Albuquerque’s local comedy scene has grown in recent years, and is getting better, A.J. Martinez, local stand-up comedian, said.
Martinez, who has been performing stand-up comedy for six years, is one of many local comedians who host an open mike comedy show in Albuquerque, where anyone has the opportunity to perform.
“There’s a comedy community now. Comedians have begun hosting their own shows over the last of couple years,” Martinez said. “On a typical night there are around 25 comedians.”
Perry Klare, a Law student, said he likes to frequent local comedy shows. He has seen some headlining comedians in town, but said he also enjoys the opportunity to experience local comedians.
“I like to check out local shows, and see local people – it’s more personal that way,” he said. “(Local comedy) is more frequent and sometimes more interesting.”
Shows are held regularly Monday through Friday and can be found all around the city, from Rio Rancho to Downtown to the East Side, according to albuquerquecomedy.com. The shows are free, other than consumption costs at the venue.
The quality and type of comedy performed varies widely based on who is performing, Klare said.
“Sometimes the comedian sucks, but even then it’s good,” he said. “It’s kind of voyeuristic – you can see behind the scenes.”
Klare said that the comedy world interests him beyond just attending the shows. He said he plans to perform at an open mike.
“I have written a few jokes,” he said. “I just hope people would laugh.”
Anyone who would like to perform simply have to arrive a little early and sign up. Miguel Cordova, a former UNM student, said he went to Broken Bottle Brewery just to grab a beer. He was surprised and glad when he found out that he was a part of the audience of an open mike comedy show hosted that night, he said.
“I haven’t seen stand-up since Laugh’s (Comedy Club) closed,” Cordova said. “The show was good. It’s not just coming to a bar and listening to music. It’s something different.”
Eddie Stephens is a regular open mike performer in Albuquerque. He said he has seen many different types of performances, from dry to vulgar comedy.
“There are definitely some really good comedians performing at these shows,” he said. “If not, the audience is getting their money’s worth.”
Jason Green, who hosts local comedy shows in Albuquerque, said the audience is a large part of what makes stand-up comedy a fun and more unique experience than other forms of live entertainment.
“Stand-up comedy is a creative expression that exists only with the comedian/audience interaction,” he said. “You don’t always know what’s going to happen. The fact that things are going to go off the rails is appealing.”
Sarah Mowrey said she has been performing stand-up comedy for about four years and regularly hosts an open mike.
“Comedians can take more risks at an open mike,” she said. “The audience can see the learning process – it’s like watching a chef in the kitchen.”
She said practicing is not the main goal of the comedians at an open mike.
“We’re there, because we just want to make people laugh.”