The People’s Republic of Komedy brought an independent, DIY attitude to the Seattle comedy scene — before their arrival a few years ago, comedians in Washington state had to deal with either the mainstream clubs or one-nighters in a rotating series of bars around the Seattle area that would give comedy a shot for a while. But PROK presented an alternative venue, so to speak, for aspiring comedians to find their voices and build up a career. And, as the people in the republic have progressed, they have begun to follow the paths of other successful comedians out of Seattle and into New York City and Los Angeles.
In L.A., PROK has launched a monthly show at the Knitting Factory called Hub Bub (next show is July 11).
Another flock of PROK has sprouted in New York’s East Village hotspot that won’t quit, Rififi, with a new weekly show called Sweet Haven. Scott Moran, David Cope, Andy Haynes, Danny Rouhier, and Rory Scovel are producing this Tuesday night showcase that formally launched last night. Talk about new to town: Haynes (seen earlier this year on Last Comic Standing) told last night’s audience that he’d been in the city for all of two days, and his joke referencing the location as the Lower East Side reflected that. It’s OK. It happens to more than a few new New Yorkers. Each Sweet Haven features a collection of stand-ups, a sketch or two, perhaps a video, and a headliner. Eugene Mirman did the honors last night, and after laughing about how happy he was to be there…at Rififi…he tried out a few new jokes and tested out a video that he’ll be playing for the Sub Pop anniversary party in Seattle…synergy! The naming of their show is a bit unfortunate, as it’s just a haven away from confusion with the long-running Sweet show, also Tuesday nights at the Slipper Room 12 blocks to the south. But it’s refreshing to see a new crop of comedians in Rififi, and with them, some different bookings are sure to open up for other comics in the city. And by starting in July, when plenty of other comedy shows are taking summer breaks, the PROK kids will get a chance to get a feel for their new environs by the time fall rolls around.