“Comedy Garage” film proves the power of indie comedy

By | May 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm | 5 comments | Audio/Video, News | Tags: , , ,

the comedy garageComedy in a garage; it’s the perfect illustration of that classic line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” The documentary The Comedy Garage by Logan Leistikow (who also lives at the Comedy Garage) gives a perfect snapshot of underground comedy and how live comedy, especially stand-up, is thriving more than ever.

As the field of comedy gets increasingly crowded with the rise of self-promotion via social networking, comedians trying to make it in Los Angeles or New York City have gotten fed up with waiting their turn– both figuratively, and literally, as in waiting to do three minutes at an open mic.

So some have taken it upon themselves to start their own shows in whatever physical space is available. Thesedays you can see a live comedy show in a living room, on a rooftop, and, in this case, in a garage in Burbank, CA where even seasoned road comics with TV credits will perform. Over the years, the Comedy Garage has gotten the likes of rising star comedians Kyle Kinane, Nikki Glaser, Eric Andre, and more to grace their astro turf-covered stage.

Running from 2005 to 2011 thanks to the efforts of comedians Cornell Reid, Sean Green, Paul Danke, Casey Feigh, and Matt Sullivan, the Comedy Garage has built a reputation in on the West Coast where, as shown in the film, East Coast comics started to chatter about it. The documentary features comedy concert film footage, behind-the-scenes goings on and interviews– all of which combine to give an earnest and hilarious portrait of comedy gone punk. Though their stage is decorated with seemingly disparate objects hastily arranged — a neon beer sign usually reserved for dive bar windows, a Jamaican flag, and a Frosty the Snowman Christmas light fixture — the Comedy Garage shows are carefully planned and executed accordingly.

In the film, we find producers shopping at thrift stores for clothing for show themes such as the Annual Christmas Sweater & Mustache Party. We also see organizers cleaning the mismatched sets of couches and chairs in the garage– just to make sure their house party/comedy show goes off without a hitch.

As a result, their audience, whether it be friends, fellow comedians, or actual Comedy Garage fans has a fantastic time no matter if a dog comes on stage, which Cornell Reid riffs off quite well or someone who pre-gamed a little too much before the show gets too chatty with Sean Green.

Their final show went down last month. It was standing room only for comedy fans; you could see audience members spilling over into the yard. It was a testament to the cult status of the Comedy Garage.

The Comedy Garage Documentary is now available for puchase on DVD or download. Go here for details.

Check out the trailer below!

About the Author

Jake Kroeger

Jake Kroeger has dedicated his life, for better or probably worse, to comedy. Starting and continually running the Comedy Bureau, a voice for LA comedy, by himself, he also writes and performs stand-up comedy in LA and watches more live comedy than is probably humanly tolerable. He's been a daily contributor to Punchline Magazine, now Laughspin.com because he loves and believes in comedy so much. Said of Kroeger, "...without his dangerously insane, unhealthy work ethic, certain comics would not have any press at all."

  • http://none.com dj

    Once again, young white men ruling the world of entertainment…that’s a novel idea. Funny how the Jamaican flag on the ground because they don’t respect Black folks. Seen enough of it already.

  • Frankie

    I saw this film and its pretty great. I think these guys are very likely to blow up soon.

  • alec

    @dj “young white men ruling the world of entertainment” ??? Where the fuck are these dudes “ruling entertainment?” If anything its a perfect example of some hard working kids creating their own environment to perfect and perform their craft. Better than lazy ass comedians like myself, or race-card-pulling armchair activists like yourself.

    And believe me, these guys will eventually be household names. Not based on their race, but because the bust their asses to be as good at what they do as they can.

  • http://www.thecomedybureau.com The Comedy Bureau

    regarding dj’s uninformed comment

    Check their line-ups at the Comedy Garage facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Comedy-Garage/64419828960

    They book plenty of comedians that aren’t caucasian, one of which is mentioned in this article: Eric Andre. Pay attention and do your research.

  • http://speckpress.com/books/mock_stars.html John Wenzel

    Does this remind anyone of Tig Notaro and Martha Kelly’s Crackpot Comedy Tour, where they (and Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, etc.) performed in people’s living rooms and backyards? Either way, cool concept.