CU Broad Comedy Returns To The Rose Bowl Tavern Stage: Culture: Smile Politely
It was pouring rain at CU Broad Comedy’s first indoor gathering since the pandemic, but it was nice and cozy inside the Rose Bowl Tavern. Between the belly laughs, the cold drinks, the excellent service from the staff at the Rose Bowl, and the presence of an unusually large squash … it was almost Magic.
Oh damn, I feel sentimental again for the comfort of returning to being in public again and being surrounded by other humans. Thanks, scientist!
Every third Tuesday of the month at the Rose Bowl, the hardworking and super-funny group behind CU Broad Comedy will welcome and provide space that diversifies the local comedy scene.
Host and co-producer Andrew Schiver. Photo by Abigale Racine.
The monthly open mic rules state, “We don’t care about risky language or taboo subjects, but we don’t allow racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic and ableist humor. It may seem like a simple request, but the balance between political correctness and humor is a delicate one, especially in times of heightened anxiety and growing social tensions. Just turn on the news or connect to Twitter and you’ll see why. The words you use are important.
Too often people think being a hole is funny and comedy is seen as that space without rules. CU Broad Comedy’s mission is to prove that it is possible to be funny without being offensive, and the stage is open to anyone who has ever felt uncomfortable at an open mic party.
The club was founded by Stephanie Brown in 2016 and is currently run by Brown, Lisa Graff and Andrew Schiver. It was inspired by a comedy class designed by Chicago comedian Cameron Esposito. According to CU Broad Comedy’s Facebook page, the events were originally created to bring more women to the Champaign-Urbana comedy scene, in reaction to the #MeToo movement, an effort to practice empathy and solidarity. thanks to the strength of numbers.
Like Champaign-Urbana, Brown incorporated his doctoral thesis – wishing to know why stand-up comedy is more male-dominated than other forms of comedy. Not only was she able to share and write about the sexism she faced, but she also included the experiences of other female Illinois-area comics.
Organizers said they allow white men to take the stage on occasion, but only after they have been seriously vetted and explicitly understood the rules.
When Rachel, the “disgusting” musical comedian took the stage with tambourines and other miscellaneous instruments, I have to admit, I started to sweat nervously. My idea for a musical is plagued by Bill Cosby on drums and Ricky Gervaris and “Danny Tanner” on guitar. She looked nothing like these guys. Clever, crisp and witty with her lyrical rewritings.
Then there was a comic called Emily. She shared her wild experiences from the prom weekend. Surprisingly, none of these incidents were fueled by alcohol and other illicit substances, but sheer misfortune.
Photo by Abigale Racine.
A comic came from Indiana to take the microphone at the Rose Bowl. Onstage, in her introduction, Kristen said she believes comedy clubs in her area condone inappropriate and offensive material. She expressed how much she appreciated CU Broad Comedy and its followers. Kristen was hysterical. As a member of the audience, I’m so happy that she stepped out and came all this way to participate in the open mic.
Photo by Abigale Racine.
Then the Farah comic brought on stage a really big box. Before the show, people asked what was under the suspicious cardboard box, but she didn’t reveal anything until she was on stage. Turns out it was a 19-pound squash that Farah herself had grown in her garden. Her ensemble focused on the big vegetable, explaining that she was going to list it at the Champaign County Fair under the “big vegetable” category.
Co-producer Lisa Graff then took the stage and reflected on the history of cock photos. She also explained how she was “excited to sleep,” a very relevant topic.
Finally, co-producer Michelle graced the stage and discussed yoga stereotypes and had an impressive collection of puns.
If you’ve always thought about doing a stand-up or writing a comedy, the CU Broad Comedy team runs writing workshops that help you write routines and can help you prepare to perform on stage in front of a live audience. Host and co-producer Andrew Schiver said he “loves the community. There is a great group of people who support us.”
If you are interested in joining or attending a CU Broad Comedy show, please follow them on Instagram and Facebook and keep up to date with their events. For more information, email [email protected]