The Thirsty Scholar is hosting a new monthly comedy event called Awkward Stares Comedy Hour on Sunday April 10. The event will be every second Sunday of the month and give local comedians a chance to have longer sets than open nights allot them.
Brainchild of comedian Lucas Waterfill, who The Campus Citizen spoke to earlier this year, this will be the first time that comedy will be performed at The Thirsty Scholar. The show will be hosted by Zachariah Zimmerman ,with two 15 minute sets and one half hour set. Lucas Waterfill and Joe Bates will each get the shorter sets and Jimmy Roberson will headline with the half hour set.
“It’s important to have shows that give comics more time really push themselves,” Waterfill said.
Most open mics that local comedians perform at only give them five minutes to tell their joke, which Waterfill believes isn’t enough time to really engage with the audience.
“It’s important to let them work it out and let the crowd get to know local comics,” Waterfill said.
Waterfill can be found at Cracker’s on Tuesdays and Morty’s on Wednesdays. His jokes focus on his life, relationships, and dealing with cerebral palsy, a muscular disease that has left him in a wheelchair.
Performing his favorites and a few new jokes, the 25-year-old comedian will be the second performer to take the stage during the night.
Opener Joe Bates has been performing stand up regularly for the past five years. Bates started his career in Houston, Texas and after a year he moved to San Jose, California where he continued to work on his material. After two years in California, he moved to Indianapolis where he has found his home.
“I love Indianapolis, I can’t stress how great the scene is here,” Bates said during a phone interview. “Not a lot of cities have this many clubs. Indianapolis is a secret comedy haven.”
Bates tries to perform at five open mic nights a week all while working 40 hours a week. He starts his day out at 6:30 a.m. for work and heads to wherever he can do an open mic right after work.
He loves comedy for the freedom it gives him. He works with a mixture of story telling jokes and punchy one liners that makes him one of Waterfill’s favorite local comedians.
“There’s something about getting onstage and doing whatever the hell you want to do and figuring the audience. The audience has no idea what you’re going to do and if they like it it’s the best,” Bates said.
Bates will also be performing April 29 and 30 at Chubby’s Comedy Club.
He can be found on Twitter offering advice on how to make power moves to become more successful in the business world @powermoveguy.
Headliner Jimmy Roberson has spent the last five years working on his comedy in Indianapolis. He has been recognized by and will be performing at the Limestone Comedy Festival in Bloomington June 2-4, it is one of the biggest comedy festivals in the Midwest.
Roberson tells jokes about himself and his relationships. He can be found performing a few times a week around town and he hits the road most weekends.
Roberson also recognizes Indianapolis as a great place to work as a comedian.
“There's a lot of great people in the Indianapolis comedy scene that work really hard to start new shows in new venues to give us all more stage time and opportunities. Like what Lucas is doing with the Thirsty Scholar,” Roberson wrote in an email.
The Thirsty Scholar hosts live music every Saturday and is excited to add comedy to its events. Employee Danielle Davenport is excited to see how comedy will do there.
“I think we have a cute set up for any performing art. We are going to try it out and see how our folks like it,” Davenport said.
The Thirsty Scholar is having IUPUI’s own The Trees and Byeby playing this Saturday. They will also have a new event called Quake on May 26. Quake is a “queer open mic” that will be the first event of this kind at The Thirsty Scholar.
The café may not be known for comedy, but Waterfill is excited to try a show there.
“It’s my favorite bar/café in Indianapolis. It’s a cool intersection between a lot of groups,” Waterfill said.
The Thirsty Scholar is at 111 E 16th St., Ste 101, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
Show starts at 8 p.m. and the event is free but purchasing beverages is encouraged.