A Guy Walks into a Bar

A Guy Walks into a Bar

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Patterson, Amber
A comedy club in Bozeman? It seems so big-city. I’d heard good things but didn’t give it a shot until recently. It was my first stand-up experience, and I had no idea what to expect. Probably some jokes about North Dakota guys humping sheep.

I was in for a pleasant surprise.

The venue is upstairs at the Baxter and $5 gets you in the door. Overall the setup is great; you almost forget that you’re in Bozeman and not New York. There are plenty of tables and rows of chairs as well. A full bar, complete with cocktail servers, keeps your glass full, and if you’re hungry you can order off the bar menu or from the Baxter Grille menu.

We got there around 8:00 and the place didn’t really start to fill up until 8:15, with the show actually starting at 8:30. During the school year it would be a good idea to get there earlier, especially if you want a table. The crowd was definitely college-age, barring a few older chaps, probably non-trads. If you’re wondering about attire, remember that you live in Bozeman. Anything goes—we saw somebody in a torn Metallica t-shirt sitting next to a guy in full-on cowboy garb.

There was a table in the back just asking for trouble. Loud, obnoxious—a bit “trashy,” one might say. They even brought a blow-up doll. Hmm. Were they part of the skit, paid members of the comedy team, or just another Belgrade bachelor party? Regardless, they were definitely the pre-show entertainment.

From what the doorman said, most of the comedians are from the Northwest and California. The night that I went, the comedians were Rob Rose and Jerry Corley, a couple of guys on a comedy tour of the West, and man were they funny. Rob Rose used to be part of a comedy team before taking eight years off to be a single dad. This was only his second show back and he was on fire. His skit generally dealt with the funhouse known as the dating scene and the trials and tribulations of raising a son. He was onstage for about 20 minutes and ended with a Christopher Walken impression that sounded better than Walken himself. Good stuff.

By the time Jerry Corley, the headliner, hit the stage, the guys at the trashy back table were roaring drunk. Corley, who's done shows on A&E and Comedy Central and written for Jay Leno, insinuated that they were "trailer folk," and my suspicions were confirmed—Belgrade bachelor party! You could tell that Jerry has been in this business for a while, the way he worked the crowd and got the whole audience into his act. He poked a lot of fun at the politically correct movement, cracking jokes about every race, ethnicity, and religion, and all in good taste. The grand finale included Corley singing the national anthem in his best “gay” voice and dropping his drawers to reveal Old Glory boxers. Maybe you had to be there for that one.

Overall, the experience was great. Well worth five bucks and definitely funny. I’m not guaranteeing that the comedians will be as talented or that a group of rednecks with a blow-up doll will occupy a back table when you go. But who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky.

The Rocky Mountain Picture Show
Last summer, the Bozeman Film Festival broke away from its long time partner, Carmike theatres and is enjoying the new freedom at the Emerson Cultural Center. Independently choosing and booking films for the Film Noir series is rewarding, but “the costs associated with film rental, logistics, and planning is high,” says executive director Lisa Mcgrory. To offset these costs, the Film Fest is partnering with community organizations, like the Museum of the Rockies, which co-sponsored a Western series.

Independence also allows the Film Fest to do some new things, such as bring in guest speakers like Valerie Hemingway, or offer food or drinks that might be associated with the film being shown. However, with the higher operating costs the Film Fest has to limit the number of movies it shows. “Instead of nightly, we have to screen monthly,” says Mcgrory. The Film Fest is still selling memberships and actively looking for business sponsors. For more information and to check what’s playing, go to bozemanfilmfestival.org.

-Drew Pogge
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