Black Sheep’s Burrito & Brews Open Mic Comedy Night, will be going on tonight from 9 to 10 P.M.
“Comedy was always important to me even before I realized stand up comedy was a thing,” said Nate Cesco, iHeart Radio Social Media Contributor and stand up comedian. “I grew up watching Conan O’Brien. I remember thinking it was awesome this guy got to come out every night and poke fun at everything. Nothing seemed off limits. He was making jokes about the president and these serious topics that I felt was untouchable. That’s a really empowering realization that humor can make the worst of society seem ridiculous.”
Nate Cesco, 22, started making YouTube comedy videos with his friends at the age of 18. At age 19, Cesco performed his first live stand-up at Black Sheep’s Open Mic Comedy Night. “I tried stand up comedy for the first time and I realized I wasn’t great at it,” Cesco said. “But as soon as I got off stage I had this insane urge to do it again.”
Black Sheep’s Open Mic Comedy Night is the only bi-weekly comedy show in Huntington. This event has no cost to performers or attendees. New and veteran comedians will also be showcasing performing new material.
“Long story short, I just like making people laugh a lot,” said Cody Lambert, research analyst and stand up comedian. “You know how basketball players talk about being in a zone or whatever? It’s a cliché thing to say but I think there is a state of mind where you just make the crowd understand you. It’s a great feeling.”
A workshop to help anyone interested get exposed to comedy is held two hours before the event at 7 P.M. At the workshop, comedians and anyone else sits together to talk about comedy, material, ideas and what they want to do on stage.
“There’s a certain energy whenever a group of comedians sit down and have a conversation, it’s really hard to describe,” Cesco said.
“We’ve had people of all levels who have never had any interest in comedy and just want to try it out just for something to do and we’ve had people who have made careers out of it,” Cesco said. “We shouldn’t limit what topics you can bring up. An enlightened, forward thinking comedy bit cannot exist without the offensiveness of other bits. It’s a balance, but the wonderful social commentary a skilled comedian can offer will always outweigh any offensive remarks of another.”
Other businesses in the area, such as the Ale House and the V-Club have been making efforts with Black Sheep to increase the evolvement and interconnectivity of music and comedy performances in order to expand Huntington’s art scene.
“I think Black Sheep has been a really good saving grace for the arts scene in general here in Huntington, for comedy, music and pretty much everything else going on,” Cesco said.
Anyone can sign up for Open Mic Comedy Night by talking to local comedians or joining the Facebook group. The weekend before the show, comedians will have a sign up sheet for people who want time to perform.
Brianna Paxton can be contacted at [email protected]