What happens when a comedy club gets too popular?
DALLAS — Comedians like to tell jokes in the bathroom, or in the corner of the bathroom.
They can be improvised, funny or serious.
Comedians can do whatever they want in the club, but the patrons know that if they come in there’s going to be a line.
When the line is too long, it’s hard to get the show to continue.
So when comedians were trying to create a comedy show in Dallas, they decided to look for a venue that didn’t have a history of attracting the kind of crowds they needed.
That’s when they decided the best spot was the one that was already packed.
“You don’t see a lot of people hanging out in the restrooms,” said Chris D’Amato, a comedian who has hosted shows at The Big O, The Laugh Factory, and more.
“You don?t see people hanging around the bar, but it’s still going to feel crowded.”
The idea of having comedians in a bathroom was a huge turning point for the comedy scene in Dallas.
D’AMATO and his crew created a new format: a comedy lounge.
The idea was that comedians would be able to be the focal point of a sketch comedy show while still being able to get a drink or two.
It would be a place where comedians could talk about whatever they wanted without the fear of people getting angry.
“We thought if we could get enough people to come and do it, that’s where it would really succeed,” said D’Ameo.
The idea came to D’Ambato when he was a young comedian trying to make a name for himself at a local comedy club.
He was getting noticed, but was constantly getting rejected.
D-Amato decided to take a different approach.
“I didn?t want to just be the next Chris Rock,” he said.
Determined to succeed, D’Abamo launched the first stand-up comedy show on stage at The Laugh House, a comedy venue that had been in the same building for years.
The show, which drew mostly locals and some professional stand-ups, won the award for best comedy in Dallas in 2004.
The stand-alone comedy club became known as The Laughhouse, and it had a reputation for drawing people from around the city.
“It had a very, very, dark, and fun vibe to it,” said Charlie Luebbers, who worked as a bartender at the venue from 2003 to 2007.
The venue also became a destination for the local community.
“The more we did that, we got people coming from out of town to come out here,” Lueberbs said.
“They would be like, ‘I just got back from my family vacation in Hawaii and I just got to hang out with friends in the comedy club.'”
But the comedy clubs were no longer the main draw.
People were also coming from across the country and going to other places, including Dallas, to perform at comedy clubs.
So The Laughing Room became the place to go for people looking to get into comedy.
“I always thought we should do this for the entertainment, not the comedy,” said Luebing.
“It wasn?t that we were a comedy night, but we were the only one.
The Laugh Box was a place that was a great way to do it.”
D’Aimeo says the idea of going to a comedy bar didn?ve come up before.
“There was a time when we were going to hang in the back of The LaughBox, just to make sure the guys weren’t breaking the law,” he recalled.
“And then the guy who was there, he said, ‘Well, you know, we should just do it for the fun of it.
We have the right to do what we want.
That?s the way it should be.'”
The idea became so popular that the venue decided to put on a live comedy show every Sunday for three months.
But while the comedians did a great job, the comedy was not as successful as the original stand-alones.
The club had a hard time attracting enough people, and was closing down a lot.
“The thing that made The Laugh Room so great was the community aspect, because you could come in and hang out, and people who were just like us,” said Jason Smith, who came to The Laugh, in 2017.
“That was a good thing, because that meant there was always someone out there who could laugh with us.
We didn?re doing a comedy, but they were in the audience.”
The Laughing Box had more success in the years after the stand-in shows.
Dereck Brown, a former Dallas Mavericks player who was part of the team from 2004 to 2009, was able to work with The Laugh in 2017 to launch the Comedy Club of the Year.
The comedian got to perform with comedians that had previously performed in The Laugh.
He also got to see how The Laugh did in Dallas