Drinking and comedy have always gone together like peanut butter, jelly and soft, white bread with the crusts carefully removed. Comedy club drinks, however, aren't the tastiest or most reasonably priced concoctions. It's part and parcel for the business and not just for the club's bottom line. Sometimes all it takes is the right amount of alcohol to turn the least talented joke slinger into someone who might have a shot of not getting kicked out of a Last Comic Standing audition.
Most times, however, you want a drink that actually tastes as good as the buzz it can create. The upcoming Brew-HaHa Comedy Series pairs local comedians with local breweries for a series of shows designed to leave you laughing no matter how much you've had to drink.
The series kicks off on September 18 with a live show starring Paul Varghese, Mama Michelle and Michael O'Donnell along with a beer tasting at the Community Beer Co. in downtown Dallas. Future performances will take place across the area at the Franconia Brewing Co. in McKinney, Rabbit Hole Brewing in Justin and the Lakewood Brewing Co. in Garland with live performances by Dave Little, CJ Starr, Clint Werth and Daryl Felsberg. The complete schedule and tickets are available on the Brew-HaHa Comedy Series' website.
Standup comedian Tyson Faifer, a local comic who also appeared on NBC's American Ninja Warrior and America's Got Talent, dreamed up the festival with Alayna Spagna.
Faifer said Spagna was in the midst of moving to the Dallas area and noticed the craft beer and comedy explosion going on at the same time across DFW. Faifer said he was trying to organize a tour of one-night stand shows and both thought comedy and craft beer could pair together naturally like a dunkelweizen with a fine bacon-smoked Gouda cheese.
"The brewers like the concept, and they like having something different in their brew spaces," he said during a drive to Austin to perform at the 2014 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. "It's two of the coolest things in Dallas: the stand-up comedy scene and the exploding brewery scene."
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Each showcase will feature a list of comics in the middle of the brewing floor and each patron will not only get to watch a live stand-up showcase but they'll get a free beer mug and a chance to try up to three glasses of each breweries' finest beers.
"All of the brewers are really excited because it's about bringing in new people to check out their brews as well as bring in some of their regulars," Faifer said.
The showcases will also give the comics a new place to try out some of their material, he said.
"A lot of times we'll have the stage set up right in front of the equipment so it will be a different environment the usual comedy clubs," Faifer said. "As far as doing a series of shows in breweries back to back, this has never been done before."