There is exactly one dedicated comedy club in the state of Arkansas. One.
It’s called The Looney Bin, it’s in Little Rock, and as you can imagine, space on the only stage in town in the only comedy club in the state is limited.
Comedy clubs were a lot more common 20 years or so ago. We had one in Fayetteville years ago in the building where Savor is now. But these days, comedians looking for places to perform are left to find their own stages in less traditional venues.
A couple years ago, a group of comics in Little Rock, lead by Patrick “Angry Patrick” Beam decided to do just that, and the success of Beam’s nightclub comedy shows has led to a healthy scene of comedians in the state capitol.
Beam, fellow Little Rock comic Michael “Doc” Davis, and others began booking comedy shows in night clubs, music venues, dance clubs, and other night spots a few years ago, and they found that even though there aren’t a lot of dedicated comedy destinations in the area, there were lots of people in Central Arkansas who like to laugh.
“Myself and Michael realized there was a fringe group of really talented comics who weren’t getting any real time at The Looney Bin. I got them together, started booking our tour in places that don’t typically do comedy, and it was really successful,” Beam said.
He and Davis also founded Arkansas’ Funniest Person, an annual Last-Comic-Standing-style competition with a cash-prize. The event became such a hit in Little Rock that it had to be moved from Juanitas to a new venue this year. All three shows sold out, and 5 of the comedians involved were offered national booking deals as a result.
“I’m telling you right now, and you can write this down, there’s gonna be a superstar emerge from this group of comics,” Bean said. “Then everyone’s going to be coming to Arkansas looking for the next big comic.”
Now, Beam is taking his Anger Loves Company Company Tour to the rest of the state.
“We concentrate on bringing comedy to where comedy isn’t,” Beam said. “We’re going to places like Fayetteville, Searcy, Hot Springs, Russellville, Pine Bluff, where people don’t have an opportunity to see live comedy.
Tonight, Fayetteville will get itself a dose of Beam’s band of DIY comedians when the Anger Loves Company Tour makes a stop at Teatro Scarpino. Beam, who describes himself as a “rant style comedian in the vein of George Carlin, Chris Rock and others” will headline, and Julio Gonzales, Reagan Dalby and Fayetteville’s Marcus Lane will also perform.
Doors open at 8 pm, the show starts at 9 p.m, and admission is $8.