Originally posted June 17, 2009
Editor: OB Comedy is performing Friday night, April 9, 2010, at Winston’s in Ocean Beach at 1921 Bacon Street. The show begins on Friday, April 9th at 7 pm for only $5. Tickets will be available at the door.
Taggers defacing OB, Iranian election upheaval, Homelessness, Carrie Prejean, Bird Porn. While these are all important issues, except maybe Prejean, the overload of bad news can be enough to make you want to take a nice warm bubble bath with your toaster. So if you start to find yourself overloaded with stressful political, social issues, do yourself a favor. Laugh.
When I started this column, my goal was to shine a light on people who live in Ocean Beach that contribute something to their community in the way of art, activism, music, or anything else that helps define what this town is about and what makes it so special. The guys at Ocean Beach Comedy (OBC) fit the description of what I’m looking for to a tee.
Were you aware that Ocean Beach is rapidly becoming a Mecca for comedic talent in San Diego? Forget all you know about comedy clubs, in fact forget all you know about comedy. There is a new underground movement in the comedy world that is young, smart, edgy and creative, and it’s roots are taking hold right here in our front yard, every Friday night at Winstons Beach Club.
I recently sat down with the founding fathers of OB Comedy to find out how this all started and what they have been doing to benefit our revered seaside village. Today we will be talking with Steven Kendrick, Jesse Egan, Bob Hansen and Andrew Deans. And let me tell you, interviewing four comics at once is akin to herding cats. You never know what to expect. But these guys were a lot of fun to be around and very accommodating.
Jon – Thanks for taking the time out to talk with me guys. Let’s start with some history. How long has OBC been running and who’s idea was it to bring a live stand-up comedy show to Winstons in OB?
Jesse – It all started about 3 ½ years ago with the Drunk Poets Society which is held on Monday nights at Winstons. We had a few comics that would perform there including Steven, so we thought we should just start our own night of strictly comics.
Steven – I had just been banned from playing the Comedy Store in La Jolla, so the next logical step was to crash a poetry reading.
Jesse – His poems didn’t rhyme at all, and they always ended in a punch-line. Andrew still has that same approach to poetry. In fact, the only one whose poems always rhyme is sacrilegious Dave (aka: Old Hermit Dave). He believes all poems should rhyme.
Jon – What would you say has changed the most from those early days of OBC in the past 3 ½ years?
Bob – Quality! In the beginning some comics would just make references to every orifice, bodily fluid and drug known to man. Some guys were good at it, others weren’t, and they have long since disappeared. I’m the exception. I tell clean, corny jokes because that’s what I like. But now we have such a variety of comedic talent with locals coming in for open-mic between 6 – 7pm and then more experienced professionals coming from 7-9pm from all over the county, L.A., O.C. and Riverside, that it makes it a much more diverse experience.
Steven – In the beginning we couldn’t even get anybody to do the show. Nobody had heard of Comedy in OB.
Bob – We went from not being able to get comics to do the show to booking 8 weeks in advance because everyone wants to do it! I hate to turn people away, but it’s a time management issue. We have a lot of talent out there, especially in OB.
Jesse – We also have an arsenal of great comics that we’ve had perform here including, Doug Stanhope, Tom Rhodes, Sam Tripoli, Joey “Coco” Diaz, Jimmy Shubert, Sean Rouse, Michelle Biloon, Wyatt Cenac of the Daily Show, and many more.
Jon – Being a comic can sometimes be very unrewarding. Tell me about the worst show you’ve had.
Jesse – July 4th. It was comedy vs. Fireworks and we lost that battle.
Bob – When you run a show every Friday of the year, you’re going to run up against a lot of holidays.
Steven – But the reality is we have way more good shows than we do bad.
Jon – Yes, let’s not focus on the negative. Tell me about your best show, or your proudest moment hosting OBC.
Steven – We really have a fun time doing this show all the time. I love anytime Doug Stanhope comes to town and hits the stage.
Jesse – The proudest moment for me was when we had our 3rd year anniversary. We didn’t have any big name comics on the ticket. It was just us with our favorite local comics and the crowd was really into it. It was this huge, triumphant show that we had without any help from big names and I honestly think it was our best show ever. I really do.
Jon – This isn’t your typical Jeff Foxworthy or some other family comedian type show. Some of the comics get pretty edgy, maybe even raunchy. How would you respond to critics saying that the jokes are too dirty?
Jesse – The show is 21 and up, but I’ve never heard anyone say, “Oh that show’s too dirty for me.” I think the show is just more relatable to the average person. We’re not going to get up there and do a bunch of “mother-in-law” jokes or “airline food” jokes. The jokes may be a little edgier, but I wouldn’t say it’s a dirty show all the way. You’re going to get a really good variety.
Andrew – I think there’s actually more intelligence to the jokes being told here as opposed to some other comedy clubs.
Steven – We’re really getting comedians best shows here because they feel they have the freedom to say whatever the fuck they want. And they like it because it’s a fun room! It’s not your typical stuffy comedy club with overbearing ushers seating you at a table for two and making sure you have your two drink minimum and “haha-jalepeno poppers” ya know? All we have is beer and funny. (Side-note, Winstons does have a full bar)
Jesse – The one thing that does not work in our room is overtly racist comments, and that’s something we’re very proud of.
Steven – And jokes about homosexuals are totally gay.
Jon – You guys hosted a comedy show to benefit the local food bank. How did that go?
Jesse – It was great. I actually received a letter today from the San Diego Food Bank thanking us for the $409 donation we were able to raise for them from that show. I was very proud of that.
As we will end every OB Movers and Shakers column, it’s time for the fast five…
How long have you been a resident of OB?
Steven – 7 years
Jesse – 14 years
Bob – 6 years
Andrew – 7 years
Favorite restaurant in OB?
Steven – Newport Farms
Jesse – BBQ House
Bob – Nicks at the Pier
Andrew – Hodads
Favorite watering hole?
Steven, Jesse, Bob, and Andrew all answered Winstons. Big shocker.
Favorite OB annual event?
Steven – Mortimer Perrywinkles Walk For Sobriety
Jesse – OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off
Bob – OB Global Rock Fest (It was a fun event and Bob didn’t have to work it!)
Andrew – July 4th Marshmallow fight
Steven – Luna Video Games
Jesse – Luna Video Games
Bob – Apple Tree
Andrew – Temptress (http://www.yelp.com/biz/temptress-san-diego)
Thanks again to the guys at OBC for taking time out to sit with me and share their stories. I have been down to a few of their shows, and believe me, they will make you laugh. This is a great way to start your weekend. Admission is only $5.00 and they have some great drink specials. So next time you’re thinking of something fun to do to start off your weekend, think of OB Comedy.
Guitar Hero (Thursdays), of course Ocean Beach Comedy (Fridays), OB-o-ke (Saturdays).has fun events and live music every night of the week. Don’t miss Drunk Poets society (Mondays), Think and Drink Trivia (Tuesdays), Local Artists Showcase (Wednesdays), Game day featuring
The guys wanted to recognize their #1 fan Tommy George who drove from Oceanside every week to be at their show. Sadly, Tommy passed away from asthma complications shortly after his 28th birthday. He will be remembered fondly by all who knew him. There will be an annual benefit show for the asthma society held in Tommy’s memory. Tommy never met a joke he didn’t like.