This is a good opportunity to explain how life on the road for a stand-up comedian is not always all it’s cracked up to be — if you pardon the cliche.
Club Broadway is a big old four-story building in downtown Everett. The venue offers multiple shows every weekend. That’s convenient for folks. But not for entertainers. We were set up on the third floor. While we tried to do our thing, actors were performing a murder-mystery next door. That wasn’t as much of a distraction, however, as the KISS tribute band that played downstairs. The guitars and drums were loud enough at times to drown out the jokes and laughter in our room. Needless to say, it was a bit unnerving to many.
There were other problems, too. The stage had a railing that either made the comics look like they were caged animals or like actors on the bridge of the Titanic. The microphone had a shorting problem that muted several punchlines and launched Jan Barrett into a profanity-laced tirade (are there other kinds of tirades) DURING her act.
This answers one of last night’s nagging questions.
Barrett completed her set, stormed off stage and yelled her way out of the building — causing half of the audience to turn their attention away from the next comic’s act. Any yet Barrett still finished second tonight.
Which leads us to the crowd. This was a decidedly different kind of comedy crowd. Older, more blue-collar, some may say staid, even. You could swear in front of them (I didn’t) but you couldn’t get completely in their face about much of anything. It was very much a Heneghen crowd. And he milked it for all it was worth. Heneghen is older (51), and has a blue-collar look to him, even if he was an engineer when he worked for a living. He also was a finalist last year. So he knows what works and what won’t in this shindig.
So your unofficial top five:
2. Jan Barrett
3. Bengt Washburn
4. Curtis Lee
5. Andy Andrist
Only half of the 18 comics received the lucrative encore point. Joe Vespaziani, our overall leader so far, was not among them. But he predicted as much earlier tonight, saying he always sucks after the first half of the week. Plus, he adds later, "Everett’s always my throwaway." Tossing out his low score keeps him in the No. 1 spot overall with two nights left.
Andy Andrist continues to do well. Before his set, he answers one of our other questions by saying he will introduce a level of physicality into his act tonight. "Uncomfortable movement is better than no movement at all," he says. Andrist also geared his set to the Everett crowd, making fun of Loverboy (who would be appearing next month at Club Broadway — and you thought KitsaParty was their only big gig) and making fun of his set from last year (which several audience members seemed to remember). "Mitch Hedberg supplied me with all the drugs last year," he quipped.
And we still don’t know why Dave Dennison is called Chili Dog. And frankly, we don’t care why anymore.
Next stop: The food court in the Bellis Fair Mall, Bellingham.