Contributed by Jennifer Heaney
Wiseguys in West Valley City was packed onSaturday night. Nissa, the ticket girl, and Jack, the manager, were practically being thrown money and two-for-one coupons by a long line of customers.
There was a lot of infectious energy in the club, even before the show started. The emcee for the evening was Steve Soelberg, a dead ringer for Kevin Bacon. His placid style was a little disappointing, but the audience seemed to be in such a good mood that they didn’t really notice.
The first guest comic was Jamie Maxfield, whose stage persona was a dumb and silly guy. His best jokes were about guys being tricked into seeing Twilight, and getting a slingshot for his birthday. He made good use of the stage, and it seemed like he was genuinely having a good time. It was a great set, and the audience loved him. Spencer King followed, opening with a great joke about waking up as Brad Pitt and getting rid of all the kids. His jokes got big laughs, but he looked down at the stage too much, which kept him from completely winning over the audience.
King was followed by Kiley Cook, who started strong with jokes about West Valley City. Cook started to fizzle mid-set, speaking too fast and jumping from joke to joke without tying them together, but he saved his set with a strong closer. Tim Thorne's set was pretty much what I’d seen from him before, but this audience gave him a much better response than the last time I saw him perform.
The headliner was Ryan Hamilton, the Utah native whom Rolling Stone called “one of the top 5 comedians to watch.” His clean-cut, observational humor, while a bit too reminiscent of Jerry Seinfeld, was entertaining enough -- but a couple of the openers were just as good.