Atlanta comedy club says smaller is better

By | May 6, 2009 at 11:33 am | 5 comments | News

One’s sense of humor is a personal thing— even more personal than one’s sense of style or taste in music, or food. That’s why seeing a live stand-up show is often an intimate experience; in a good room the comedian is never too far from the folks in the back row.

But in a world where more than a few comics have recently morphed into rock stars telling jokes to thousands of people in theaters and arenas, I think it’s fair to ask: Has the traditional comedy-club experience become irrelevant?

Furthermore, is the traditional comedy club experience even necessary to enjoy stand-up? After all, a funny joke is a funny joke, whether you hear it in a packed theater or on a two-minute clip online, right?

But what separates a great comedy club from any other comedic platform, is the club’s ability to make the audience feel like the comic onstage is one of them. There we don’t see comics perform in HD. We see them perform in reality, if we’re lucky, five feet in front of us— sweat drops and all.

That is why I’m such a fan of the Laughing Skull Lounge, a new comedy club in Atlanta, which provides a unique stand-up experience to its performers and crowds alike. Billing itself as “the smallest full-time comedy club in the world,” – they’ve submitted itself for that exact distinction to the Guinness Book of World Records – the room, seats 74 people at its maximum, operates full-time and brings in national headliners to perform sometimes in front of crowds no bigger than a dozen people.

Laughing Skull Lounge in Atlanta boasts an intimate showroom with A-list talent

Laughing Skull Lounge in Atlanta boasts an intimate showroom with A-List talent

If you think it sounds awkward, think again. I went to check out Todd Barry at the LSL last Friday night, in front of a crowd of maybe 30. VIP tables were placed inches away from Barry’s feet and the worst seat in the house was still no more than 15 feet from the stage. Though the crowd was small, the energy in the room was tangible as Barry’s whisper-toned punch lines and subtly-cynical zingers seemed more like an inside joke amongst friends than a comic performing for the paying public. A large part of his set was spontaneous crowd work that thrived in the cozy setting, and would not have lent itself to a bigger crowd, even in another average-sized comedy club.

As demonstrated by a tight five rather than a painful 15, often times less is more when it comes to comedy, and the Laughing Skull Lounge certainly fits that adage.

Check out the club’s official site.


About the Author

Noah Gardenswartz

  • Alex “The Mexican” Salamander

    I went up there with some pikey cunts to catch that whore who loves negro-dong. Lampirelli?

    Anyway, I can not recommend it highly enough.

  • Patrick Dodd

    I’m with TJ 100 percent as being so proud to call my home club. This the best club I’ve worked at. I thought nothing could top the Comedy Works but this one truly takes the crown. Open mic nights are packed, weekend shows are packed, and the audience is brilliant. It is an absolute gift to Atlanta and comedy in general.

  • TJisfunny

    Proud to call the Laughing Skull my ‘home club’. Of all the stages I’ve been on around the country, there’s not a more original and intimate venue. Whether you’re a comedy veteran wanting reconnect to smaller audiences or an up-and-comer wanting to hone your act and build a following, there is no stage better than the Laughing Skull Lounge. Spread the word!

    TJ Young

    (TJ is a comedian based in Georgia, touring nationally with the Beards of Comedy)

  • Marshall

    nicely put… the LSL is one of the best places in America to see comedy. I would say world, but who cares about them… we are AMERICANS and if they dont like it, they can get out!

  • Dan Fontaine

    Nice article Noah. Looking forward to seeing LSL first hand sometime soon.

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