I believe I have stated here before that I hate the term Comedy Condo because it’s not really a Condo. Generally it’s a 2 bedroom apartment. Now while I appreciate that you have a stove and fridge which can save you some money, I would always vote for staying in a decent hotel. Besides having to tiptoe around another comedian all week in the space you share, you are also tiptoeing around the nasty germs that comedians leave all over the place. Any 2 star hotel is going to be cleaner and have better beds, linens, and TV’s than any comedy condo I’ve stayed in.
Let me begin by saying the all-time worst condo I’ve ever stayed at was the Cuyohaga Falls (Akron, OH are) Hilarities. It was connected to the comedy club in the back and it was kind of like a bat cave. Dark and dank. Now I loved the crowds at the club, but the condo was so bad I only did it once. This was back in the late 90’s and I was younger and more willing to stay anywhere. Today I would have just booked myself at a hotel and taken a loss.
Another condo of a now defunct club outside Kansas City had the worst beds I have ever slept on. How the springs pressed through the mattress it was like napping on a bed of nails. A 10 year old futon had more cushion. It was so bad I ended up going to a Wal-Mart at midnight and buying a blow-up mattress that I could put on top of it. (And no, my blow-up doll didn’t mind sleeping on it.)
Other cities like Milwaukee and Nashville have been pretty infamous about their condos, as well. The other really memorable condo I can recall was in VIrginia. I was working with a man of questionable hygiene, which fit the condition of the place. I’m a bit of halfmo, so I actually do most of the decorating in my own home. I have watched HGTV. There are designer styles like shabby chic or early colonial. Well this place definitely had the shabby part down. With the beaten up furniture with cigarette burns so bad not even a college student would take it, I would have described this place as early colonial-crackhouse.
I’ve been waiting on telling this story for awhile because I really like the club and didn’t want the readers to automatically know which condo I was talking about. As you can guess, if I’m discussing it at Fly Over Comedy, it’s not going to be a totally pretty story.
Let me begin with saying the place the club has the comics stay is truly a condo. It’s a beautiful space with high ceilings, granite tops, and quality wood flooring. The place is located downtown on the 3rd floor of a brick building. This is where the first problem comes, though. The floor below is a techno dance club. The walls THROB until after 2 am, so you can forget about sleeping until then. Even though you have to get up early to do radio on Friday morning.
Now for the feature act this isn’t such a big deal since you don’t have to get up early and since you are probably younger, going to bed at 3 am isn’t a big deal. But what is a problem is there is no internet connection. Well, there was but that was one you needed to steal from the floor above and it only worked in the back bedroom.
So what Scott, you spend a little less time on the net and watch more TV. Well, that was difficult since there was no cable. I’m not joking. The TV only had rabbit ears set up so you got some local channels. Oh and did I mention that the TV was a 13 inch screen model? I’m not kidding. It was the size of my computer monitor back in 1997. Now this is downright cheap. You can buy a 32 inch flat screen TV for 200 bucks now.
Add to this that there was no place to park, so you had to leave your car at the club and get hauled back and forth by manager and you are looking at a pain in the ass week of lodging. Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t like the club I would be using their name, but I want to go back so it’s being withheld. Since I was drawing so well I did speak to the owner and asked him if the place he lived was above a techno club without internet or cable? He told me that I could use the internet from the floor above. With an answer like that I’m not sure it’s going to be resolved, soon, but I hope it does, as I love performing at the club.
I know some comedy club managers/owners read this blog so here are the basics you need to provide your comics if you are going to stick them in a condo versus a hotel.
- Make sure the place is really clean. Don’t hire one of your clubs waitresses who hates comics to do it. Pick the one who fucks the comics as she will be motivated to keep the sheets clean.
- Have a decent bed.
- It doesn’t have to be 500 thread count sheets, but buy some linens that you would actually sleep on yourself.
- Have a TV which is at least 27 inches. Keep up with the technology, Mr. 2003.
- Have basic cable. You don’t have to put movie channels on it, but you should at least have ESPN, History Channel, and some news channels.
- Have wireless internet. Keep up with the technology, Mr. 2008.
- Buy a couch that doesn’t resemble something sitting on the front porch of a frat house.
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of offering these basic standards of living, put up the comics in a decent hotel. Sorry, but providing a decent living situation is part of your bottom line. If you don’t, the better comics aren’t going to want to perform at your club because they have other options. Here is the basic way I put it to comedy club owners. Would you live there?