When thinking of Wednesday nights in Blacksburg, most minds immediately picture karaoke at Champs or bingo night at Sharkey’s.
But Anthony Quinn of Blacksburg’s Comedy Exposed has another destination hoping to garner the Wednesday night crowd: 622 North Main.
On Wednesday nights, the normal restaurant setting at 622 turns into a comedy club with Quinn serving as master of ceremonies.
Quinn has done this for many comedy shows in Blacksburg, as well as hosting charities and events — like Relay For Life — throughout campus.
He has led the comedy club through several venue changes — moving from Attitudes to Awful Arthurs — but has found its new home at 622. This week will be the 11th show since starting in February.
“A lot of people and myself were concerned with how small the bar is at 622, but it ended up working out in our favor because really, we get in only about 100 to 120 people at most,” Quinn said.
“(It’s nice) having something that people feel more comfortable, and more cozy in. People like that sort of environment more than a big open environment.”
Quinn draws a lot on the crowd for much of his humor. For him, it makes the crowd feel more involved.
“It’s easy to see and easy to hear (in 622),” Quinn said. “It’s really important with it being that small that people aren’t so inclined to talk or shout. You sort of have to pay attention.”
One of his main goals however, is to instill in the heads of the student’s and residents that Wednesday nights in Blacksburg are nights for comedy.
“They had more people in that bar Wednesday nights than they ever had,” Quinn said.
“I feel like my goal for the comedy show in Blacksburg is to make it a tradition on Wednesdays. It’s not something that we have to advertise heavily for, it’s one of those things I want people to have in their head.”
He says he will continue to do comedy in Blacksburg as long as people want him to do it.
This is encouraging to hear for the regulars and newcomers of the comedy club who have made it a routine to see Quinn’s performances.
“I’ve had graduates hug me, crying, saying ‘I’m going to miss this place,’” Quinn said.
“I thought it was a great place to have a comedy club,” Larson said. “I thought the bar was really cool and there’s a good stage area, and a lot of people were in there. But it’s small enough to make it feel like you’re a part of a big crowd. It’s kind of exciting.”
Shaw also agreed with Larson that Comedy Exposed is in the right location.
“It’s the perfect, quaint spot with a great feel,” said Kris Shaw, a traveling comedian that headlined one of Quinn’s events. “The crowds are smart and they get it. These types of crowds are popping all over in some of the ‘smarter’ areas of the U.S. like Boston and Minneapolis. Thanks 622 North for picking up the comedy torch!”
Once headliner Shaw started his smooth delivery and spacey rhetoric, all of the crowd members were tucked in for a great performance.
After the show, Shaw had a lot to say — not only about comedy in Blacksburg, but also about the community itself.
“It is a true sign that comedy is needed there as it has never truly held firmly in neighboring cities like Roanoke. Even Bluefield, West Virginia lost the battle after a long run,” he said. “These shows have something special: the spirit of VT. To me, I can feel it like no other college town I’ve ever performed at. That’s what keeps me coming back; it feels like home.”
Next week, rethink about the cover you have to pay for TOTS and consider spending it on a night of laughter and a great atmosphere at the comedy club at 622 North Main.
Comedy Exposed could become another tradition for Hokies and Blacksburg residents alike to take part in.