Let’s Comedy Brings Laughter to Fort Wayne
It all began with an experiment. After noticing a gap in Fort Wayne’s entertainment offerings, a group of enterprising friends took it upon themselves to fill it. Five years later, Let’s Comedy has not only provided local standup comedians a performance forum, but has also brought national performers into the city to share more than a few laughs.
“We noticed a real lack of open mic events and places for people to work on the craft of comedy,” said Ryan Ehle, who joined forces with Jared Busch, Haley Johnson and Alex Price to form Let’s Comedy. “Snickerz was still around but was booking fewer and fewer shows, and no one under 21 was able to attend. So we planned an open mic night upstairs at Pint & Slice, and we had 75 people show up. That’s pretty stellar for a first event.”
The project took off, officially becoming Let’s Comedy in March 2015. Ehle, already booking music for Calhoun Soup, Salad & Spirits, started booking comedy and open mic events in its Tiger Room. While this remains the group’s primary home, Let’s Comedy has also brought comedy to the stages at other local venues including the Brass Rail, Deer Park and O’Sullivan’s. It books charity and corporate events and last August hosted their first annual Maumee, Mary, & Joseph Comedy Festival, which brought in some big names.
Ehle’s recalled a particularly exciting moment. “Emo Phillips was our headliner, and we also brought it Morgan Miller … Morgan was just meeting Phillips for the first time, and they got to talking about their mutual background in improv and said, ‘Why don’t we do something up there together?’ They did about 15 minutes of improv, and the crowd went crazy. I never would have imagined something like that happening. It was the highlight of the festival for me.”
The success of last year’s festival assured its place as an annual event, and the first weekend of August will now be the date for the annual comedy festival.