COVID-19 chilled the spirits of the Spokane Comedy Club community. With live comedy put to a halt, the business was grasping for ways to stay afloat.
“Seeing what we were all here for not even close to being something in existence was really sad,” said Spokane Comedy Club general manager Kim Goode.
Now, due to Spokane entering Phase 2, they are back in business hosting live shows. Capacity is reduced to 25%, there are 6 feet between tables, temperature checks for staff and customers, sanitizing procedures for tables, and mask requirements. Their first show was on Valentine’s Day and was sold out. Normally the club can seat 310 people, but with COVID-19 restrictions, they are able to seat around 80. Comedy is back Thursdays through Sundays. Tuesdays are trivia nights and Wednesdays are open mic.
Before being able to offer live shows again, the Spokane Comedy Club created their restaurant Spokane Breakfast Company to keep themselves running. It will continue to be an active restaurant Monday through Sunday. They offer food items such as breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy and yogurt parfaits. The restaurants Fat Boy Wings and Quesadilla Queen will no longer be open at the Spokane Comedy Club.
“Honestly the delivery options been a savior,” Goode said. “Without the capability and ability to use these delivery apps, we would have seen so many more businesses close including us.”
Prior to the pandemic, Spokane Comedy Club only had venue licensing as a nightclub.
“When COVID first happened, the rules were if you had a restaurant or restaurant license you could open back up because you served food so we got our restaurant license, built the kitchen and made those adjustments so that we could open back up,” Goode said.
Another service they offer is a virtual comedy class. This used to be in person, but has the same goal of teaching people how to be comedians. At the end of the class, the students have a “graduation show” where each participant does a live set in front of an audience. There is hope for this class’s graduation show to be held in person.
Throughout the comedy club’s changes, support from the Spokane community has been strong.
“Going forward to keep their support, we hope to have people come to our shows and laugh and just be a part of what we were so we can keep it going,” Goode said.
Goode hopes to see a surge in business for live entertainment with people itching to see something in front of their face instead of behind a screen.
Comedians are itching to get back on stage as well after a year of halted tours. The types of jokes and style of comedy they’ll perform may have changed due to the pandemic to address the world’s current struggles.
The reopening of the Spokane Comedy Club has generated excitement from eager Gonzaga students.
“I’ve never been to the Spokane Comedy Club but have been interested in going ever since T.J. Miller came way back my freshman or sophomore year but I unfortunately could not attend because I was not 21 yet,” senior Gianna D'Aloia said.
D'Aloia grew up in Chicago with Second City practically in her backyard.
“It’s always enjoyable to grab a drink and have a good laugh,” D'Aloia said. “I love supporting up and coming artists and I am excited to see Drew Lynch, Kelsey Cook and Michael Rapaport, and maybe even attend open mic nights.”