Standup comedy venues are not difficult to find in Los Angeles. From the Laugh Factory to the Comedy Store, it’s almost too easy to find a place for some good (although not necessarily politically correct) laughs nearly any night of the week. The downside to these venues is that they, like everything else in this economy, have become inconveniently expensive for some. Fortunately, the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center (4306 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90008) in Leimart Park offers equivalent comedic value for half the price.
“Do You Think You’re Funny” was started approximately one year ago and takes place every Thursday night from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Cornelius Grant, a former member of The Temptations (a singing group known for their success in the 60s and 70s) is the mastermind behind the event, working closely with co-hosts Rose Hienz and Andrea Loney to bring comedians to the stage every week.
The evening opens at 7:30 p.m. with what could be considered “family-friendly” comedy that goes until about 9 p.m., when Hillard Street or another special musical guest treats the audience to a musical performance. The headliners follow the musical intermission and entertain the audience with what could be considered “raw” comedy that may not be appropriate for children under 13. There is hardly a quiet moment after 9 p.m., which explains the continued success of the weekly “Do You Think You’re Funny” show.
David Zasloff is a jazz comedian who frequently performs at the event and also works closely with Grant and Heinz to bring in a crowd.
“One of the reasons David fits in so well is because he is also a musician,” Grant said. “I myself come from a musical background, and I think we can do a lot combining music and comedy here.”
The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center has the same caliber of comedy as some of the bigger venues, but prides itself on some of its more original aspects.
“The audience here laughs at really smart stuff, which makes it a little bit different from other improv places.” Zasloff said. This helps to explain the high number of regulars that come back week after week.
“The people that come here always come back,” Heinz said. “It’s always a good crowd in here no matter what, and it’s growing,” Zasloff added.
While the comedy is one thing that brings the audience back, the other is the inviting atmosphere of the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center. Grant, Zasloff and Heinz all spoke highly of the general environment, describing the ambiance as “smart, funny, mellow, warm, genuine, supportive and sophisticated.” What more could you ask for from a comedy club?
Tickets cost $10 at the door and only $5 with a valid Pepperdine ID.
Follow Kayla Ferguson on Twitter.