise, ID
    405 South 8th Street

Contact

  • 1 (208) 941-2459
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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