Stoney Date Night: The Comedy Show!

HAHAHAHA! Photo by Jefferson VanBilliard.

A few years ago my then girlfriend and I were struggling to find ideas for things to do during one of the few nights off we shared together. After the usual back and forth conversation of listing the same five spots we always seemed to end up at we settled on a night that would eventually become one of my favorite lesser known activities to attend in Orange County.

We entered the dimly lit seating area inside Anchor Bar and I asked if my date if she wanted a drink. As my eyes adjusted it was apparent that we’d started off our night in the worst possible way; by breaking comedy rule number one. I can blame it on the pre-roll that we shared before walking in or the fact that I had no idea that there was someone performing onstage while I whispered to my significant other but the mistake was made and I paid for it dearly. We sat down in the only seats available (up front) and the comic proceeded to lay into me with the intensity of a schoolyard bully.

“Who talks during a comedy show man?”

I hung my head in shame while my date laughed until tears ran down her cheeks. Yes, I do look like a hipster and my face is ugly but at least I have a sense of humor. It was in that moment that I fell in love with both her and Anchor Bar’s Comedy Night. From that point on we went to our “date spot” as often as possible.

Things change and people sometimes break up but years later, the comedy night is still happening every week at several locations throughout Orange County. I sat down with Evan Cassidy, founder and host of The Comedy Show to talk about why Monday and Thursday are the best nights to go out, Dennis Rodman, and why comedians are better lovers.

The Cass Man in his natural habitat.

When did The Comedy Show start?
October 2011 at Anchor Bar in Costa Mesa.

What nights and locations can people see the show?
Fock Ya Nation(The Comedy Show)is weekly at Anchor Bar (Costa Mesa), Chapter One (Santa Ana) and Gallaghers (HB) plus once a month we are at the Brea Improv. We have a special event on Tuesday, May 14th a Irvine Improv as well as branching out of OC to San Diego in the coming months.

You’ve had some serious talent come through your night throughout the years, any notable acts that people would recognize?
We’ve been lucky with our booking and some of my favorite comedians have performed here including Taylor Williamson (the Anchor Bar owners favorite), Taylor Tomlinson, Jay Larson, Jason Collings, Ahmed Bharoocha, Erik Myers and Sean Rouse (RIP). Many comics who started out at Anchor Bar have been featured on TV shows like Comedy Central’s “Roast Battle” including Connor McSpadden, Robin Tran, Olivia Grace, Keith Carey, Joe Eurell.  Daniel Eachus has been in a dozen or so commercials (including one for Belvita, Tom Goss and the Mean Boys podcast, Opeyemi Olagbaju works as a tv writer and Ali Macofsky opens for Rogan!

I’ve seen some pretty random/weird acts come out over the years, which one stands out the most for you?
That would have to be Dennis Rodman, he basically made it rain jokes and cash. Also, a local named Michael Landa once drew a Picasso style painting during his 3 min set, I still have it somewhere.

What about your most memorable act?
My personal favorite memory from an act is Huntington Beach legend Real Rich proposing to his now wife on stage. The video is on YouTube somewhere if you want to see a thug get emotional. It’s a tear jerker. Also, every Monday around 11pm for about five years, Friendly Frank goes up. I call it ‘Friendly Frank-or Bar’ because no matter what the vibe of the place is, he completely transforms the energy of the room in such a masterful way. Week after week, I’ll call his name and patrons who have literally just walked out the door will turn back around to watch. I’ve learned a ton just from watching his sets.

There you have it folk’s, the next time you find yourself wondering what you should be doing on a school night ditch the television and experience some real life local comedy, preferably while stoned and quiet. Happy smoking everyone!

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