Thursday, August 31, 2017

Laughing Stock: Good, Clean Fun

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge bigstock-cheerful-young-afro-american-w-193677010.jpg

In July, 2016, The Christian Science Monitor wrote a business article about an L. A. showcase of comedians who did not swear, discuss body parts or tell sex jokes. The promoter said many comedians wanted to perform clean, but didn’t want to be alone. He hoped to spin the showcase into a series.

The article even touted social benefits. “’Humor is rising to help close the gap that has been widening between religions, ethnicities, and different communities,’ says Joe Boskin, a professor emeritus of social history at Boston University.”

We wish we could report that it all worked out.

A year before that clean showcase made news, though, Marana residents Stephanie and Randy Jenkins had already launched a Meetup group with a clean comedy manifesto. The “About” section of their Clean Comedy Lovers Meet Up says, “In a world of increasingly low standards …. we are convinced that by replacing vulgarity with a variety of performers who say ‘No’ to objectionable material, our Meetup members don’t have to be worried about embarrassing moments with family (and) friends.”

Since June. 2015, that Meetup group has grown to 300 members, promoting its events only via the group and word of mouth. It now hosts shows the first Friday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at Falcon Auditorium, Marana Middle School, 11285 W Grier Rd, Marana; the first Saturday at 2 p.m. at Safford Center for the Arts, 980 S 14th Ave, Safford; and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Vail Theater of the Arts, Empire High School, 10701 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Tucson.

The three-show weekend provides enough revenue to allow bringing a name comedian from the West Coast, with two openers chosen from the rich comedy scenes of Tucson and Phoenix.
All three shows this weekend are headlined by Hollywood’s Jason Love, who has appeared on Comedy Central and more than 20 other national TV broadcasts, as well as USA tours, cruises and well-known comedy clubs.

Opening for Love is Phoenix-area relationship comic Kristopher Royer, sharing insights from his life as a newlywed, and Tucsonan Amber Frame, whose comedy makes fun of her hipster life and her many tumbles into self-realization.

The September shows offer several discounts for members and groups. VIP reservations for the first few rows in each venue, are $20. Reservations are encouraged via Join the group to keep up with clean comedy others who enjoy it.

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