When he’s not playing bass in underrated punk band Static Eyes, Milwaukee comic Jake Kornely is continually doing his part to push the local comedy scene forward. Apparently it wasn’t enough simply hosting a weekly Bremen Cafe open mic, producing a monthly showcase at Landmark Lanes, routinely performing in other local shows all around town, and occasionally opening for touring talent like Kyle Kinane. Adding another format to his onslaught of comedic output, the driven comedian has a new YouTube series called The Jake Kornely Show.
“I was getting kind of tired of people saying that they’d want to see me perform but it never would work with their schedules. With a video, they can watch it on their own time,” Kornely says. “Plus I want to always be working on new projects that will challenge my creativity.”
The 15-minute premiere finds the eponymous talk show host replacing a traditional monologue with approximately five minutes of his stand-up, before giving way to a set by guests scared up from the local comedy scene, before interviewing them. The first three episodes were filmed (in black and white, no less) in the Grand Avenue Mall fruit-stand-adjacent basement confines of The Underground Collaborative on a Saturday afternoon in late July. Kornely constructed the set, and The Union Sketch Group cast of KC Michelson, Thomas Sorensen, and Colin Perkins filmed and edited each episode. The Midwest Beat provided the music.
The first episode released finds uproariously funny up-and-comer Sammy Arechar, who talks about Russian nesting dolls, sneaking into bars underage to perform at open mics, and how he happened upon a grandfather clock that reminded him of his own grandfather. (“…instead of a bird coming out and chirping every hour, it just says ‘Fuck Obama.’”) Allison Dunne and Ryan Mason will appear on subsequent episodes, and Kornely hopes to film another batch of installments soon. If you want to investigate what Milwaukee’s burgeoning comedy scene has to offer, but you don’t feel like putting on pants to do so, this totally beats being rudely kicked out of uptight bars and venues that abide by prudish “no nudity” policies.