Open mic night features comediansBy Meredith Davis | 07/24/2012 9:38pm
The Green Bar in downtown Tuscaloosa has started hosting open mic comedy nights every other Wednesday at 8 p.m.
David Allen, Green Bar’s publicity manager, said the event has been successful in its first few months. Green Bar also hosts a Comedy Night Showcase, which allows the best local stand-up talent a chance to perform.
“It’s an attempt to give local comedians a gig to grow into – something bigger than Open Mic Night, yet still accessible,” Allen said.
Birmingham native Richard Lockhart founded Green Bar’s Comedy Open Mic Night event after moving to Tuscaloosa and searching for a way to perform his comedy material.
“I wanted a place to perform, and I started calling local bars, asking if they wanted a comedy show,” Lockhart said. “Green Bar had actually turned down my original idea but said that I could come try my stuff during their music open mic. So, I just saw that as a reason to change their minds about the idea.”
Lockhart brought four other comedians with him to his first open mic performance. After that performance, he was invited back to perform again by musician Ham Bagby.
The event has evolved from Tuscaloosa and Birmingham to also include Huntsville, Ala., Columbus, Miss. and Oxford, Miss. Lockhart also has plans for a comedy workshop in Atlanta.
Lockhart said aspiring performers should watch an event before participating to learn how to read a crowd. They should also have a prepared set before their time on stage, especially if they are joking about possible controversial matters.
“You never know how much you care about people’s opinions until you throw a joke out to a full crowd and get nothing back,” he said.
Regarding his own style of comedy, Lockhart said he enjoys making fun of what most people consider “normal.”
“Comedians are wired a different way – our antennas are always up and active,” Lockhart said. “My dream is to become the guy who makes you say, ‘You know, I’ve never thought of it that way.’”
Lockhart performs regularly at Green Bar, as well as The Rare Martini in Birmingham and The Stardome Comedy Club in Hoover. In August, he will make his Atlanta debut at The Laughing Skull Comedy Club on Aug. 14.
“The whole thing has been a blast for me, as I am glad to be able to contribute to my community,” Lockhart said. “Most importantly, giving people here in Tuscaloosa something to look forward to, and something positive, at that.
“I think Tuscaloosa has the potential to be known for standup comedy as much as it’s known for Crimson Tide football.”
Green Bar is located at 2209 4th St. in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information, call 205-752-2060 or email Richard Lockhart at email@example.com.