Wildflower Village comedy
It’s open-mic night at Wildflower Village, and a few comics and aspiring ones have trickled in to test-drive new material. Maybe some stragglers will show soon.
“Hey,” a young guy named Matt Wiegand calls out to the small, close-knit crowd at around 9 p.m., well after the event is supposed to have begun. He’s peering out a window. “Does anybody know anybody with a white SUV?”
Tonight’s comedic gaggle is all male, and mostly 20- and 30-somethings—boisterous, social jokers and a few shy types who look like they’d rather disappear. Go figure.
Norm Enlow, a social worker by day who launched the weekly comedy potlucks in July, has brought his wife, Margie. Tonight’s their 15th anniversary, no less, so venue owner Pat Campbell is discreetly preparing a cake.
“They’re mostly really funny,” she’s said of her regulars. “And they keep getting better and better. I wish they wouldn’t use crude language all the time, but that’s what comedy’s about sometimes, I guess.”
Wildflower Village—a West Fourth Street motel cluster turned artists’ community/hostel/wedding chapel/coffee shop/pub, among other things—has been her baby for two decades.
“It’s a quaint-ass place,” visitor ElDarius White muses, as if something eclectic and alive has soaked up its occupants’ tastes over the years. But there’s still no audience tonight.
Then suddenly there is. Bam.
Fewer than 30 people can pack the building’s Green Fairy Pub (named for Campbell’s $5 absinthe), and onlookers soon press against a back wall. Enlow MCs, doing standup as he goes.
Washington, D.C., transplant Cliff McGrady is up first, with self-effacing wit that targets his own physical disability. He’s a random sexter, he also notes—doesn’t matter who gets the memo, provided autocorrect doesn’t say he’ll duck the shit out of you. That’s happened.
Sex’ll come up a lot tonight.
Take Brandon Lara, who sounds a tad like Mitch Hedberg in his delivery. He calls himself “Meximidge” in a nod to his heritage and height, but humor transforms him from a petite lad in a squirrelly beanie into a man of stage-harnessed appeal.
“He’s so adorable,” a cute, mohawked blonde murmurs when she sees him.
“Marriage scares the shit out of me,” Lara announces. Like, “Holy shit, I am going to be eating the same pussy for the rest of my life.”
“That’s like having to eat the same cereal every morning.”
He trots out a leprechaun accent. “At first, it’s magically delicious.”
“OK, that was terrible,” he admits, interrupting himself.
“It wasn’t that bad,” someone yells reassuringly.
Campbell cracks up.
Lara got his girlfriend an Easy Bake oven, he mutters, “ ’Cause a girl’s gotta learn how to cook before she turns 14.” The crowd howls. “I bought her that book Fifty Shades of Grey,” he zings, “and that bitch colored in it.”
Another guy’s routine is too close to one of Louis C.K.’s, and it flops—either because he’s no Louis C.K. or he’s clearly ripped this one off. Ouch.
Wiegand, for his part, is loud, confident and quite funny. He tells everyone he doesn’t care if they like his jokes.
“This is where folks come to work out their material,” the Vegas native explains offstage. Musical open-mics are popular here too, on Fridays—“everything from classical to country,” Campbell says.
Anyway, she still needs to bring the Enlows their cake.
She putters it over before the show ends, then turns away with a quiet smile.
It’s a friendly place. She’ll see to that.