Marquette Wire

Milwaukee comedy scene? Stand up!

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It’s 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night and Mikey’s Skylight Room, 811 N. Jefferson St., is booming with laughter and energy. The dim lighting, smooth rock music, and perfectly prepared food and drink not only make the audience of about 30 feel instantly comfortable, but also make them wonder why they haven’t come here to watch comedy before.

This feeling is good if this is your first time performing solo in front of a live audience. This feeling is good when you have a new joke ready to be released into the wild and matched with a true audience reaction. This feeling is good if you’re a college kid who lives to entertain others and who dreams of working alongside professional comedians. This feeling is The Stand Up at Mikey’s Skylight Room.

Wes Shaver, creator and producer of The Stand Up, proposed the idea to Mikey’s almost a year ago.

“Wes approached me and did it the right way,” explained General Manager Noah Heaney. “We just gave him a stage and room and said, ‘Go to town.’ Everything else has been his artistic tweak on what he thinks is a great room and a great restaurant.”

Shaver said the Milwaukee comedy scene is too limited, especially for college-aged comics.

“It’s hard for young people to find opportunities; this is why I created this,” explained Shaver. “We’re offering a great space, awesome food, cocktails, and an awesome atmosphere for any kind of comedian.”

And he really means any kind of comedian.

The lineup on Tuesday August 25 was filled with variety. Shaver purposely presents four comics with completely different styles for every show so people are not bored with only one type of humor.

“Some clubs only want a Mitch Hedberg, a Dane Cook. We want everyone,” Shaver said, who performed that night as well. Shaver studied theater at Cardinal Stritch University and developed a classic “old school” type of humor which is hard to find anywhere, let alone in a mid-twenties professional. But to a crowd as diverse as Shaver’s, every type of humor is appreciated.

Geoff LaFleur was the featured comic last week.

“Without a doubt, all styles are welcome; that’s the good thing about it,” LaFleur said. He followed Shaver’s hilarious old school set with a high energy, self-deprecating act about his uncanny resemblance to Brett Favre and Tobey from “The Office.”

“It’s a little bit more experimental of a place, a little bit more intimate,” LaFleur said. “This is a place where you can just try out new stuff and get some stage time.”

Not only is The Stand Up great for Mikey’s, but it’s also helpful to the talented yet little known Milwaukee comedy scene.

“Milwaukee is a little bit behind culturally,” Nick Kosevich, bar manager and director of entertainment and nightlife at Mikey’s explained. “I was a stand-up comedian for two years, so I’m stoked to have comedy here.”

And that is what’s most important about The Stand Up. It’s meant to be a place for aspiring Milwaukee comics to have a place to play and to experience sharing the stage with professional travelling comics.

“The initial goal of this show is always going to be for young people to get opportunity, and to always have a nice blend of veterans and new people,” Shaver said. “Mikey’s is a room for everybody.”

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