I’m gonna’ travel 372 miles the 3rd week of October to perform comedy in remote locations around the State of Wisconsin and, in most locales, 40-50-75 people will show up to enjoy the comedic styling of three road comics that had to drive 189 miles one-way to bring them live entertainment.
Don’t get me wrong (and I’m NOT complaining), I LOVE those locals and the bars they frequent that ultimately support us in our need to reveal the dark truth or stupid observations or lame one-liners we apply “exclusively” to their unique comment or reaction. But we’ll draw 0.83% of the inhabitants of this Rural Southeastern County (based on 2011 US DHHS statistics) out of their comfortable homes, away from their DirectTV and their flat-screens, and into a rustic watering hole to listen to us. You may not realize this but, THAT’S A HUGE NUMBER!
Milwaukee County, by comparison, is a bit larger than that RSC and yet comedy doesn’t come anywhere close to drawing 0.83% of the population. Oh, sure, when Louis CK or Jerry Seinfeld roll into to town later this month they’ll bring out about 4,700 each on a friday or Saturday night. But 0.83% of Milwaukee County is 7,906 people. If you add up the sum total of ALL the comedy shows taking place Friday, October 5th, you won’t even come close to performing for the remaining 3,206 that are the 0.83%.
Between the Comedy Cafe and Jokerz, Karma and Lucky’s, Comedy Sportz and Cali’s Grill Room (which, being in Waukesha County, shouldn’t be included) and the various other small bar shows and night-club gigs that are barely noticed by the population as a whole, the numbers approached will be another fraction of that meager 0.83%. Hell, let’s add Saturday in the mix with a second show at the Cafe (and y’all better go see Beehner!), a CSz matinee and “Bye, Bye Liver-The Milwaukee Drinking Play”, Bonkers at the Potowatomi; still no chance of hitting 7,900 people in this beer-soaked town.
So, what’s up Milwaukee? Is it that it ALWAYS seems like there’s a comedy show going on so, there’s no imperative – no urgency? Is it all just in our heads and you’re blissfully unaware of the entertainment opportunities clamoring for your support? Is it that your daily lives provide you all the comic relief you need? Is it that parking’s a bitch? PLEASE, TELL US WHAT YOU NEED!
Face it Milwaukee, you’ve become lazy and obtuse. You believe the back-stabbing vitriol of “Maury” or “16 and Pregnant” is to be laughed at, is to be shared like a jovial experience at work the next day, is…comedy.
Well, save yourself Milwaukee. Take a chance; freak Damon Millard out and pack Karma so full, the jocks and the playa’s get pushed outside to accommodate your demand for quality comedy. Make Johnny Beehner face 227 of you standing shoulder-to-shoulder along the back wall at The Cafe at a Saturday Late Show (I know you’ve got church and the Packer Game – man up!). Be so loud at Jokerz that the strippers upstairs at SILK look down at the floor and wonder just what the HELL is going on down there for a change.
What ever you see, you’ll be talking about it at work Monday morning. Become a 0.83%-er. You’ll thank me later.