Updated with a response from the Double Wide below.
One of Dallas' most beloved recent institutions, Good Luck Karaoke at the Double Wide, is no more. This weekly festival of alcohol and bad singing to great tunes, heavily assisted by the two men in charge and their refusal to ever break character, had been a fixture in the small dingy Exposition Park hangout for three whole years, which is a lifetime in terms of "things that happen every week in specific bars" terms. On Monday, it was announced that run had come to an end.
But don't fret. Co-hosts Josh Hammertimez and Oliver Peck say it's coming right back.
When reached for comment by the Observer, Hammertimez -- the erstwhile impressively bearded impresario of GLK -- still seemed surprised by the development. "We felt comfortable calling Double Wide home, and staying put had always been an easy choice," he said, pointing out that the event had gained attention as far away as the Village Voice in New York City. "Our show stood out on their weekly roster, and there was an understood commitment to build Good Luck Karaoke Thursdays into something one couldn't experience anywhere else. All of this makes our departure unexpected and disappointing.
"We understand that businesses are often faced with tough decisions, and wish Kim [Finch] all of the best in her new pursuits," he added.
Hammertimez and Peck, often assisted by George Quartz, had created a perfect karaoke night, where, rather than ceding the floor to whichever drunk 20- or 30-something was ready to shout into a microphone at strangers, they stood alongside them in solidarity, often very seriously playing toy guitars and providing backing vocals.
The best part, however, was the sheer weirdness of the characters developed for the event every week. Just Thursday night at the Doublewide, when there was no suggestion this institution might end, Josh and George Quartz were life coaches, brothers with a troubled childhood who mumbled a lot about taking peyote in the desert and offered life lessons to those brave enough to take the stage with them. Previous ones I've witnessed included two Big Texes who insisted on playing State Fair games with participants before they could sing.
It was memorable and silly and fun in just the right way, and clearly a lot of love and attention and humor went into each week. That's what made it such a surprise when the Double Wide announced this week that Good Luck Karaoke would be canceled with immediate effect, giving three days notice to Josh and Oliver ahead of Thursday's planned karaoke.
The event is, though, barely missing a beat, according to Hammertimez. "Oliver and I have never been ones to shy away from change. The Thursday night party that began on Lower Greenville and side-stepped to Exposition Park will pick back up at Twilite Lounge on April 24th," he explains. "It will be a fantastic time, unique as always. We look forward to seeing you there."
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The Twilite seems like a perfect fit. GLK comes with its own built-in audience, the sort that can pack a bar consistently on a Thursday night, and the sort that will move with the event rather than stick with the bar, who have replaced GLK with some sort of karaoke contest for money, on which information is scarce.
Sound like Thursdays on Elm Street just got that much cooler.
Update, Thursday, April 24: The Double Wide issued a statement today regarding the end of Good Luck Karaoke and its new karaoke night, which starts tonight.
We appreciate Good Luck's long run at Double Wide. We have a long history of partnership with Oliver Peck and Good Luck Karaoke was one of our favorites. But in the recent past as Oliver's career has taken him in many great directions we're sure, it is Hammertimez who has been responsible for the nights success and reputation.
After scores of customer complaints regarding a lack of professionalism, a growing and noticeable drop in attendance and sales, and his consistent refusal to hear or heed constructive criticism, he was fired. If we had the option of keeping Good Luck Karaoke as a promotion with a replacement weekly host, we would have.
Seeing as how Good luck was using the bars already existing karaoke set up and we know Karaoke is a staple at Double Wide, Good Luck or not, we launched a new promotion. Starting today, Double Wide Karaoke will host Thursday night SmackDown! This is 80's wrestling themed, competition Karaoke! Complete with arena ropes, a championship belt, and referee KJ's (rotating bar staff and special guests) we are dedicated more than ever to showing our customers a good time.
Everyone and anyone can sing, but when the audience hears a new contestant "ring in" they know a competitor is on stage! At 1am every night, competitors will be called back to the stage where audience applause will determine a weekly champion, each to win a $50 gift card to the bar.
We hope this new promotion will allow our karaoke singers a chance to shine in the spotlight, with more focus on their performances. While Referee KJ's will still be an important part of the evening, it's our customers we aim to celebrate. We do wish Good Luck Karaoke and Hammertimez success. Perhaps a new beginning is good for all of us every once in a while. See y'all tonight!