Arise Joe Bublewicz talks comedy in Hamilton

“That’s better funny.”

They told this to Aristophanes in 435 BC. Before he went on stage in ancient Greece. Today is pretty much the same feeling. People still love watching live comedy.

Hamilton-based Joe Bublewicz is a veteran of the national comedy scene.

Joe Bublewicz, a Hamilton-based stand-up comedian, is familiar with the phenomenon. A 20 year veteran of the national comedy scene, his creative humor and sardonic comedy style have made him a favorite at all of the major venues in the comedy chain.

Bublewicz sat down with Thomas Kelly of the Hamilton Post. A transcript follows:

Hamilton Post: They play comedy shows across the country, including your hometown of Hamilton. Would you say comedy is popular in Hamilton and has an audience?

Joe Bublewicz: Yes very. People have to and love to laugh, all the more in the face of COVID. I’ve been performing for over 20 years and I’ve been producing shows for five years. I work with the venues and book the comedians that will appear. I also like the producing end because I don’t have to travel that much.

HP: Where are you performing here?

JB: We booked shows and played in some places in Hamilton. We did shows at Cedar Gardens, The Stone Terrace and Villa Mannino. We even did a show in the pavilion in the Rats Restaurant on the Grounds For Sculpture. We’ve put on around 15-20 shows in Hamilton over the past five years.

Everything has been canceled since March. The only salvation was that I booked / produced shows at the Surflight Theater in Beach Haven, LBI. We did some summer shows outside under the tent and then decided to do shows in the fall and we were very successful. My comic book friends I was able to book were extremely grateful. The shows were great.

HP: They also arrange and host comedy shows in Hamilton. How many comedians are usually on the bill?

JB: Yes, I always chose the Saturday after Thanksgiving to do the local show. last year was on the stone terrace. We usually have three comics. This is always a big night. I really missed it this year.

HP: Some of the comics joke about the hall and the city. How are they received by the local crowd?

JB: Great, have been doing this for over 20 years and I always try to bring the best comics to the venue. You don’t want to put on a bad show. Good news travels fast, bad news travels faster. Most of the comics I book are from the New York City area, but we had comedians here on the West Coast when their schedules came up.

HP: How do the comics you book like the crowds in Hamilton?

JB: They love it, the crowd is always ready to go. There’s usually an hour or so before the show when people gather and are in a good mood for the show. So it’s a couple of hours and the crowd is always very responsive.

HP: Which jokes are popular with the audience here?

JB: I always try to book a few different style artists. If I play in Hamilton, a lot of my friends will be there, which is great. But then I’m always super nervous. I’d rather be in the middle of Iowa than doing a local show because of the nerves. Frankly, the comics are very well received and the comedy is top notch.

HP: As a performer, what more would you like to see in Hamilton?

JB: I don’t know if a full time comedy club would work here. I mean, a club that has comedy with a large audience every weekend would be a lot of support. We get 200 on the stone terrace, but that’s once or twice a year.

It seems that a lot of people in Hamilton go out for dinner, then have a drink and then go home. A lot of city dwellers are moving to the suburbs right now and I’m sure they would still love to have a city life. So we need some venues for “city life in the suburbs”. I would love to see a place where bands can perform their own stuff like comics. Cover bands are great, but I like to see the creative process at work. I know Trenton Social has open mic nights, original artists, and jazz nights. I would love to see something like this here in Hamilton. I would particularly like to see jazz here.

HP: What would help support more comedy in Hamilton?

JB: A vaccine.

HP: In terms of comedy, what would you like to see here in the future?

JB: Whoever does it books good shows. The worst thing you can do is book a shitty show. There are a lot of comics out there that aren’t done yet, and the producers put them on the show to save a few bucks. It’s a bad long-term investment. That won’t stop them from coming back.

More information about Joe Bublewicz can be found online at joebub.com.

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