Did you hear the one about the local-news satire crew that couldn't stop yucking it up? Well, it's no joke: The folks who produce the Asheville Disclaimer page for Xpress each week — and Disclaimer Radio News for WWNC-570 AM and the online Asheville FM — are about to add another arrow to their comedic quiver.
The Disclaimer Standup Lounge, a night of open-mic, standup comedy routines featuring local talent, kicks off at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 4, at The Hangar — the bar inside the Clarion Inn near the Asheville Regional Airport.
The weekly event is a natural outgrowth of the area's burgeoning standup scene, says Tom Scheve, who runs the Asheville Disclaimer along with his wife, Michele Scheve. For about a year, he notes, the Tomato Tuesday standup night at the New French Bar has been drawing steady crowds and a growing number of local and regional comics. Tom is a regular performer there, and he says that while "most of us got started at that open mic, the other nights of the week we've been traveling to Knoxville, Greenville, Charlotte, Atlanta and points beyond trying to get stage time — so we wanted to get a new room started closer to home."
"Tomato Tuesday is kind of the alpha and omega of local comedy open mics," he says. "We hope to be the beta … and maybe the gamma."
What will the shows be like? "The format is going to evolve over time, but for now, the main ingredients will be a microphone and zaniness," says Scheve. "If you come, you'll see travelers from around the world who have convened at the Clarion Inn — maybe for the open mic, maybe for some other reasons — good up-and-coming comics, and some that are already performing professionally, along with some locals who are just there trying to sleep with hotel guests."
There's no cover and no cost to perform: Simply show up a little early and sign up, making sure you have a few minutes' worth of material that's ready to go. "There's only one rule," Scheve notes: "If a hotel guest sleeps with one of our hippies, they have to take them with them when they leave."
The Hangar's location, he adds, offers a special advantage: "The good news about performing there is that if you have a bad set, you can just walk outside, catch an airplane and fly out of town."