BRING ON THE LAUGHS >>>
Looks like pretty soon we'll be able to add a new comedy venue to our short list - Tacoma Comedy Club. Nope, we're not even joking. Comedian and filmmaker Aaron Flett-Riggs and crew will swing open the doors at Sixth and Tacoma Avenue South next month. I caught up with Flett-Riggs in between hammering nails and shooting the film, Jesus 4 Less, which he wrote.
WEEKLY VOLCANO: How's your space shaping up?
AARON FLETT-RIGGS: We are getting ready to paint the building and put up our signs, as well as replacing the signs of our neighbors - Malarkey's and Infinite Soups. I think with the Hub and other great bars at one end of the block and us at the other, it will make that portion of Tacoma more of a destination. It should also help with McMenamins opening up in the near future.
VOLCANO: Is everything on schedule for your opening weekend?
FLETT-RIGGS: Yes, our first weekend will be Oct. 15 and 16. It's our soft opening featuring two of the stars from our movie, Jesus 4 Less - Kane Holloway and Sean Anderson. Then we have our grand opening the next weekend with Collin Moultin who has a Showtime special coming out in October.
VOLCANO: Are you making fun of Jesus in your film?
FLETT-RIGGS: It's a feature length comedy about two atheists that work for their uncle at a Christian bookstore. It's a comedy first and foremost, but I hope to sprinkle some messages in here and there. I'd like to say things that don't get said in Hollywood movies. I don't think you could get a movie like this made in L.A. People always ask if I'm making fun of Jesus. I am not. In fact, there are very few references at all about Jesus in the movie, except the name of course. I think the idea of a Christian bookstore in general is the funniest thing. What could be more upsetting to Jesus than a Christian bookstore? Jesus wouldn't sell Bibles or false idols.
Ultimately, the movie is supposed to make you laugh and maybe think a little bit. I've never written a screenplay before. I'm just a comic who had an idea that most people will be offended by even though they don't know why they are offended. They'll just know they are supposed to be.
VOLCANO: How will your comedy club differ from the others in town?
FLETT-RIGGS: That's a great question. The Comedy Underground was the first place I ever performed comedy at and has been one of my favorite places to do comedy, but it hasn't been that good for the past couple of years. With the change to the Big Whisky concept, the crowd has changed - not for the worse or anything; it's just changed.
We plan on bringing in bigger names than what you would normally get at the Underground. We want the audience to see fresh comics every week - comics that they wouldn't normally be able to see in Tacoma. If you want to see a funny up and coming comedian, you shouldn't have to drive to Bellevue or a mega casino.
In regards to the venue, the Tacoma Comedy Club has about fifty more seats than the Underground and no obstructions. Also our tickets are $8 less.
The Underground is not going anywhere and I hope they do well. I think there is enough room in Tacoma for two comedy clubs.
VOLCANO: What's on the food menu?
FLETT-RIGGS: The Tacoma Comedy Club will have a great menu with food cooked on site not microwaved or deep fried, We'll have more than one waitress to make sure the crowd is getting the food and beverage service they want with out having to get it themselves.
VOLCANO: Have any thing else in your bag of laughs?
FLETT-RIGGS: We plan on hosting a one-a-month Sunday Clean/ Christian/Family show.
Tacoma Comedy Club
Comedians Kane Holloway and Sean Anderson
Friday, Oct. 15 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., $12
445 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma