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Movin' on Up

Local comedians band together, play a swanky club.

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The Irregulars comedy group takes its act to a classier joint tonight. On the third Tuesday of each month, the 11-man troupe ditches open-mic nights at neighborhood shot-and-beer spots in favor of stand-up showcases at the Improv. “Not to sound haughty, but open-mic nights have a stigma of being a bunch of doctors who you think are funny when you’re sitting in their chair and under gas,” says Jeff Blanchard, the company’s co-founder. “It would work if you could bring nitrous oxide into a bar. But since you can’t smoke in a bar anymore, they’re not going to let you gas anyone either.”

Each outing features at least four local comics from the rotating cast. Tonight’s roster includes sets by Mike Baker, Mike Polk, and Bill Squire. Blanchard will also be on board, griping about recycling, the war, and drivers in gas-guzzling vehicles. “When you’re filling up your Hummer, you can’t bitch about gas prices,” he says. “Unless you’re invading Chagrin Falls, there’s no reason for Hummers en masse to go down to Trader Joe’s.” Blanchard hopes to expand the Improv gig to a bimonthly event in September. He says regional comedians should be in the national spotlight. Forget about old-time Cleveland-bred funnymen like Drew Carey, Bob Hope, and Martin Mull, he says. “How about the Mike Polks, the Mike Bakers, and the Bill Squires? These are the guys you’ll talk about in 10 years.”
Tue., June 19, 7:30 p.m.

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