So, a guy walks into a bar with an open mic…

April 9, 2013

By Joe Grove

So, you are pretty funny, and your friends say you should be a comedian. Here is the break you need. Comedy open mic is coming to Issaquah on April 18, so get your act together.

Issaquah comedian and promoter Erez Ben-Ari will emcee an open-mic comedy event April 18 at Amante restaurant. Performances will start at 8 p.m.

Ben-Ari, who writes and performs comedy regularly in open-mic venues around the Puget Sound area, said he hopes the event will become a regular one. He honed his skills at the University of Washington in a class taught by Ron Reid and sponsored by

Contributed Erez Ben-Ari, of Issaquah, performs one of his open-mic night comedy routine recently at a Puget Sound-area venue.

Erez Ben-Ari, of Issaquah, performs one of his open-mic night comedy routine recently at a Puget Sound-area venue.

Reid said the class was a bit of the motivation for an Issaquah open-mic comedy in that three of the students discovered they were all from Issaquah, and that there was an interest in comedy in the area.

Reid said it is fun to watch open-mic comedy, “which is essentially amateur comedians, and some with a degree of professional skill. You get to see people in the infancy of their career and you get to see people of all different sorts of ability levels.”

He said it is fun to watch the good ones, but just as much fun to watch others “crash and burn.”

The biggest fear for any performer is being heckled, Ben-Ari said. “But then, it is part of the job. If you have 10 jokes, there is a good chance that one or two of them will not work. You learn to live with it.”

Ben-Ari said open-mic comedy is popular because it allows people to see and enjoy comedy without paying, or paying very little.

“It gives a venue to comedians to do their bit without the whole infrastructure of booking a deal, making payments and all that,” he said. “It is a good place to practice material, check it out, get on stage without all those complications and have some fun with it.”

Amante is a family business, Ben-Ari said.

“I need to make sure the comedians don’t offend families that might be there with their children or have more traditional values,” he said. “We value comedians who can address all audiences, not just adults.”

He said most comedians perform because of a love of comedy. It is a creative form and a way to express oneself, like any art form.

“Most comedians do it for the creative release,” he said. “Nothing is more rewarding than writing a joke and telling it for a room full of people and having them laugh at it. It is better than sex, really.”

Reid said Issaquah is ready for an open-mic comedy venue.

“This guy is a kind of go-getter, and it is bold of him,” he said of Ben-Ari. “We’ll see how his comedy comes along, but he’s got all the other things going for him.”

If you go

Comedy Open Mic Night

  • Amante restaurant
  • 131 Front St. N.
  • April 18
  • 7:30 sign up for performers
  • 8 p.m. to closing


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One Response to “So, a guy walks into a bar with an open mic…”

  1. Erez Ben Ari on April 9th, 2013 11:29 pm

    Nice article, Joe! Hope to have a good lineup at the Open Mic!


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