Since June 2015, Murphy’s Pub has been hosting a free monthly stand-up comedy show, Wallingford Laughs, on each second Wednesday. I had a chance to catch up with Andre Pegeron, the show’s producer, to find out more about him and how comedy found its way to Wallingford.
Unfortunately, a week after our meeting, Andre informed me that, after a two-and-a-half-year run, the show is coming to an end due to low attendance, and this Wednesday, January 10, will be the final performance.
It is a big loss for the neighborhood. I thoroughly enjoyed the show that I caught unexpectedly after our Wallyhood readers’ get-together last summer, so I encourage everyone to come out for this grand finale, starting at 9 p.m.
Wallingford Laughs is not an open-mic, amateur night, like the previous comedy night at Murphy’s. On the contrary, it has been a well-curated show, featuring top comedians from the local stand-up scene, as well as seasoned pros from out of town.
JON DURNELL grew up in the mean streets of a beautiful suburban community in Nashville, TN. After years of experience in Los Angeles, he is becoming one of the most known unknowns in the city. He has performed in colleges, coffeehouses, dive bars, theaters, comedy clubs, backyards and skateboard shops across the USA. Jon has appeared on Comedy Central and Funny or Die.
Andre started out doing improv and sketch comedy in high school, but has been doing stand-up in Seattle for the past five years. And I can vouch for his comedic ability. After our meeting last month, I stayed to watch another show that he produces, The Comedy Nest, for which he was a part of the lineup. It’s a weekly stand-up show in Belltown at the Rendezvous’ Grotto—a tiny, dimly lit, intimate basement theater that would make a great spot for a date night (or, a torture chamber). This one is an open-mic format, with each comedian given exactly three minutes to wow the audience with their best material. One thing that makes this show unique is its focus on female comedians—at least half of the performers each week are female or self-identifying women. It was a surprisingly full house for a Tuesday night, and I was impressed with the talent of the ten to twelve comedic artists who rotated through their short, but usually very funny, bits in almost rapid-fire succession, before a closing headliner finished off with a full set.
While we will miss this unique, creative event in the neighborhood, comedy is alive and well elsewhere in the city. The Comedy Nest happens every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. for only five bucks, and there are various other shows, including stand-up, improv, comedy sports and theater to check out. Now, you’ll just have to venture past the Wallyhood borders to find it.