Last Friday night, Down & Over Pub hosted a special weekend stand-up showcase to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its weekly comedy open mic, the longest-running in Bay View. Saturday morning, the venue told host Christopher Schmidt that the mic would not be starting a second year there.
Every Tuesday—well, almost—since late last May, the struggling bar played host to a varied cast of comics that ranged from established local humorists of note, first-timers, road comic drop-ins, and the occasional improv troupe trying to harvest laughs in five-minute increments (sometimes with taboo themes). While the turnout was occasionally great, Schmidt and former host/founder Tom Grimm speculated that inconsistent attendance wasn’t helping Down & Over sell enough $1 cans of PBR to warrant the mic’s continuation.
Fortunately, Grimm’s foresight disproved the old “comedy = tragedy + time” equation. Seeing fewer people climbing the bar’s dangerous, crumbling exterior steps of late, he wasted no time in keeping the Tuesday laughs rolling when he preemptively lined up nearby Frank’s Power Plant to serve as the new site for the mic, which is now called “Duck & Cover Comedy Hour.” Grimm calls Frank’s “ideal,” and Schmidt adds that he’s “looking forward to the new fans and comics we can bring in with the venue change.” The new era of Kinnickinnic Avenue open mics begins tonight. Sign up begins at 8:30 p.m. and jokes start at 9.