Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 13, 2014

Comedy club open for business

Mike Gardner bringing bigger and bigger acts each week to Kokomo

By Lindsey Ziliak Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Mike Gardner called on his friends to help him launch his downtown Kokomo comedy club this weekend.

Three nationally touring comedians agreed to perform in Kokomo for almost nothing to celebrate Gardner’s new venture.

“They’re just here to help me out,” Gardner said Wednesday. “They’re not getting squat.”

Kenny Smith, Jeff Oskay and Cleveland will perform twice tonight and twice Saturday at Laugh House Kokomo, 113 E. Sycamore St. The shows start at 7 and 9:30 p.m. both nights.

Don’t let their obscure names scare you away, Gardner said.

“No one’s ever heard of them per se,” Gardner said. “They’re not household names, but sometimes those are the funniest acts.”

Both Oskay and Smith performed Wednesday during the club’s soft opening.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SOFT OPENING.

Smith got laughs when he discussed getting Taco Bell while drunk and when he demonstrated the coolest way for a man to push a shopping cart.

He talked about how hard it became to catch his wife in his arms when she gained a lot of weight quickly. He tried it once, and he heard something snap.

“Honey we’re going to have to see other people,” he said, as people laughed. “You’ll have to see someone stronger. I’ll have to see a bone surgeon.”

It’s at this point Smith tells people his wife was pregnant at the time.

Oskay, who admits to looking like a homeless person, talked about being a single parent. He even pulled out a book of his 6-year-olds jokes to share.

“I really like my teacher, but I don’t think my dad does,” Oskay read from a notebook. “Every time he sees her he says, ‘I want to hit that.’”

Then he pulled out a Dora the Explorer joke.

“What’s up with that Dora the Explorer,” Oskay read. “She’s smart enough to speak two languages but needs my help counting to 10.”

Gardner said all three featured comics this weekend are awesome.

And the lineup at Laugh House becomes more star-studded each week as Gardner brings in not only household names, but big names.

Wildman hillbilly comic Donnie Baker, of Bob & Tom fame, arrives next weekend. And Steve-O of “Jackass” fame comes to town at the end of the month. No one’s quite sure what’s going to happen when he’s here.

As Gardner was launching his club on Wednesday, Steve-O tweeted that’d he’d just filmed a prank that got him handcuffed by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Gardner has said that everyone’s sure to love him, though. Gardner considers him a personal friend and says he’s the nicest guy. Steve-O is the kind of performer who will stay at the club until the last person leaves, posing for photos with everyone, Gardner said.

Chris Bowers, who owns Morty’s Comedy Joint in Indianapolis, said Gardner has the right idea with this comedy club in Kokomo.

“I thought it was the perfect move for Mike,” he said. “[This club] will really blossom with him in charge.”

Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune Life & Style editor, can be reached at 765-454-8585, at lindsey.ziliak@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @LindseyZiliak.