Comedy and coffee in South Charleston
Comedy and coffee seems to be a pairing that is getting a lot of attention. And why not? Coffee is usually the only stimulant that comedians can afford.
A new show that started recently will be back next week to entertain coffee drinkers and comedy listeners in South Charleston. South Charleston is a village that is just southeast of Springfield, and it is where comedian Dan Dean was born and raised.
The venue is the Village Cup, where Dean began working since he returned from the Middle East this spring. After working there a while, he wanted to see the shop succeed, so he started a monthly showcase.
“Bringing comedy to the coffee shop has a dual function. I’m able to provide that stage time while bringing some added exposure to the store,” he said.
The first couple shows have been successful, according to Dean, but there were adjustments that had to made. The arrangement of the seats and stage was an easy fix, and luckily, there has been a steady audience.
“Summer is a notoriously difficult time for comedy. People would rather be out enjoying the warm weather than inside a building doing anything, so the fact that we’ve had such a great turnout throughout the summer really says a good deal about this spot,” Dean said.
As the seasons change, Dean hopes that the audience will continue to grow. Another trick to making sure there is an audience is to pick comedians with different styles to entertain the audience.
“The trick is trying to pick comics whose styles complement one another. I try to keep in mind that comedy is subjective. If someone doesn’t care for a particular subject or style, I want to make sure the next person is very different. At one of my shows, if you don’t like one comic, the next one might be your cup of tea. Which, by the way, is also available at Village Cup,” he said.
Since Dean grew up in the area, he is able to give the residents what they want. Even though the area is a little more rural, getting interest in the show isn’t too difficult. According to Dean, “comedy works everywhere.”
“Everyone likes to laugh, including farmers. A town like South Charleston isn’t extremely diverse; it has a sort of ‘Mayberry’ vibe. I’m able to bring in very funny people from different backgrounds to add a whole lot of flavor to a town that might feel like it’s from another era,” he said.
The show is Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. The comics on the show include Gary Henry, Jessica Graue, Raymond Jackson, Joe Young and, of course, Dan Dean as host. Make reservations for the show by calling Village Cup at 937-844-8569.
The coffee shop is also hoping to branch off into other avenues including a music open mic, which starts Wednesday, Oct. 10. Other possible future events include karaoke and trivia nights. Dean even hosts a podcast at the shop each Thursday called The Village Cup Coffee Cast. This is in addition to his weekly comedy podcast, Irish I Was Laughing Radio.
Dean’s biggest hope for the comedy open mic is that it continues. Open mics at venues other than comedy clubs can fizzle out once the initial interest wains. Dean doesn’t think that is going to be a problem though.
“If I’m able to keep the show fresh, it should make the audience come back each month. I’m very optimistic due to the start we’ve had,” he said.