(Submitted by Jennifer Heaney)
There was something electric in the air when I walked through the door and into Wiseguys in West Valley on March 27 night. Nissa, the ticket girl, was very excited: “David Archuleta is having his after-party here at 10:00!” she exclaimed. Completely unaware that the former American Idol runner-up and Murray native was even performing that night, I politely pretended to be impressed before I spread the heavy curtains and walked down the hall toward the seating area.
Jack, the manager, and owner Keith Stubbs came over to say hello, and I ended up having an exciting conversation with Stubbs about the newest Wiseguys he’s opening at Trolley Square next month. Stubbs mentioned that he was going to be performing tonight, and excused himself once emcee Blake Bard got on stage.
I’d recently seen Bard perform, and was pleasantly surprised when my favorite joke of his, “cat snake” had grown into a longer, funnier bit. Tim Thorne, from Ogden, was the first featured comic of the night. Thorne had good energy and material. His act was clean, but just sarcastic enough to keep it surprising, and the crowd responded very well to him.
The second featured comic was Spencer King, from Orem. I’d also seen King perform recently, and was surprised when most of his act was completely different material from what I had heard him do last time. He did well, and got the crowd really energized. Stubbs himself was the third featured comic, and he immediately owned the stage (figurative and literally). He was hilarious, and went through his material with the confidence of a well-traveled comic.
Stubbs was the perfect setup for the headliner Tom Clark from Wisconsin. Clark had a surprisingly dark sense of humor compared to his goofy-white-guy persona. Every joke had a little twist at the end that kept the laughter pretty constant, as some people caught on to the humor a little later than others. The physical aspect of his comedy was reminiscent of classic Jim Carrey performances, and his closer—set to “Memories,” from Cats—was very clever.
It was a well-rounded group of comedians, and everyone seemed to have a great time. It just goes to show that it doesn’t always matter who is headlining at a comedy club. Part of the fun is that you have no idea what the person who gets on stage is going to say—and sometimes you wind up with a night where everybody leaves feeling completely entertained.