Located in what felt like the middle of nowhere in Barrington, Illinois, the Penny Road Pub was a bar and multi-staged venue that made its living by hosting shows. More often than not there were bands, but myself and a few other different comedian/producers tried to get comedy started there as well. Unfortunately, we all learned one thing: because this venue is in the middle of nowhere, Penny Road Pub had, literally, zero foot traffic. The only way to have a crowd is to bring the audience yourself, which is not a skill suburban comedians are super-great at.
The venue closed down last night and that made me wistful. In the fifteen years or so I’ve been doing comedy, that venue provided me some of my happiest/angriest/weirdest moments. I got to hang out with some amazing people, meet lifelong friends, and watch amazing comedians work their craft in front of small audiences. When I say small, it was usually just my wife, Jon- the brother of co-producer Lewis Rhine, and Jon’s friend Charlie. Later, Lewis and I would add Joe Motisi to our production team, mostly because we just liked spending time with him and we all thought each other were hilarious.
What the show lacked in numbers, though, it more than made up for in memories.Continue reading “Fare Thee Well, Penny Road Pub”