Berkeleysiders came out in force last night to enjoy a wonderful evening of stand-up, courtesy of The Other Café Comedy Showcase, at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse.

The talented Diana Howard, a Berkeley resident and freelance designer, created this sketch to commemorate the occasion.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Thank Berkeleyside for the fun night at F&S. We ALL needed a chuckle after the past few weeks. It was funny to be at the Freight and not be listening to music but it was the perfect venue for comedy. Maybe you’d consider a MOTH type storytelling night next?

  2. I liked the show a lot. If I had to pick favorites, I guess Don and Geoff. Having spent much of my youth in New England, Don’s particular flavor of Irish humor – and that accent and delivery – rocked. You gotta understand that “that guy” exists in every neighborhood it’s just that Don has distilled it down like a decent whiskey. It must be strange to see an Australian audience react to him. One of his (un-PC) “joke joke’s” (as opposed to just stories with lots of funny lines) – designed for passing along the next day:

    “Oh, yeah. Awright here’s a story. So, uh…. Three Irish guys come out of a bar….. [beat] Hey, it could happen!”

    Yeah, you’ve heard it a hundred times. That’s an old joke. He’s the man who can roll it off natural like a sneeze.

    Geoff, well… my biggest complaint is two-fold. I would have liked him given another 10 minutes — seemed like he had to wrap up a little hastily for the sake of the crowded line-up. Second, I’m kicking myself for choking when he asked if there were any hecklers. “Are there any hecklers here tonight?” [crickets]. Damn. I choked on the obvious response (“That’s not funny!”) I’ll bet he had something good for that. The caffeinated status conscious fancy dress audience of a certain age is, what they call in the biz, a tough room.

    And speaking of choking, I gotta say, I gather it’s just not what F&S wants, damn if Don isn’t right that Freight & Salvage would be a better venue for that sort of thing if they had at least a Beer and Wine license. When Don mentioned he almost refused to perform when he found out it there was only a coffee bar – I’m pretty sure he was at most half joking. Whatever happened with the plans for the former UC Theater? I’m not saying F&S should morph into a nightclub (or that it shouldn’t) but….

    Finally, my friend and I noticed something on the way out about the whole “downtown is overrun by panhandlers” thing. Holy Cow! Mid- and Upper-mid- looking folks coming up the street when shows get out are totally targeted. It’s political street theater. 15 minutes on either side of when there are bunch of such “rich” folks on the street it’s very different. Dress a little differently – it’s very different. Know how to make eye contact and communicate like a human with most of the pan-handlers — it’s a lot different. There is a concerted effort to make theater district goers believe that downtown is over-run by panhandler’s that way. This is not to say that downtown is problem free that way at any time of day. It is not to make light of anyone’s negative experiences during those targeted times or any time. It’s not to valorize the targeting I’m describing. It’s just interesting to note that some of the populist backlash from the moneyed class is, well, deliberately provoked by an exaggerated portrayal directed deliberately at folks who look like they might be the most blindly nervous about it.

  3. In all honesty, I found myself not laughing so much at some of the fecal/private parts humor (all delivered by men), and didn’t at all warm up to the slams on Antioch and Pittsburg, Ca, which are large, diverse Bay Area towns now. Come on: Berkeleycentric humor – yawn. BUT, all in all it was an entertaining show. Not quite like the good old days at the Other Cafe in SF, but that’s a hard act to follow.