Chico, by the time you read this I will be gone. Don’t worry, I’m not killing myself. I’ve moved to Chicago to try my hand at the comedy scene there. Diligent readers may recall my last column, “Things Wrong with the Chico Comedy Scene,” and think that my move to the greener pastures of the Chicago comedy scene is about me saying that Chico is a sinking ship, and I’m pushing aside women and children to get off this thing before we all drown like cats. And that’s true. There really isn’t much more for me to do here, but that isn’t to say there aren’t good things about the comedy scene here in Chico still. For starters…
That might not seem like much, but think back to a few years ago when stand-up rarely—if ever—happened in Chico. Now, there’s an open mic every week that gives comics a chance to hone their material in case they do go on to better comedy cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc. Also, with Police Chief Kirk Trostle trying to bring about a new era of Prohibition, at the very least it gives Chicoans something to do.
It’s a Great Stepping Stone:
Without the ability to do stand-up, sketch, and improv here in Chico, I’d either be pissing myself at the thought of going to Chicago or I’d just be staying put in Chico thinking about my proverbial rabbits while slow Death creeps up behind me and caps me right in the back of the head. Instead, I’m going out there with confidence because I’ve been able to practice and learn here in Chico. I feel like I’ve paid my dues playing Triple-A ball, and I’m ready to go up to the majors.
The Regulars Keep Plugging Away:
This was something I just wasn’t able to do in the last year. I just couldn’t keep going to every single open mic and have the throng of Mug-Nighters talk over my set. I didn’t want to “waste my time” writing new material just so it could be lost in the cacophony of an inattentive audience. Those other dudes though—Will Craig, Mark Leathers, Phil from Chico, Steve Swim (to name a few)—just keep on doing it despite any shitty shows, and because of that they’ve been able to tour, do shows in Santa Cruz and Sacramento, and do shows at casinos. It’s great to see stuff like that coming out of open mic nights.
New Comics Keep Emerging:
There were 12 comics at the last Maltese open mic I went to, and there were even some being turned away. Comedy changed my life for the better, and I know it has positively affected the other guys as well. It’s cool to see a new generation of comics rising, and I hope they find success with it.
I expect good things from you, Chico. Don’t disappoint me, and don’t disappoint yourselves.