BY ADAM KENT-ISAAC
Jared Thompson says his comedy club has been doing amazingly well since first opening its doors in September 2008. Well…except for the Dustin Diamond incident.
The actor, notorious for his portrayal of school geek “Screech” on the TV series Saved By The Bell and for his subsequent debauchery, headlined at The Comedy Attic at a time “when we were really hurting for money,” says Thompson.
After a confrontation in the restroom with some intoxicated hecklers, Diamond struck back with his fists. Blows were landed, a brawl broke out, and the club was in chaos.
But be assured, this is all in the past, says Thompson, stating that The Comedy Attic’s rep is solid as a serious destination for standup acts. “It’s hard to believe for people who live here,” he says, “but we book the best lineup in this nation outside of New York and Los Angeles.”
A look at the list of comics hosted by the Attic includes such big names as Brian Posehn, Michael Showalter, Doug Benson, and Maria Bamford. With his background as a booking agent and his connections within the tight-knit world of standup comedy, Thompson says he is able to deliver top talent.
He cut his teeth booking punk bands in the ’90s, “before the Internet—my phone bill was four hundred dollars a month!” He had no experience working with comedians, but he thought he could do the booking, he says, “because I’d done it before.”
Thompson and his wife, Dayna, dove into comedy-hosting with “no expectations,” opening the club—originally called The Funny Bone—in 2008 in the space above what is now the Bishop bar on 4th and Walnut streets. In 2010 it was rechristened to distance itself from many similarly named clubs.
While the Attic is known for its famous acts, Thompson is equally proud of the amateurs who come to open-mic nights, held Wednesdays at 8 pm. “We have probably the single best local comedy scene in the Midwest,” he says.
You won’t see jugglers, magic acts, or any other such diversions. It’s all standup, all the time. Visit comedyattic.com or call 336-LAFF for more information.