I won’t try and convince anybody that these kinds of things aren’t happening in many states across the U.S. I know for a fact that a bunch of them occur almost every night of the week up and down my happy horny home state. But I wanted to report on the Friday Night Live open comedy mike happening in my local burb,’ Clifton, N.J.
This mike began outdoors at a local park, across the street from a bar in Clifton called “Dingos Den,” where these comics first met for a Monday night open mike. One of those comics, Jonathan Justice, had the bright idea to create the Friday outdoor open mike. Explaining its impetus, J.J says: “What I wanted to create was a place for anyone lonely on Friday Night to have something fun, where they can make friends and hopefully have a laugh. Will Miller, from Eugene, Oregon, encouraged me to make it happen and was incredibly supportive.”
Will, is no longer part of this crew, having moved back to OR a few months ago.
“Local comics like Tom Kennedy, Marcus Silva, and Danny Borgati came out and were incredibly supportive. Along with extremely supportive comics like Vin Baker (who always brought more comics) and Josh Wells,” Jonathan added.
Fast forward a mere month or so, and J.J. founded an inside site (just in time when one considers the possible cold of Jersey winters), and the rest has now become Friday night history. And don’t kid yourself; this is indeed how these things start and become iconic.
Guys like Tom, Josh Wells, and so many more get up for their five minutes and pretty much kill, telling jokes, stories, and wildly entertaining juxtapositions in a wide variety of styles. Having been at quite a few of these Friday Night Live shows, I am constantly amazed at the high level of this local talent, the age range of the men and women who get up to perform, and how supportive these comics are to one another.
What’s just as important as this burgeoning group’s growth is where J.J. and his crew put on their show. Starting 8:30 pm every Friday (save for the last Friday of the month, where one to two comics headline a show with the open mike happening after), Friday Night Live happens at the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Hall @ 315 Hazel Street, Clifton, NJ, 07011.
There is no cover to attend the show, but donations for the Vets are gladly accepted and encouraged, and the super chill and friendly bar serves drinks all night. Really, could you think of a better reason to come down and enjoy some of the freshest comic talent you are ever likely to hear, spending a few bucks on a beer for one of the best causes around?
You can find the Friday Night Live on Facebook here:
And all of Jonathan Justice’s social media information here: jonathanjustin.com