Nearly six months into the pandemic, comedian Monty Franklin said he wasn’t feeling very funny.
With touring and live events — especially those in intimate indoor comedy clubs — severely impacted by COVID-19, he hadn’t been able to get in front of a live audience and he’d stopped getting laughs at home from his quarantine crew.
“I’d kept in contact with several comedians and every one I talked to in the last six months said they found it hard to be creative in this whole time,” he said during a recent phone interview from his Los Angeles home.
“No one was like, ‘Oh, I’ve just been working and had a bunch of time to write new material.’ They all said it was difficult to be creative and even I thought, ‘Oh, I’m not funny anymore.’ I wasn’t getting reactions from my girlfriend or my cat anymore. No one cared for my jokes and I honestly thought, ‘Oh no, I’ve lost it.’”
Last month, Levity Live, which operates the Improv comedy clubs, called up the Australian comic, writer and actor and asked him to help host a weekly series of drive-in style comedy shows at the Irvine Improv.
“That first show, when I was driving down to Irvine, I had this massive burst of energy that I haven’t felt in so long,” he said. “I hadn’t done comedy for six months and I was feeling really unenergized and lethargic and on the drive down it just felt like I was doing my old thing. Getting up on the stage felt pretty normal, but as soon as I spoke I realized the laughter was all muffled coming from within cars, so it was like, ‘Well, this is different.’”
Levity started with announcing four shows featuring headliners Erik Griffin, Brad Williams, Fortune Feimster and Maz Jobrani. The events took place atop the Regal parking structure adjacent to the club at the Irvine Spectrum Center, which allowed enough space for about 200 vehicles per show.
Recently, Irvine Improv added even more shows to its drive-in line-up: Hot Nights, Cool Comics featuring Mitch Burrow, Jackie Fabulous, Matt Braunger and more on Sept. 12; Craig Robinson on Sept. 19; Joel McHale on Sept. 26; Hot Nights, Cool Comics with Lara Beitz, David Gborie, Kellen Erskine and more on Oct. 3.
Things to do – online and in-person – in the San Fernando Valley, LA area, Sept. 10-17
Things to do – online and in-person – in the San Fernando Valley, LA area, Aug. 27-Sept. 3
Source:: Los Angeles Daily News