Audiences are catching on and enjoying a laugh in a club setting with the last-Tuesday-of-the-month We-Ha-HA! Comedy Nights, and others.
By Joy Taylor
“The world needs to loosen up,” joked comedian and promoter Paul Gregory who has spent some of his time living in West Hartford, but now lives in Farmington.
When it comes to really enjoying a comedian, most of us are comfortable laughing out loud in the privacy of our own living rooms in front of a television, and it’s typically easier if others are laughing along with you, Gregory said. But laughing in public, at a stand-up act, is a whole different experience.
Maybe it’s an introvert vs. extrovert thing, but over burgers at World of Beer, Gregory shared his thoughts about the need for people to get out and learn to laugh more, with live entertainment, which is so different than watching it on our various screens.
Let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t exactly know when to laugh, or maybe we don’t exactly understand the joke, and that’s okay. When the act is live on a stage in front of us, it can be a little embarrassing to chuckle at a crude joke, or a not-exactly-politically-correct commentary.
The comedian, like any performer, thrives on feedback, so audience participation is important for the act to succeed, said Gregory. Lots of work goes into writing a bit, even a 5-minute routine can be a few years of work!
Sometimes, to shed the seriousness of the world, people just need to hear the absurd and funny thoughts out loud so they can think, “Oh, I’ve had that same outlandish thought before, but I’ve never actually said it to anyone,” and that’s the stuff that’s funny Gregory noted.
“Standup is a way to help people exhale the absurdities of life. Which is especially needed today,” said Gregory.
“Some people jump at the chance to go to the theater because that is their idea of performance, but standup comedy is the same thing. It’s a performance. It’s a live performance art form,” he continued. “But even if you are a sentimental type who cries at the opera, it doesn’t mean you can’t laugh at a comedian. Just about everyone has that little ‘devil’ side that will laugh at the inappropriate jokes. That’s what I mean by letting yourself exhale!”
Furthermore, you can add laughter to your healthy living routine, because laughter can not only boost your mood, but strengthen your immune system and protect you from the harmful effects of stress. Who doesn’t need that? It really is the best medicine.
To help West Hartfird laugh more, the live We-Ha-HA! Comedy Nights are right here, in Blue Back Square, on the last Tuesday of the month. (Next event is May 29, doors open at 6 p.m., acts go on from 7:30 to about 8:30 p.m. Click for information.) There are no other opportunities like this on a Tuesday night, and Dr. Steven Fischman, the funny dentist, has signed on as host sponsor for this event which spotlights local, regional, and national talent.
“We wanted to do something different in our line-up of #wehaevents for the area,” commented organizer Tom Hickey with WHMedia. “This opportunity with World of Beer and the talent and connections that Paul has, gave us a casual, fun night out without the need to dress up and be ‘on’ in the same way you have to at a gala or Best of West Hartford event, not that there’s anything wrong with those events!”
Find Comedian Paul Gregory on Facebook to see other opportunities to enjoy live comedy. Visit the #wehaevents tab on this page for other event listings and sponsorship opportunities.