Comedian Tom Mabe is probably best known for his Revenge on the Telemarketers comedy and has enjoyed the spotlight on stage, Youtube, CD, television and XM radio. He's brought XM radio with him to Fern Creek, Kentucky for a private party monthly ( for his friends ages 18 plus) at new sports bar 30Red on Bardstown Rd in fern Creek, where he records a live show. Mabe presented a showcase of comedians last night that far surpassed the level of comedians you would usually see for the entry price of "free".
Local comedian and Crescent Hill Radio show host Ed Snyder Black gave the show a strong opening, endearing himself to the audience who gave a strong response from the get go. He reeled them in and got things started with a bang. He got the audience's attention and got them laughing, screaming and responding. When he asked who wanted a free Crescent Hill Radio t-shirt, the audience erupted with screams, but Ed said "You can't have the one I'm wearing...It's the only one I have with me. You'll have to tune in to the show." Someone yelled "Take it off!!"
Next up to the microphone was Rick Ragains. He was one of the few I had not seen before, and he brought a very high energy form of comedy. He proved his claim of being ADHD when his attention was caught by a guy in the audience trying to order from his server. Ragains said "If you order Michelob Ultra, you get a free Clinique gift with it. You go, girl!"
Ally Bruener took the stage in a wheelchair, and proceeded to use self-deprecating humor about being crippled. She slowly and calmly delivered one joke after another, leaving the audience laughing and saying "awe" at the same time. My favorite was "The only reason I was born crippled is because God knew I would be unable to resist becoming a stripper."
Tim McClendon, who performed with the Three Married Guys troupe, gave a refreshing clean comedy set on being married. I've always enjoyed McClendon's "poor married guy" humor and love his statement of belief that marriage should continue to be between one really aggressive person and one person who wonders what just happened.
Then came the crown jewel of this show for me. Corporate comedian Mark Klein took the stage with a twinkle in his eye and a calm presence about him that contradicted a lot of the high energy from the other comics. This silver fox stood on stage in a professional suit with vest and commented on being fifty. "You're going to get old and die...and that's if things go well," he opened. He proceeded to share lessons that he shares with his son and reminded the audience that life is full of beauty and miracles. Anyone that knows me knows I get frustrated by comedy that I could get off a bathroom wall or by hanging out on a middle school bus, so Klein's spellbinding clean comedy set that was absolutely hilarious and message driven left me ecstatic and inspired. He also joked on being married, saying things like, "I'm married... I'm sorry for the disappointment...(audience laughter). There's not one girl here that's disappointed that I'm married." Well, maybe one. I'm a sucker for the perfect mix of class and comedy.
Next came Patrick Passafiume, who is a local comedian that is currently rising in the national eye. You could sum up his set with "Jesus isn't white". He was quite a switch up after Klein, turning to race related humor. He also told the audience about being a poor comic married to an engineer, which he described as a savings account you can sleep with. Don't let his crass routine fool you. He's actually a pretty cool guy that is much less of a c*^&sucker than his blog claims. Passafiume has always been a comedian who will do his best to win you over by being offensive...and somehow, it works.
Cj Harlow closed things out and was able to quickly connect to the audience with his non-pretentious laid back attitude and current situational humor. He was the only comedian to really joke on the atmosphere and do improv humor with it. He was happy to make fun of the fact that the bar is connected (next door) to a daycare and that he was sure that's where everyone's kids were. He referenced the cheap $1 drinks when he later made a joke that didn't get enough laughs, so he shouted "Don't look at me like you paid to get in here...Some of you spent six dollars and don't even know where you are..You could be fishing for all you know. Don't forget to pick up your kids next door."
Mabe served as emcee for the night. He hosted the show, throwing a few jokes in as he took the stage occasionally to introduce the others. At one point, he spoke of passing on the art of pranking to his son and how his son found a dead deer on the road and decided to lay next to it in a Santa suit.
The entire show lasted about an hour and a half and everyone seemed to be pretty excited about the next one. Although the show is underground and invite only, it isn't that hard to get in touch with Mabe on Facebook and solicit an invite or just show up and ask to be let in. He's kind of whore...albeit a very funny one.
Photo: Mark Klein speaks on aging and the life wisdoms he's gathered.