The Stand Up Sampler at the Hide Out in Faneuil Hall Marketplace turned into quite the adventure for the comedians and the audience members attending the 8:00pm and 10:00pm shows on Friday, April 8th. A pipe leakage in the cozy, basement dive bar led to an impromptu move to Durgin-Park, located just above the Hide Out. The show must go on, as they say.
Despite the change of scenery amongst families and young children eating a 5 o’clock meal in a home-style room of picnic tables with red and white checked table mats, the show was just as much of a success as the last. Every last $5.00 ticket was sold to comedy goers looking to experience the professional comedic genius of some of Boston’s most talented comedians at the Hide Out Stand Up Sampler.
The show consists of 7-10 short sets from a variety of comedians eager to hit the stage. The showcase of different comedians allows the audience to listen to a variety of comedy – a “sampling” – of some of the best New England comedians, including a featured few from the West Coast.
The first edition of “The Stand Up Sampler” took place in October 2015. Originally the Hide Out featured an open mic on Thursdays run by a comedian named Chris Nakis. When Nakis left town, Alex Gettlin and Dylan Krasinski , the two current co-hosts of the showcase, took it over and began booking the show with a variety of comedians to perform 10 minute sets. Luke Touma, another Boston comedian, runs the open mic at the Hide Out on Thursdays, keeping the tradition alive. Many of the talent recruited by both Gettlin and Krasinski include professionals that have been featured at places like The Laugh Factory, Comedy Central, Funny or Die, and a variety of comedy festivals around the country.
“Dylan and I are heavily involved in the Boston comedy scene, so we know most of the comedians working around the area,” said Gettlin. “Usually I am out almost every night either running a show or watching one, so we are always on the look-out for new talent, hot up and comers, and big names passing through town.”
Gettlin and Krasinski were able to craftily put together the makeshift stage and show while maintaining the professional, complimentary feel of the room and experience in Durgin Park on the infamous day of the leakage-now going down as one of the most fun experiences for the comedy club performers and viewers.
Some of the comedians who performed at the April 8th showcase include James Dorsey, Jack Burke, Mike Mulloy, Rick Canavan, and Ben Kronberg (seen on Comedy Central and Last Comic Standing). The most well-known comedian so far to perform at the Hide Out was Jonah Ray. Ray has a TV show called, “The Meltdown” with Jonah and Kumail on Comedy Central. The comedy star was in Beantown a few months ago filming a show and was able to make an appearance on stage. Other big name comedians who have performed in the showcase include Quincy Jones, Sam Jay, and Brian Barganier. Barganier performed on MTV and will be back at the Hide Out to perform on April 22nd!
The crowd that gathered for the April 8th show, myself being one of them, was able to adapt to the new settings and produce bolstered laughter even amongst the clitter-clatter of pots and pans in the restaurant kitchen. Many audience members still took advantage of drinks and snacks and listened attentively to each comedian who hopped on stage.
Don Zollo was one of the more memorable performers of the night whose jokes spoke to the dreams of Tom Brady fans. Describing his involvement with a non-for-profit that funds events to bring together children with special needs, professional football players, and volunteers, Zollo told an anecdote starring Tom Brady. Zollo described his “SHIT WHAT AM I DOING?!” thought process when Brady walked into the men’s locker room; his stunning physique and perfectly crisp jaw line caused some perturbed thoughts of his own fitness and health lifestyle. The audience ate up his endearing mannerisms and Boston accent as he described the experience with exaggerated movements and performance.
Compared to cities like Los Angeles and New York City that are home to 700-1,000+ comedians, Boston is home to about 300 professional comedians. The close-knit network of comedians has created pipelines for different comedy artists throughout the city to test out their best lines at a variety of showcases, open mics, and standard comedy shows. Both Gettlin and Krasinski navigate the web of Boston comedians to bring their audience a taste of the big names of Boston comedy. Both comedy hosts also try out their own comedic expertise in front of the gregarious, live audience.
The Hide Out has consistently been a sell out for the 8:00pm and 10:00pm shows on Friday nights and has become a popular spot in the heart of Faneuil Hall Marketplace for an easy laugh and well-run show. Featuring newbies, young, old, and veterans performing anything from improv to sketches for a mere $5.00 cover-add cheap beers and free popcorn and the Friday night show will be quite a pleasant one to attend.
“The Hideout is a great spot for comedy because it is right in the heart of Boston, at Faneuil Hall,” Gettlin says. “The basement setting helps create the ideal environment you want in a comedy show.”
Veterans of the Hide Out Standup Sampler and comedy show lovers: If you are looking for a good, cheap laugh, another great show is the CitySide Comedy Club located at City Side Bar in Brighton on Beacon Street. The Monday night shows are free!