Monday, June 30, 2008

no joke

The bad news came via the Google Alert I have set up for comedy improv information. One of my favorite venues for improv, the Comedy Warehouse (and the other five nightclubs) at Walt Disney World's Pleasure Island will close in September.

A Virginia-based blogger had the official Disney press release and a theory that it was Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Universal City Walk that killed Pleasure Island. Another "Mouse expert" wrote that the Comedy Warehouse was sparsely attended on weeknights. He also says that some performers at the Adventurers Club were encouraged to audition for a job at the new American Idol Experience. Yet another Mouse blogger believes that Disney crippled Pleasure Island before killing it. Readers who posted comments on the Orlando Sentinel site aren't happy about the closures either.

When radio is done with me, I had thought I might move to Orlando and watch improv everyday, much like the people complaining on a Disney-themed message board. Some of them chose time shares based on their proximity to the Comedy Warehouse and the Adventurers Club.

I hope that the Comedy Warehouse cast members (especially Lisa) can get jobs doing improv in the theme parks, like the group I saw in March. At the very least, they should be able to perform with one of the talented Orlando troupes like SAK. The closing makes me especially blue that I was too tired to go to the Comedy Warehouse on my last visit to Walt Disney World. My one ticket might have kept them in business a little longer.

The name of the Comedy Warehouse makes me think of a quote from Adam Carolla that I read on his Wikipedia page. He describes himself as a comedy factory, not a comedy warehouse. Like Adam, improvisers are comedy factories, always making up new material. Stand-up comics are comedy warehouses, with a supply of well-rehearsed jokes that they reuse night after night. Ironically the Comedy Warehouse featured improv while the Laugh Factory showcases stand-ups.

Here in Knoxville, I have noticed an increase in attendance at our Tuesday night improv shows. Then I noticed that Patrick Sullivan's has started to occasionally mention Einstein Simplified in their weekly Metro Pulse ad. I'm no genius but I think there might be a correlation.

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