Imagine a dim theater with tables set up across the floor. Cocktail servers bustle around chuckling audience members while a comedian doles out wisecracks at the mic. It’s like a scene from a Netflix comedy special or maybe a Seinfeld episode.
Now, picture this scene at The Blue Note. That’s what Matt Gerding hopes the CoMO Comedy Club will become.
“We’re always looking for creative ways to use The Blue Note, and one of the things that we’ve heard from the community is how much they miss having a comedy club in Columbia since Déjà Vu went out of business,” says Gerding, owner of The Blue Note. “In order to fill a lot of these nights at the Blue Note that we have dark, we thought we’d take a stab at comedy.”
Comedy isn’t an entirely new venture for the venue. The Blue Note hosted comedian Hannibal Buress in 2017, and the performance sold out. But Gerding wants something more than a one-time show. He hopes to foster a social environment with a comedy club-style series.
“We can flip the room and create a really, really fun night of laughter,” Gerding says. The Blue Note's large floor plan allows for plenty of tables, but the small stage and old-school theater appearance create a classic, intimate feel, perfect for both the audience and the comedians.
Kicking off the series is Drew Lynch from the tenth season of America’s Got Talent.
“We thought that it would be really cool to kick things off with someone that’s not only relevant but carries a really positive message along with his performance,” Gerding says. Lynch uses comedy to overcome a stutter.
The two performances by Lynch on April 10 will be followed by two shows from Preacher Lawson on April 11. The shows are close in date, but Gerding says sales have already been looking good. Lynch’s shows are sold out, according to The Blue Note’s Twitter page.
“The evidence we’re seeing so far is that Columbia is ready to laugh,” Gerding says. The series has comedians booked through September so far, and Gerding intends to add more to the schedule.
“Columbia has a lot of personality in a lot of different ways, and I think that allows us to book a lot of different comedians that will hopefully find an audience in Columbia,” Gerding says.