I meant to write this one last month. 10 years ago in May 2011, The Comedy Gallery was born.
I had been away from stand up comedy for a little while so I thought I’d head back to Pete Crofts Humourversity to see Pete and get a little practice in before returning straight to the stage.
That’s where I met Dale Craig, returning to stand up after 17 years away from the stage. Little did I realise at first the lifelong friendship and partnership in comedy that I would have there in that funny and generous man. There were also some newbies in the room with mixed backgrounds and directions but a lot of talent. Dale and I decided that we would create a night to get ourselves back on stage and give these other guys a chance to do their first gig in a nice and caring environment and to work alongside a big name comedian. Dale lined up the upstairs room at The Hobson Stores Bar in Sandringham. The incredibly funny legend known as Dave O’Neil was our big name.
The only thing then needed was a name for the night. So I put the call out on Facebook and thanks to an old friend name Bree who I went to school with many years earlier, The Comedy Gallery was born.
The night was so much fun and so successful that we decided to keep going every month. We even had a poster for the 2nd show. The we had a logo designed and professional posters created and any we went. An awesome line up for our second show.
While that was going, we also opened a weekly tryout room at Customs Hotel in Williamstown. They have a beautiful room there but we were in the front bar anyway. We had 3 brackets in the night. The tryout bit for new comedians and/or experienced to come and tryout some stuff, we had a headliner and a spot for anyone and everyone to jump on up and tell a joke. We didn’t miss a week for a long time and even when they cancelled our night, they asked us back for one more.
We tried many ideas in many rooms over the years. Tryout nights, professional nights, mixed nights, character comedy nights. We ran rooms at the Portland Hotel in Melbourne CBD, Jackson’s Bar in Toorak, Park Hotel in Werribee and even the very classy Ormond Hall at Village Melbourne. We were joined by the very funny and talented Jonathon Newton and his camera at Ormond Hall and got some amazing photos of the shows. Always giving time and space for upcoming acts and when possible giving them the chance to share the stage with some well known and respected comedians, as well as some fully professional shows.
To be continued….