The roots of Huntsville’s stand-up comedy boom

Stand-up comic Scott Eason sees it all the time, when hunting out from the stage if he’s accomplishing a display in Huntsville.

“You’ll practically have the most-region particular person sitting down subsequent to someone who has a PhD,” Eason states. “And even though they couldn’t be more different, they laughed at the same point.”

Which is a little something that’s constantly created him snicker about Huntsville, Ala., his hometown. “As progressive a metropolis as we are,” Eason says, “we have just these a melting pot of individuals. It is a odd collision.”

For a ten years now, Eason and around a thousand other stand-up comedians have been earning nearby comedy enthusiasts snicker, at indie showcase Epic Comedy Hour.

Established by neighborhood comic Justin Ledlow, Epic debuted in July 2011 to a packed household of 268 people today at arts heart Lowe Mill’s next flooring theater, then known as Flying Monkey. Eason arrived aboard as a producer soon immediately after the display was made.

Huntsville experienced been without a good comedy club since the mid ’90s, when the metropolis was property to a North Parkway location identified as The Comedy Club, which shut after a 1994 fire later determined to be arson.

“We commenced off,” Eason says through cellular phone, “and it was like, wow, there is a hunger for this in this city. And then it was off to the races for a extensive time.”

There are a several motives Epic Comedy Hour, which has place on far more than 200 displays, observed an audience. A person, as Eason hinted earlier mentioned, there was a pocket comedy enthusiasts here who’d earlier experienced to travel to areas like Stardome in Birmingham to see displays. Then there’s Huntsville’s at any time-present nerdy/intelligent cultural DNA. A town with a wealthy tech and aerospace legacy, which includes aiding set individuals on the moon with Apollo 11, Huntsville’s offers a booming craft beer scene, the science of which appeals to a considerable engineering population right here. The city’s also house to various pop-culture negatives. Additionally, Epic’s economical. Include is significantly less than 10 bucks and the demonstrates are BYOB.

Huntsville comedy

A group at Huntsville’s Epic Comedy Hour. (Courtesy Roger Patteson)

Epic Comedy Hour was the to start with indie showcase to increase up in Huntsville and other individuals adopted. This active indie scene was part of the motive Andrew Dorfman, who co-owns various comedy clubs throughout the U.S. together with Zanies in Nashville, resolved to open up a club right here in 2017, called Stand Up Live. Eason was the opening act on Stand Up Live’s opening night, supporting Christopher Titus, known for his early 2000s sitcom “Titus.”

“The club coming here,” Eason says, “we type of felt vindicated that we had been making this comedy scene in Huntsville. You have to have an impartial comedy scene surrounding comedy golf equipment due to the fact you need a proving ground, a spot the place comedians can accomplish and improve and perform on their substance, so they can then carry it to the comedy club stage.”

Stand Up Dwell has brought a steady stream of nationally touring acts to Huntsville, like the likes of Hannibal Buress, Craig Robinson and Nate Bargatze. As an alternative of getting a situation exactly where a a lot more polished, much more moneyed entity comes in and kills a small neighborhood predecessor, the romance concerning Stand Up Dwell and Epic Comedy Hour is symbiotic. Stand Up Live’s offered community Huntsville comics a little something to shoot for. “If you’re a comic right here in town, you want to carry out there,” Eason says.

And given that arriving, Stand Up Live’s been the key sponsor for Epic Comedy Hour’s anniversary exhibits. This week, Epic celebrates their 10th anniversary with 4 reveals in between July 22 – 24, that includes around 20 comics. The show’s themes run from a standard Epic showcase with sets by comics from Huntsville to New York, to a cutdown opposition and self-explanatory shows named Underwear Comedy Celebration and Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober. (Details on every clearly show and a ticket backlink can be identified down below this story.)

Huntsville is now property to a great deal extra nightlife options than when Epic debuted. In addition to other indie showcases and comedy club Stand Up Dwell, there are well-liked leisure developments like Stovehouse, Campus No. 805 and MidCity, and songs venues like SideTracks New music Corridor and Mars Music Hall, to identify a few.

“Like with just about anything functioning for 10 many years,” Eason claims, “you kind of plateau. Then one demonstrate you have (an attendance down to) 100 men and women and all of a unexpected, you’re like, ‘Oh my god, we shed it.’ But you have to comprehend it’s the ebb and flow of managing any variety of enjoyment primarily based thing. We have found pleasure in attempting to establish it again up to the sellout crowds, which right before the pandemic we had been genuinely on our way to doing. So we’re really fired up to get again at it.”

Considering the fact that acquiring his start in Huntsville, Eason’s carried out at Stardome, Zannies in Nashville and Chicago, The Punchline and Laughing Skull in Atlanta and Comedy Attic in Bloomington, Ind. He’s opened displays for bold-font names like Colin Jost, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven, Chris Kattan and Damon Wayans, Jr.

Eason states he’s viewed Dave Chappelle’s 2004 stand-up comedy exclusive “For What It’s Worth” so a lot of occasions he can nearly recite it phrase-for-term. “I feel it’s very perhaps 1 of the finest several hours of comedy at any time put on tape. It is, humorous. It is intelligent. It is got biting social commentary. It’s bought a whole lot of jokes that are however funny today, which is definitely the hallmark of very good comedy.” Outside of comedy, Eason’s pursuits include gathering sneakers and he’s a member of a neighborhood Beastie Boys include band.

Bits in Eason’s recent set deal with subject areas like associations and sex. He’s married and is a father, so that is sprinkled in there also. Usually he shies absent from politics. “And no shade to comedians that do political,” Eason states. “It’s just definitely not for me. I believe sometimes men and women are coming to comedy displays to escape that variety of detail. So I want to talk about relatable things that materialize in all of our lives.”


On Thursday, there is an 8 p.m. clearly show at Liquor Convey (1812 College Drive N.W.) titled “You Search Like,” with comics competing in a “battle of insults.” The lineup characteristics Huntsville stand-ups Rayna Cahill, Carl Paul, Nic Perez, Lauren Harris Childers and Ari Kobler, Muscle Shoals’ Brent Reed and Birmingham’s Paige McBride.

The signature show, Epic Comedy Hour, is 8 p.m. July 23. On 7 p.m. Saturday, it is the return of the touring Underwear Comedy Get together, an Atlanta launched display comprised of comics carrying out in their skivvies. The anniversary concludes 9 p.m. Saturday with Stoned vs. Drunk vs, Sober, as 3 groups of comics in a few states of conscious vie for audience votes. Friday and Saturday shows take spot at Lowe Mill’s Studio Theatre, tackle 2211 Seminole Push, 2nd floor.

Friday and Saturday’s lineup consists of Huntsville comics Scott Eason and Tim Kelly, Atlanta’s Ian Aber, Lace Larrabee and Joe Pettis, Louisville’s Holly Lynnea, Indianapolis’ Alex Cost and Dwight Simmons, New York’s Samantha Ruddy, Nashville’s Brad Sativa and Chattanooga comedy duo Superior Cop/ Rad Cop.

Weekend passes are $18 by using Solitary display tickets are $5 to $8 and available at the doorway of each location. Much more info at

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