by Karina Aguilar / Staff Reporter
The Comedy Clubhouse is a small theater. The tables and couches are all angled to face the stage. The way that the tables are positioned close together encourages the audience to feel connected with each other, adding to the intimacy of the show and making it easy to be poked fun at in front of your friends and family.
Toasted is a show comprised of several stand-up comics that perform their own sets and come together at the end of the show to roast and toast a lucky person in the audience. After roasting someone based on the information they dig up on them throughout the show, they build their confidence back up by saying nice things about them in return for being a good sport.
Gina and Sharron Palm started co-producing Toasted in October, 2018. They have been running the show every Saturday night since then. The sisters are responsible for both hosting the shows and booking all of the comics. Sharron Palm said that they came up with the idea for Toasted with the owner of the Comedy Clubhouse, Mike Abdelsayed, while trying to brainstorm ways to get the audience more involved with the show.
Palm said the Comedy Clubhouse gets a lot of large groups of people coming to celebrate something. Whether it be a bachelorette party or a birthday, they have found that a lot of the guests enjoy celebrating the people in their lives with a “roast,” or a pointed joke at the guest, and a toast, a compliment.
“My favorite part was the roasting because my cousin’s fiance, Mike, was up there, so it was very fun to see him get roasted. It was cool to have the audience brought in and have that commentary and dialogue with the comedians,” said Caroline Reardone, a member of the audience at the show on February 22. “It was much more interactive than other comedy shows I have seen in the past. I am absolutely coming back.”
The comics themselves claim to have a really good time with the roast as well.
“This is a great spot to do comedy because it is a very intimate space. This show is really fun because you get to do a set, roast somebody and say nice stuff about them,” said Joe Chazaray, a stand-up comic from the show.
Aside from the surplus of laughs and gasps, this show also provides a deep connection between the people in the audience and the comics. Palm explained that it is her favorite part of performing at Toasted.
“I think it loosens people up and makes the experience feel like we are just a room of familiar friends ripping on each other! There’s really nothing like it in the city, and for that, I am so proud,” Palm said.
Her passion for The Comedy Clubhouse continued to shine through as she spoke about Toasted. She kept on emphasizing how much she has grown since discovering her love for stand-up and working to co-produce Toasted.
“I have bad anxiety and depression, and to find stimulation and drive again was a huge game-changer for me,” said Palm. “The fact that The Comedy Clubhouse has allowed me so much creative freedom is something I will always be grateful for.”
Despite all of the good that comes with The Comedy Clubhouse, some of the comedians do struggle with preventing the guests that have been drinking from disrupting the show.
“We have had a few instances with audience members being very inebriated and overly disruptive,” Palm said. “That can be a huge challenge to deal with as a host since you don’t want this one person to ruin the whole night for other paying guests.”
The Comedy Clubhouse seems to fill both the audience and the comics with endless laughs, good memories and even better people, which seems to be the most important thing to the co-producer.
“Success means something different for all of us,” Palm said. “I just want to enjoy the journey and have fun on the way.”