Recently, a friend was in town visiting the old stomping ground and called to invite me to watch a Friday night comedy show at Stand-Up Scottsdale. Now, I’m a mover and a shaker so I’ve seen my fair share of stand-up around town and would definitely be down for a good belly laugh before bedtime. My friend casually informed me that she planned to get there sometime “before ten” even though the show started at nine.
No, no, no. This isn’t a barbeque at your cousin’s. This isn’t a band so musicians aren’t setting the schedules. Think big-city comedy club. Get there early so you can get a seat, and you will be seated. Don’t plan on catching up with your compadres during the performance, or you might bring the wrath of the comedian down upon your table. There will likely be a drink minimum in addition to the cost of your ticket.
These are simple rules, easy for any burgeoning adult to follow to ensure a fabulous night on the town. Come on, get classy. Then laugh your ass off at some lewd shit.
Howard Hughes is a man who understands that a little class is needed for a successful comedy club. More than the force behind Stand-Up Scottsdale (although the force behind the force would be financier and game-changer Nathan Learner), Hughes has been a long time participant on the Valley comedy circuit. I’ve seen him around town a bit and often when I've asked other comedians who is worth knowing his name has been dropped.
I remembered HH (“Double H” as his friends supposedly call him but it seems like a truly cumbersome nickname) as a scruffy sort, you know, the kind that appeals to women’s need to clean things. Imagine my surprise when I showed up to Stand-Up Scottsdale (early, of course, because I wanted a decent table) and discovered Hughes all shined-up, slicked-backed, and button-downed. He was quick with a handshake, a joke, and an early admittance for the press with a club owner’s finesse.
Hughes exudes a sense of ease be it in crowds or on stage. Oftentimes, comedians come from a place of discomfort or awkwardness. Their humor emerges from askew observations about the world, because they don’t function with the same unhindered tranquility of those who move instinctively with the current.
Not HH, here we have a different breed of comedian. He can laugh at himself without degradation, even joking about his father’s fear that Howard is a latent (or, perhaps, active) homosexual without needing to assert his masculinity. He holds the stage like the cool guy at the party folks want to get into a conversation with. Just the sort of fella that ought to be running a comedy club. Go figure.
Make sure your next night on the town includes some side splitting laughter and check out Stand-Up Scottsdale preferably on a night Howard Hughes shares the bill. A good time guaranteed.