Tip Top Deluxe, Grand Rapids
Second and fourth Tuesday every month, 8:30 p.m.
Facebook page, (616) 272-3910
Most comedians who've made it will tell you they all started their careers the same way: with a love for laughter and performances at many, many open mic nights. Josh Courtnay, local comic and creator of Comedy Tuesdays at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar, is no stranger to this concept. He has plenty of time under his belt in the Grand Rapids comedy scene and has spent countless hours curating and performing at open mic nights.
“There's nothing else like it. After you get your first taste, it's hard to shake it off,” Courtnay said. “You just keep hitting every mic for as long as you can, until your car breaks down or you do. Comedy isn't easy, open mics are a great place to get good at it.”
Courtnay knew a thing or two about open mics when he first walked into Tip Top four years ago. While there were plenty of other great open mic nights in the area (like Sunday Night Funnies at the Waterfront Hotel, for example), Courtnay felt the bar's atmosphere would be too good for a comedy show to pass up.
“One day I just happened to walk into the Tip Top and noticed that it had just about a perfect setup for comedy,” Courtnay said. “I asked the owner about trying out a show and he was into it.”
This December will mark the four-year anniversary of Comedy Tuesdays at Tip Top Deluxe. With free comedy, as well as half-off appetizers and drinks, the show has quickly become a favorite of local comedy aficionados. Sean Dailey hosts the show, which Courtnay assures is full of debauchery once the comedians hit the stage.
“After that, there's about 90 minutes of absurdity surrounded by lots of laughter,” Courtnay said.
Many Grand Rapids favorites grace the stage at Comedy Tuesdays, including Adam Degi, Stu McCallister, Jacob Kubon as well as many others. You'll also see plenty of new faces taking advantage of the open mic format to try out their chops at comedy for the first time. Courtnay encourages anyone interested in signing up for a slot to send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Too nervous to get up onstage? Courtnay has some motivational words to help you out.
“Just do it,” he said. “The only thing it can hurt is your pride, and you don't need that for comedy.”
Other Comedy This Month: Mark Curry
Most people will recognize Mark Curry as Mr. Cooper, the former NBA player-turned-teacher in the ABC sitcom "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper." What people may not know is that Curry has his roots in stand-up and has appeared at festivals around the country, as well his own special on HBO. When he's not hosting TV shows or appearing in movies and reality television, he's touring the country performing his stand-up. Mark Curry will bring his show to Dr. Grins in Grand Rapids Oct. 23-25, with show times at 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m. For more information visit thebob.com.