While cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago continue basking in their comedy glory, Providence maintains an uneasy state of comedy caught somewhere between floundering and underappreciated. But with the help of AS220, local comedian Randy Bush seeks to push PVD into the national spotlight, by creating a monthly comedy series known as Lulz!
“I was asked by AS220 to do [a comedy series] because I performed at Foo Fest last year and there was much success with the little 40-minute set I curated,” says Bush. In addition to performing at Foo Fest, Bush’s relationship with AS220 extends to “opening for bands, doing storytelling nights and variety shows.” Quite simply, Bush brings the comedy while AS220 brings the opportunity, and together they form an entertainment powerhouse ready to raise PVD’s comedic standards.
“I hope to achieve a true alternative comedy scene here in Providence,” says Bush, arguing that the city pales in comparison to the aforementioned big three (LA, NYC, Chicago). “Also I love the whole legacy that comedians like Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Louis CK and (even) Sarah Silverman have given us. Providence is interesting enough to also have [an alternative] scene but no one is really doing it. That’s where I hope to change that.”
Currently the monthly series features local comedians coming from Providence and Boston, so as to showcase the talent tied to the region. With time, though, Bush seeks to expand the bubble to include “more people from all over the country,” even some “internet famous comedians as well.” Bush jokingly adds, “Because I’m hosting, and I’m obsessed with internet and nerd culture, there will be lots of that.”
True to his alternative focus, though, Bush, an openly gay comedian, wants to tilt the monthly series away from the mainstream comedy tendency to be “so ‘bro’ heavy,” which he admits is “one of my least favorite things about comedy culture.”
The first Lulz! comedy night takes place on September 4, running from 8pm to 1am, at AS220. Featured comedians include Will Smalley, Walkeer Mettling, Andrew Mayer, Cyrus Leddy, Emily Ruskowski, Muffy Brandt, Christa Weiss, and of course Randy Bush. Tickets cost $6 per person and are available at the door.
“So, if you’re a fan of things like The Nerdist or Meltdown Comics Comedy shows,” says Bush, “then I’m hoping you’ll dig Lulz! Fingers crossed. Sending smooches. Picking up good vibrations.”
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