Rocketship Comedy

The lifeblood of the Indianapolis independent standup comedy scene.

Monday Show Turns 1, Gets Fancy New Hosts

A year ago this week, the Monday Show was officially launched in the basement of the Shoefly Public House. Since then, the show's earned a reputation as one of the best open mics in the state. While there are a lot of fortunate circumstances at play here-low ceilings, minimal noise pollution, a great menu-the thing that really makes The Monday Show special is the people producing it: Alex Prichodko & Jordan Mather-Licht.

The contribution that Alex & Jordan made to the Indy standup scene with this show can’t be overstated. They took a basement of a restaurant and turned it into a real showroom with quality stage time. It’s been a really fun thing to be a part of, and we can’t say thanks enough for all their hard work.

Now, a year after its first show, the Monday Show is losing both its producers. They’re leaving our fair city for New York & Chicago, respectively. We’re broken hearted to say goodbye, but we couldn’t be happier for both of them.  

While the founders may be leaving, the show will go on. Rocketship Comedy is very excited to announce that starting on October 3rd, the Monday Show will be produced and hosted by local heroes Willie Bostic & Evanne Offenbacker.

Willie & Evanne are two of the most exciting comedians in Indianapolis. Willie started doing comedy not that long ago and, within a year of starting, won the Funniest Person in Cincinnati competition. FUN FACT: Willie was actually the first comic to ever close out the Monday Show. Evanne came onto the scene as an improviser with INDYPROV. From there she made her way into storytelling & character work, and has been doing standup ever since. We’re so excited to welcome them aboard, and we couldn’t be more confident in their ability to take our basement open mic to the next level.

While Willie & Evanne don't start officially until October, Alex & Jordan's last Monday Show together is tonight, September 12th. Come out to Shoefly and help us say thanks to them for all the hard work they’ve put in over the past year.

Three "Rules" for Open Mic's: From The Monday Show

The Monday Show

 Jeff Vibbert at The Monday Show Photo by Sam Griswold for Rocketship Comedy

Jeff Vibbert at The Monday Show
Photo by Sam Griswold for Rocketship Comedy

Hello, this is the Monday show speaking. There has been many a blog written on “how to be an MC, feature, headliner, a guest setter, etc.” This is by no means a “how to run a show” post. Rather, it is a “this is how we do it because we think it makes sense for us” post. We aren’t expecting this to change your lives, but we hope that maybe there is something to be gained. We are proud of our show that started September 14th, 2015 and we think the following is part of the reason it’s going well for us.

These “rules” apply to the audience, but even more so the comics. In my experience, there are comics who seem to think they’re exempt from these rules because they’re the “talent.” They believe they are reason the show is happening. They go to a lot of shows watching a lot of the same people do a lot of the same jokes and HOLY SHIT DOES IT GET BORING. But we think these rules apply to the comics more than anyone. The comedians who have been attending countless shows set the example for audience members. Why should the audience respect the show if the comics on it won’t? Things that get treated like shit usually end up like shit, especially if the people treating it like shit are the ones who are benefiting the most from it.

It’s important to remember that these audience members owe us nothing. To be perfectly honest, it’s sometimes surprising and humbling that people show up. We go to open mics because we have to in order to get better. We’re trying out new jokes, half-baked ideas, trying to riff a bit, and even give crowd work a shot. Like most things, the first times you do something are bad. *Some exceptions apply.* The audience at an open mic is seeing you at your worst. But with comedy, you have to do it in front of people. Always. 

These are the rules that we enforce at The Monday Show and we have found that they have consistently made the show better. All of this falls under the umbrella of “pay attention, give respect to the show, to your peers, and to the audience”.

 

1.    No talking.
No talking. At all. Plain and simple.
First of all, as much as we like to think we’re great at multitasking, the truth is that if you’re talking, you’re not giving your full attention. A lot of what makes a joke funny is a single word or two, an inflection, a certain body movement. If you’re leaning over to your buddy and chatting about whatever, you’re missing out. You might miss the punchline, and now that comic gets less laughs and you’re getting having less laughs. Secondly, just because you’re whispering doesn't mean it’s not distracting to the person on stage. It can throw off their timing, which again, is pretty important in comedy. It can also be annoying to the people near you. They are all trying to give their focus to the performer and now they, too, will miss the punchline.

Let’s say there are seven people in the audience, four of whom aren’t laughing at a joke because of one person’s conspicuous whispering. No matter how great the joke is, the comic will think he or she is bombing. And they are, in the technical sense because no one is laughing.

Audience members don’t always know who is and who isn’t a comedian. If they see you talking, they see it as permission for them to talk as well. Now everyone is fading in and out of the show, maybe listening intently long enough to hear their friend on stage and that’s it.

It would be best to have as many people stay in the showroom as possible, paying attention, and laughing. However, if the urge to talk is uncontrollable, it would be best that you take it out of the room. In the case of The Monday Show, we have a basement all to ourselves with a full bar with a great menu and a kickass bartender/server. *Shoutout to Rachel Gatewood.* This means there is a restaurant upstairs and a hallway outside the show room where the bathrooms are located. These are all acceptable places to hangout and talk away from the show. If you take your conversations out of the room, you’re not hurting the show.

So we here at the Monday Show have adopted the quaint motto: “Leave the fucking room.”

Not all rooms are as fortunate as us in terms of this convenient setup, but there is always somewhere for you to go to respectfully carry on a conversation away from the show.

 

2.    Don’t look at your phone.
Don’t look at your phone. At all. Plain and simple.

The only exception is if you need it to set up for going on stage. For example, if you are recording your set or forgot a quote or a line, by all means, check your phone.

This section will be much shorter because it has all the same reasons as #1. We know most of us are addicted to looking at our phones: for checking Facebook, for checking our text messages, or for no reason whatsoever. These are all things you can do if you leave the fucking room. Again, if your focus is on your phone, it is no longer on the performer. The light from a smartphone, be it dimmed or eye-blinding, is still distracting to both the performer and audience members alike. The Monday show runs from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM. We doubt that you’re obsessively checking the time, but recommend investing in a $10 wristwatch if that is the case. And just like talking, if members in the audience see you on your phone, they assume it is perfectly appropriate to be on their phones as well.

We hope you are noticing patterns here.

 

3.    Don't tell inside jokes.
We fervently believe you should never tell anyone what to do on stage. One of the great benefits of comedy is that there is no right way.

With that being said, we recommend not telling jokes to the back of the room and avoid telling inside jokes to your friends. Telling jokes to the back of the room is to tell jokes only for the comedians watching the show. Yes, there are times when the audience is 100% comedians and there might be a temptation to get a quick laugh by mocking a comic everyone knows. But those jokes will never play in front of a secular audience. Similarly, if you have brought your friends to watch your set and you tell a joke that only they understand, you are leaving the entire rest of the audience out.

If your dream is to crush it in front of other comics exclusively and never get booked in a club, or get a paid spot elsewhere, then go for it. Most, if not all, of us are guilty of doing it from time to time. Bombing hurts and telling those jokes is a nice little red button to ease the tension. Ultimately, it is a bad habit to form, one that’s hard to break, and definitely not worth it in the long run. Even if the audience is 98% comedians, that’s 2% of the room completely lost as to what everyone else is giggling about. They might feel like they just intruded on some weirdo convention and are not supposed to be there. And they’re not laughing, so they might leave just because the show doesn’t look or sound funny at all.

 

If you come to the Monday Show, this is what you can expect. If you aren't on board, there are plenty of other shows in our city as well as in others. We don’t care if you’re just starting out, if you’re a regular open mic’r or a seasoned headliner; you’re not special and you won’t get special treatment. So, please don’t be a dick. Comedy is the best.

 

- The Monday Show

 

P.S. We would also like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to WhistelfacE, the band who made the theme song for The Monday Show. You guys are great! Thank you!


This piece was written by Jordan Mather-Licht for Rocketship Comedy
You can follow Jordan on Twitter and Facebook

A Year in Review

We haven't posted too much here, but we've been plenty busy putting on all sorts of shows. So much stuff happened in 2015 that we better do a recap before we dive headlong into 2016. Here it goes:

January

Rocketship Comedy kicked off 2015 straight away with a great show from co-headliners Jono Zalay and Grant Lyon at the Sabbatical Showcase. However, January was also the month Cam O'Connor, the founder of Rocketship Comedy, bid Indianapolis farewell and moved to Cincinnati, OH. On January 22, he headlined his Bye-Bye show at Morty's Comedy Joint. Tim McLaughlin, Conor Delehanty, and other beloved Indy comics performed with him that evening.  At the end of January, Jake Head took the stage at Flat 12 Bierwerks along with an assortment of comedians who brought a packed house down in fits of laughter. 

February

Indianapolis was treated to yet another Rocketship Comedy show at Flat 12 Bierwerks with radio personality Kenny Zimmlinghaus headlining the brewery in early February. 

The Sabbatical shows were packed with local favorites, beginning with Keith Bergman, followed by Jim Leugers, and ended with Stephen Vincent Giles. Stephen's memorable wrestling joke brought Rocketship audiences to their proverbial knees with an element of physical comedy tough to match.

March

March saw the departure of two well-loved local comedians to opposite sides of the Continental US. On the first Sunday of the month, Indianapolis said goodbye to Matt Bachus, who moved to New York City. The following weekend, Melinda Kashner closed out the Showcase after a retinue of Bloomington comedians before she moved away to Los Angeles. 

We were privileged to add in a special show at VIBES Music on Saint Patrick's Day and the very next night, The Best Buds of Comedy put on an amazing show over at Flat 12 Bierwerks. Rocketship Comedy would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Best Bud Sally Brooks on her pregnancy!

The comedy didn't end there, either. The following Sabbatical Showcases were both headlined by out-of-town acts: Louisville's Eric Sorgel on the 22nd,  followed by Knoxville's JC Ratliff on the 29th. 

April

Austin Reel started off April by headlining the Sunday Showcase. Bloomington comedian David Britton performed the following weekend to the delight of Indianapolis comedians and audience members alike. Locals Wille Bostic and Cale Forbes co-headlined the third Sunday of April.

Geoff Tate returned to the stage at Flat 12 with a moving performance that was part introspective reflection and part balls-out hilarity. 

Miguel Dalmau closed out the Sunday Showcase at the end of April. Rocketship Comedy would also like to congratulate Miguel on recently becoming a Hoosier and a father!

May

May proved to be another packed month of comedy. Dave Waite closed out the Sunday Showcase at Sabbatical on May 3rd. Rocketship Comedy's own Joe Fitzpatrick headlined the following Sunday. 

Tim Northern performed at Flat 12 Bierwerks at the end of May in front of a completely packed house. At a certain point in his set, Tim had Rocketship Comedy photographer and wordplay-appreciator Pauline doubled over with laughter,  tears streaming down her cheeks. 

June

Indianapolis local, Bob and Tom frequenter, and beloved misanthrope Jeff Oskay headlined the Showcase on the first Sunday of June. Raaanan Hershberg performed his one-man show the following weekend. The Cute Guys Large Fries Tour featuring Max Fine and Michael Rowland came through town and the show was chronicled by Rocketship photographer Pauline with a special lens that weekend. You can find those photos here: link.

For the show at Flat 12 Bierwerks, Jeff Scheen brought with him a group of hilarious Chicago-based comedians, including Indianapolis-native Tim McLaughlin. 

July

On the first Sunday of July, Rocketship Comedy held the Blast-off show, a celebratory showcase in honor of our time spent at Sabbatical in Indianapolis. You can read more about that show here: link. Our move to the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room would not be for another week, so Bryan Cook headlined the final show at Sabbatical. 

Comedy duo and examples of marital goals, Mary Mack and Tim Harmston performed the inaugural show at the Alley Cat Front Room, launching our new home to a promising future. They were joined by Rocketship favorite Stephen Vincent Giles, who gave a performance so uplifting, Mary Mack said, "I hope he's okay." Headlining Flat 12 Bierwerks was one of Rocketship's favorites, Laura Sanders. Christening the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room's second Sunday of comedy was the very funny Katie Hannigan, who visited us all the way from NYC.

August

August at the Alley Cat Front Room began with a bang as we were joined by Cincinatti's own Chris Siemer. Cam O'Connor also managed to con his way onto the show.

Jim Leugers, creator of An Evening with the Authors, was the first local to headline the Alley Cat. The Boobs on Parade tour pulled in the next Sunday, featuring David Britton, Josh Cocks, and Rocketship's own Jordan Mather-Licht followed. Vincent Holiday regaled us with tales of nerddom. Our first full month was capped off by the hilarious Gabe Kea from Cincinatti.

Despite enduring a car accident earlier in the week, Dave Stone put on a great show at Flat 12 Bierwerks.

August also saw the birth of a show for Rocketship Comedy: The Monday Show! We have our monthly shows over at Flat 12, our Showcases at the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room, and now we have an open mic. The Monday Show at the Shoefly Public House has already been featured among Do317's things to do in Indy and has quickly become a popular fixture among comedians and locals.

September

Rocketship Comedy put on an extra-special show at Flat 12 Bierwerks in September. With the support of the brewery and Girls Pint Out: Indiana, the entire set list consisted of some of the funniest women in the Midwest. Local comic Elise Whitaker hosted the night that was headlined by Chicago-based comedian Kristen Toomey, who had audience members either in tears of laughter or shouts of camaraderie. The response to each and every comedian was uproarious. 

Every Sunday was booked with amazing out-of-town acts. Wayne Memmott started the month off, Patrick Keane entertained us from the porch, and Sumukh Torgalkar rounded out our mid-September.

On the last weekend of September, David Heti sat down with Rocketship Comedy person Pauline for a conversation about comedy before taking the stage. A series of unfortunate events derailed the the publication of that interview, but look out for it in the new year! David then went on to both stun the crowd by subverting any established notions of comedy at the Alley Cat Front Room, stealing the show from the Blood Moon. 

Tyler Jackson and Danny Maupin of Late Late Breakfast entertained us thoroughly on a special Sunday show despite stiff competition from the Colts' opening game.

October

October started off with a bang as LA comedian Chris Thayer headlined a special show at Shoefly Public House while Carlos Valencia and Jono Zalay headlined the first two Alley Cat shows of October.

In Mid-October, nearly all of the Rocketship commanders were partaking in the Crossroads Comedy Festival. Cam O'Connor came back from Cincinnati to perform his stand-up act. Joe Fitzpatrick and Leslie Dinsmore both actively participated in the festival; performing stand-up, improvised comedy, seminars, and coordinating events for the festival. Sam Griswold and Pauline Shypula revisited their characters from An Evening with the Authors* on the Comedy Sportz stage. The festival concluded on a Sunday, leaving room for a secret show over at the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room.

Finishing up the month, we were happy to have a healthy Mo Alexander return to headline our Sunday show once again.

November

As fall set in Indianapolis, audience members came to the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room every Sunday to get their weekly helping of comedy. A few familiar faces returned to the Rocketship stage. Monica Nevi, who performed with Mitch Burrow at Flat 12 last year, co-headlined with Mike Colette. Local comedian and performer at the White Rabbit Cabaret Isaac Landfert treated us to a night of stand-up. Joe Pettis came in the Sunday after Thanksgiving to prove that some times its not the size of the audience that matters, but the sound of their laughter. Pettis, along with with feature Devon Golinge, made for a great night of comedy and maybe facilitated a break up, but we'll never know.

December

And finally, we come to December. At the beginning of the month, we unveiled our new website! Even as our web presence got a facelift, the shows didn't stop. Jeff Schouela started things off with a hilarious set. The next weekend, Cody Melcher came to town, bringing Kaitlyn Grissom as his feature. Former Hoosiers turned New Yorkers came back to Indy for the holiday season and onto the Rocketship Stages. Dwight Simmons, who recorded his first album, entitled Pacifist Aggressive, at Morty's Comedy Joint this past October, headlined the show on December 20. The Sunday after Christmas saw the return of Kevin Lee and Matt Bachus, who co-headlined the show. Extra special guests that night included Brendan Eyre, Luke Thayer, and Megan Gailey!

 

Ben Moore will be helping us ring in the new year over at the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room on the first Sunday in January! Be sure to nurse your hangovers by then!

 

Welcome to our new site!

Hello and welcome to the new Rocketship Comedy website. We've been working hard to make the content easier to find, easier to read, and easier to use. Feel free to explore the site and check back often because we're always posting new information and new events!

Like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get updated information on all the social media platforms you use, share our events with your friends, and get reminders about our shows. 

 Graphic created by  Jurassic Pop

Graphic created by Jurassic Pop

Events in August

The month of July has come and gone, and with it, a whole lot of changes for Rocketship Comedy. We are now diving headlong into the month of August and with each weekend packed, we have another great show. We are settling into our new home at the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room, who have graciously taken us in.

 Mary Mack

Mary Mack

We kicked off our first show with the phenomenal comedic duo Mary Mack and Tim Harmston. The house was packed, with people standing against the walls to maintain a good view. Cam O'Connor came back from Ohio to start the night off as the show's MC. Afterwards, Stephen Vincent Giles did his characteristically downtrodden, self-deprecating, yet hysterically funny act, which led Mary Mack to ask about his well-being throughout evening. Both hers and Tim's Wisconsin hospitality shone through whenever a confused bar patron walked in while either of the two were in mid-sentence. Each would graciously pause the set to welcome the newcomers, even going so far as to chase after a pair. At the end of the show, Mary led the audience in a sing-a-long, many of whom gleefully shouted the refrain "There's a lotta crazy people in the world/ There's a lotta crazy people/ lotta fucked up people/ there's a lotta crazy people in the world." No one was shy about joining in. Afterwards, we hosted an additional showcase, a cherished but rare event.

With such a high bar set by Mary Mack and Tim Harmston, it was certainly a difficult act to contend with the following week. Brooklyn-based comedian Katie Hannigan came over to be that worthy follow-up. She, along with the other comedians part of the show, made for yet another great night of comedy in Indianapolis. It was assuredly a positive omen of things to come. Lucas Waterfill, who was just featured in the most recent issue of NUVO, made an appearance that evening. Once again, he closed out his set to raucous applause and laughter. Katie was vocal about testing out her new material at the Alley Cat Front Room that night, and it was to no one's surprise that her set was both wonderful and engaging. Her charming demeanor coupled with her down-to-earth and honest outlook ensured that this experimental set landed successfully.

 

Our schedule in August has now been booked up with a variety of performances, consisting of both local and out-of-town acts. Cincinnati comedian Chris Siemer kicks off the month on August 2nd. Local comic and man of many talents, Big Jim Leugers headlines the following weekend. In the middle of August, Rocketship Comedy has a special treat coming to town: The Boobs on Parade tour, which will consist of comedians David Britton, Josh Cocks, and Jordan Mather-Licht. Vincent Holiday comes to the Alley Cat the Sunday after the Boobs have paraded across our stage. Then we have Dave Stone headlining our Flat 12 show on Friday, August 28th. And finally, Gabe Kea closes out the month of August on the last Sunday at the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room.

We look forward to seeing you there, Indy.


This post was originally published on another site on August 7th, 2015

Cute Guys Small Fries Tour at Sabbatical Gets Shifted

Rocketship Comedy photographer P. Shypula Photography rented out a special lens for the Sabbatical Showcase featuring Michael Rowland and Max Fine of the Cute Guys Small Fries tour.

Below are some of the shots from that night. Be sure to check out the rest on our Facebook: Here

 Elise Whitaker

Elise Whitaker

 Wille Bostic

Wille Bostic

 Matthew James

Matthew James

 Michael Rowland, Max Fine, Jordan Dybas, Keith Ray

Michael Rowland, Max Fine, Jordan Dybas, Keith Ray

 Jordan Dybas

Jordan Dybas

 Keith Ray

Keith Ray

 Cale Forbes

Cale Forbes

 Matthew James

Matthew James


This post was originally published on another site on July 23, 2015

Rocketship Blasting Off

The room was relatively empty, and yet still percolating with energy; it was more than just the particles in the air excited by the summer heat. Most of the comedians were puffing on cigarettes and clutching their sweating beer cans on the porch, surprisingly cooler than the thick and sticky air that congealed within. The TV was still showing Last Man on Earth, the show’s audio competing with the Notorious B.I.G. blasting from the speaker system. Motorcycles stopped at the light could be heard belching and sputtering. The room was dimly lit with beams of orange light streaking across the far wall from the bar side of the room. Three people, however, were huddled together in a booth in near the kitchen, their heads converging on a single piece of paper in between them. Cam O’Connor sauntered up to them and all three heads popped up to greet him. Noah Haler shuffled about the room, finalizing the preparations for the live recording, his lacquered toes a striking shade of teal peeking out from his sandals. One by one, comedians started to stream inside, passing by the table to check and see where they fell in line. Many comics were in various stages of inebriation despite the bar’s cash only policy, which had been instituted to ease the closing process in their last few weeks. Everyone eventually took their seats and before the incomprehensible babble of numerous conversations converging became deafening, Sam Griswold smacked his hands together into the loud clapping that has become our universal signal that the show was about to begin.

On July 5, 2015, Rocketship Comedy held the Blast Off Show from Sabbatical in Broad Ripple. The bar and restaurant was closing its doors within two weeks and the commanders of the team decided on a format that was only fitting for their exodus: a showcase with no less than 24 comedians doing three minutes of comedy each.

 Cam O'Connor

Cam O'Connor

The Sabbatical shows filled the void after Rocketship Comedy left the beloved spot at the Sinking Ship. Owners of and bookers for Sabbatical, Kevin Phillips and David Quiesser, reached out and offered to take the Sunday show in. Cam O’Connor, dubbed the godfather of Rocketship Comedy by his peers and friends, accepted their invitation and set to work on the first set list. The first show at Sabbatical was canceled when a Chicago Bears game took precedent. The first official show was held on January 5, 2014, ringing in the New Year and a new era for Rocketship Comedy. Cam opened the show and comedians Gabe Kea, Andrew Short, Sam Evans, and Alex Stone performed that night.

“I remember being at the first show when the changeover happened and thinking, ‘What a fucking nightmare,’” comedian Dwight Simmons recalls. The shows slowly won him over, however. He remembers fondly that, despite its size, Cam O’Connor still managed to find space to pace around nervously with his cup of coffee. The venue had changed, he said, but the comedy had not. “It points to trust in the Indy comedy scene,” Dwight said. “So many great comics have come and done that room. It’s a bit sad moving on from Sabbatical, but I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

 Jonathan Pfendler

Jonathan Pfendler

 Elise Whitaker

Elise Whitaker

For comedians, Sabbatical was a special spot and held a unique place within the scene. Neither an open mic nor a classic comedy show with a host, feature and headliner that is characteristic of many other local clubs, Sabbatical offered the scene an opportunity to showcase local talent, thereby developing a symbiotic relationship between comedians and show-goers: comedians were able to hone their set while show-goers were able to see a wide variety of comedic styles.

“I’ll always remember it as a place where we got better,” said comedian Joe Fitzpatrick of the venue, where he as well as Leslie Dinsmore and Sam Griswold all co-ran many of the Sabbatical shows after Cam O’Connor’s departure to Cincinnati in January this year. With Rocketship’s curated showcases, Sabbatical was a place where people were able to see comedians with Conan and Letterman on their resumes. As a devotee to the local scene, Michael Allen put it well when he said that Sabbatical gave people who actually cared about comedy a place to go and see a good show. “There were no pretentious ideas or a social event where you could be seen. It was people who loved comedy that showed up or did time. It was a place for the art of comedy.”

And on the night of the Blast Off show, 24 comedians came in to show off their craft. Bloomington comedians as well as a few Cincinnati comics were also part of the lineup. Lucas Waterfill told an unforgettable story about the time he shared a crosswalk with a Pentecostal woman, who prayed for him until he shouted that he was cured of his cerebral palsy. As Jordan Dybas held the microphone, Lucas began imitating the woman shouting in tongues to the raucous delight of the audience.

 Lucas Waterfill

Lucas Waterfill

Carrie Clause elucidated on her funny funeral arrangements while Jordan Dybas pondered the origins of the phrase, “Goody Two Shoes.” With a packed house, the air within became stuffier than ever, somewhat unfathomable given how hot it was to begin with. Comedians and audience members streamed in and out of the front door to catch a bit of fresh air or to smoke a cigarette. You could still hear their laughter in between puffs on their cigarettes or sips from their beer cans.

 Anthony Turner

Anthony Turner

 Leslie Dinsmore

Leslie Dinsmore

At the very end, Leslie Dinsmore, Joe Fitzpatrick and Sam Griswold came together to reed off each and every name on the set list to resounding applause. Performing that night were:

Jeff Vibbert
Wille Bostic
Devin Thomas
Elise Whitaker
Jordan Dybas
Lucas Waterfill
Josh Cocks
Nathan Gropp
Patrick Murray
Keith Ray
Jonathan Pfendler
Brian Christoph
Jordan Mather-Licht
Carrie Clause
Jimmy Roberson
Anthony Turner
Chris Siemer
Cale Forbes
Dave Britton
Jim Leugers
Sam Griswold
Leslie Dinsmore
Joe Fitzpatrick
Cam O’Connor

On Sunday, July 19, Rocketship Comedy is holding The Landing Show at their new venue: The Alley Cat Front Room in Broad Ripple. The first part of the evening will be a classically designed show with Cam O’Connor as the show’s host, Stephen Vincent Giles doing a guest spot, Tim Harmston featuring and Mary Mack headlining. Afterwards, there will be an informal showcase. A $5.00 donation at the door provides guests with priority seating. The show will begin at 7:00 PM.

 

Written by Pauline Shypula
Photos by
P. Shypula Photography for Rocketship Comedy


This post was originally published on another site on July 19, 2015

DJ Dangler at Indiana Comic Con 2015

DJ Dangler is a stand up comedian and an Indiana native currently residing in Los Angeles. When he was little, DJ thought clowns were a race of people. Now he tours around the country performing at a variety of venues and works full time as a stand up comedian. He is also the creator and star of the web series Max Dick Kicker.

We interviewed him about running and performing in the comedy show at Indiana Comic Con in Indianapolis on March 13th and 14th.

 

DJ's Website Twitter Facebook Blog Youtube
You can watch episodes of Mac Dick Kicker

Interview and Photos by Pauline Shypula


Did Indiana Comic Con approach you or was it the other way around?

They got a hold of me. An acquaintance contacted me and set me up with the lady in charge of all of the panelists who asked if it was something I wanted to do. I chomped at the opportunity. If it was a trap, I didn’t just sniff at the bait; I wrapped it around my ankle and hung myself around a tree.

This was my first Con, period. Well, that’s not exactly true. I went to a bacon convention in Columbus, Ohio two years ago. They call it “Ba-Con,” which is hilarious and way funnier than anything I could ever make up. It was fun, but it wasn’t as good as this one. I hope I’m not throwing any of those Ba-Con folk under the bus because it was still terrific, just smaller in scope.

 

What was it like doing comedy at a convention?

It was dynamite. It was such a friendly audience – such a receptive and embracing crowd. I really like my job; I love telling jokes to anybody, but half of comedy is making a connection. This experience was weird because that connection was already made. It took me a little by surprise because you get so used to establishing a rhythm. You set up how jokes work for them and then you do a joke that’s just for you and another joke that’s for everybody. I didn’t have to do that for these guys because the jokes that are for me were also for everybody there. I felt like we were already buddies and normally that can make it difficult, but it was real fun.

What were some of the other advantages of doing a show at comic con?

I got to learn a little bit about what it’s like to be happy. Normally, I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder when I’m on stage. It’s something that kind of needs to manifest to get through thinking that everybody needs to pay attention to me. When it can truly come from a place of just warmth and happiness, I don’t exactly know how to operate when things are going my way.

The show also just felt real honest. Nerdy is so chic right now that I don’t think people realize it used to be something you hid from the public. It wasn’t even that long ago, maybe 15 years ago. Like, to illustrate that David Spade was the lamest, douchiest guy in high school, SNL put him in a Ghostbusters t-shirt. Now it’s super cool to wear a Ghostbusters t-shirt. I’ve clearly come to terms with my nerdiness and the people I like the most are more comfortable dressed up like super heroes rather than pretending they don’t want to be all the time.

I already talk about comic books and video games in my real life. I would say I talk about comic books the way people who talk too much about their sports team talk about their sports team. Some people just do that and you’re like, “Shut the goddamn up about the Steelers.” If you’re somebody talking about the high school pull Notre Dame had, never talk to anyone again. That being said, who’s your favorite B-list X-Man? Mine’s Maggot. Nobody likes Maggot and his real name is Japheth. I know that because people don’t enjoy my company.

 

What were some of the disadvantages?

It took me a second to realize that geek culture is very protective of itself. Everybody is on the same team. Comic Con is a very safe place for grownups that love Pokemen, so if I wanted to bust balls on grownups that like Pokemen, this was not the place to do it. Here I talk about how friendly it was, it made me act friendlier, too. I don’t think anybody demands that I be a nice guy, it doesn’t fit my motif, but I was still a little more embracing of the culture.

It was also interesting to realize that I wasn’t the brightest guy in the room. I knew I could lose trivia to these folks and I’m not a guy that loses trivia games. I was very much a gunslinger walking into a town full of fucking gunslingers, man. For example; I like to draw pictures in my notebook. I’m not bad, but it was great knowing nobody there wanted to look through my notebook and see my little scribbles because I was in a world full of people with much better notebooks than mine. It was delightful, but at the same time, I lost a little bit of my identity.

 

I remember you saying you picked up a few fans there.

I think so. I hope a lot of the people who saw me liked me. I don’t mean that they just had a good time, but they want to see my show.

This was kind of my act, though I was definitely friendlier and I realized that I didn’t tell any relationship jokes or girlfriend jokes or political jokes or real world jokes. I just talked about shit I like. I hope the audiences this week got to see a comic they could connect with and I think that’s where fans usually come from, good fans anyway.

 

Why did you choose the comics that performed with you?

I picked the nerdiest, good comics that I know and not the best nerdy comics that I know. And I think that’s the right pick because there’s a balance. I picked the folks who would most enjoy being there and I still wanted to show off. I’m sure every comic I had on there has wanted to go to comic con before, so I got to share that with my nerd friends. I’m not big on sharing, so this was a good chance to get some niceness out of the way. Blegh.

Did you get any backstage perks?

We got free passes to the Con and that was more than enough. I got the impression that other folks could have asked for more, but I was so happy to be there. The highest praise I can give to someone or something is not rocking the boat. I get bored all the time and I’m an instigator, but in this case, I just clocked in to do my job.

 

What else did you enjoy at Comic Con outside of the comedy show?

This is such a cop out, but the best part was the people watching, seeing three or four people get together and have a blast playing dress up. I specifically enjoyed the artist panel and running into some really great artists making books I had never heard of before. I’m very excited about Arsenic Lullaby. I also got a great deal on some trades. As a guy who spends too much money on comic books, it was nice to pick up a steal. There was also a place full of t-shirts and it was like walking through the Internet sites I would go to. I wish I could have spent more, but I’m poor. Comic Con is great, but like most things, probably better with money.

Are you going to include anything from Comic Con into your act?

Absolutely, I will definitely talk about Comic Con in my act and, full disclosure; I’ll probably be a little meaner than I really am. I’ve got to do stand-up at a swingers’ club before and it will be funny juxtaposing those two in the future. I already worked it into a joke about how everyone at Comic Con was way more fuckable than the people at the swingers’ party.

If nothing else, I’ve got so many great pictures and posters and bull shit to post so that people can see me working in a fun environment. It looked like a success and it was great to be part of an event that big and exciting and something I already love and believe in. That’s kind of the definition of success, right?

 

Is there anything else you want to add about the weekend?

Gambit’s a terrible X-Man.


This post was originally published on another site on March 23, 2015

Background image by Pauline Shypula.