Laughing Matters

Friday night stand-up comedy is coming back to Jamestown.

After a series of sold-out comedy shows during the first season of Wits n’ Giggles, the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena will once again bring laughter to area residents.

Eight shows will be held over the course of the next 16 weeks. The series begins Friday, and will be held every other Friday through Dec. 13. The shows, which were formerly held at 7 p.m., have been moved to a 8-10 p.m. time slot. Friday’s show will feature Joel Lindley and Nick Marra.

In addition to the one or two comedians scheduled for each show, Sully’s Irish Pub, which is inside the arena, will host a pre-show happy hour beginning at 6 p.m., during which food will also be served. However, food will no longer be served during the show as a result of patron feedback. The upstairs bar will be open during performances.

According to Kurt Silcott, chief executive officer for the JSBA, the success of the first season is largely attributable to The Q’s Justin Lindell and South Bay Comedy, which continues to secure high-quality comedians for the series.

“We kind of took a leap of faith with Justin because he had been doing a little comedy at his place and quite frankly he came to me because he thought (JSBA) would be a better venue for it,” Silcott said. “We worked out a partnership agreement, and he’s been working with South Bay Comedy to line up the acts. Matt Hanson, our events director, works with Justin now.

“We started last winter, and we didn’t know what we were in for, but we had an idea and a vision so we threw it out there,” Silcott continued. “We changed a couple things during the season, and after about two weeks we started really filling the room – we were really pleased. Our biggest concern was the comedians, which became a no-brainer because Justin and South Bay did such a good job getting us quality comedians.”

The shows continued in popularity until the weather began getting warmer. Silcott noted that during nice Friday evenings, the crowds didn’t fill the room, but on rainy cold nights more people attended.

“That’s why we decided to bring it back in the fall and winter – we think it’s a great thing for people to do,” Silcott said. “Our plan is to do this eight-show series, but we know how busy people are during the holidays, so we’ll probably start up again in January – assuming we’re successful. But, this gives us the opportunity to revisit how we did things, take things we learned from the first time and make adjustments to this season.”

Although Silcott wasn’t able to attend every performance, either Hanson or Phil Genco, graphics and marketing manager for JSBA, would be present to ensure everything went smoothly.

“We always thought the comedians were really good,” Silcott said. “We always got top scores on the comment cards for comedians. We liked them so much that there are a couple who will be returning from last year because I remember them. One of them is Quinn Patterson – I thought he just killed the house. It’s a good time, so come have some fun in downtown Jamestown.”

Tickets to each show are $10 presale, and $12 day of show. A $70 season pass, which includes access to all eight shows, is also available. Jamestown Community College students with valid college ID will be admitted for $5. Guests must be 18 or older to attend, and capacity is set at 110 guests. JSBA is located at 319 W. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 484-2624 or visit jamestownarena.com.