Shadowbox Live has come up with the perfect way to help your week seem a bit more tolerable: stand up comedy! Columbus comedian Justin Golak and Shadowbox head writer Jimmy Mak have collaborated on this bimonthly event, which started Tuesday, Jan. 17. It is held in the Backstage Bistro on South Front Street, which has a more intimate atmosphere than any venue I have been in.
The night started off with host Justin Golak, Ohio State graduate and 2007 finalist in the Columbus Funny Bone’s Funniest Person in Columbus Contest. Golak and his sarcastic sense of humor kicked off the night with insight on relationships, the opposite sex and the experience of working in a restaurant that made you seem like you were joking with a close friend.
Next up was Jason Clemmer, the Funny Bone’s 2011 Funniest Person in Columbus, whose focus seemed to be his appearance, weight, personal bad habits, and cute pet dog. The audience loved his expertly delivered and quick-witted jokes that pulled from events in his day-to-day life.
Next was Aaron Nemo, 2011 MVP of the National College Comedy Competition, and my personal favorite. Right away, Nemo took the stage with an immense amount of energy, commanding attention from the audience. His set was thrilling and outlandish comments were in abundance.
Then was co-headliner Dave Webster. Webster, who was featured on SiriusXM and also named “Funniest person in Cleveland,” slowly started his set with hilarious and clever one-liners, but ended the set by showing off and shocking the audience with his rapping skills. Yes, I said rapping. From his song “Tick On My Dick” to his rhymes about a coupon-clipping hobby he learned from his mom, Webster had us all in tears.
The final headliner, Sumukh Torgalkar, also named Funny Bone’s Funniest Person in Columbus, ended the night with his subtle and sardonic, but amusing, story telling humor. Focusing on his personal experience, love life, or lack thereof, and Hindu faith, Torgalkar engaged the audience with lengthy but extremely comical tales.
If every show continues to be as entertaining as the one I attended last night, I can assure in confidence that every audience member will be leaving the venue with jaws aching from smiling and feeling as though they had just participated in an excruciating abdominal workout from laughing so hard.
Stand up at Shadowbox live is running every first and third Tuesday of every month, for $5 at the door in the Backstage Bistro at 503 South Front Street and starts at 8pm