Bourbon Theatre hosts comedians in weekend showcase

by Hailey Buddenberg, NewsNetNebraska

Friday night set the stage at the Bourbon Theatre for an event of raunchy punch lines and constant laughter. This time it wasn’t a concert, or a band rolling into the limelight, it was a man wearing a clown’s nose talking about Tupac. This is the act of Joey Zimmerman, an advertising/copy writing student at UNL, who like his other counterparts have taken up the trade of creating laughter.

Zimmerman acted as the host for the comedy event: An Alternative Valentine’s Day Showcase. Other acts for the event included Lincoln native Grant Parsons, Omaha’s Zach Reinert and the Omaha based comedy group OK Party.

Comedians who performed Friday night at the Bourbon Theater.  Lineup includes Joey Zimmerman, Zach Reinert, Grant Parsons and the members of the OK Party Comedy Group.

Comedians who performed Friday night at the Bourbon Theater. Lineup includes Joey Zimmerman, Zach Reinert, Grant Parsons and the members of the OK Party Comedy Group.

The night began with the brief monologue of Zimmerman whose playful banter onstage gave the audience the perfect warmup for the following acts. Throughout his performance he donned his red clown’s nose to create a few, but heartfelt chuckles.

After a brief five minute set, Zimmerman introduced Grant Parsons, a Nebraska born guy with a quirky personality that had fans chuckling after the first punch line.

Parsons moved back to Lincoln after a few years on the Los Angeles comedy scene. Starting his Nebraska career at Duffy’s Tavern, Parsons performed mostly improv comedy.

“I’ve seen Grant a few times at the Single Barrel Bar and other venues for different showcases,” said UNL senior Michelle Holoubek. “He relates his jokes to personal stories. Since he is around our age, they’re hilarious, and shockingly accurate to my own experiences.”

Tailing Parson’s showcase Zimmerman took to the stage again offering his own feedback to Parson’s performance and love life.

“Grant Parsons, keep it going for him ladies and gentleman. Great guy,” said Zimmerman. “He told you about Match.com, it’s actually his Tinder profile.”

Lincoln native Grant Parsons graced the stage of the Bourbon Theater during his performance at the Valentine's Day showcase.

Lincoln native Grant Parsons graced the stage of the Bourbon Theater during his performance at the Valentine's Day showcase.

Zimmerman proceeded to introduce the night’s next performer, Zach Reinert. Reinert acts as the host of “Drunk Movie Reviews” at The Waiting Room in Omaha, and has opened for comedians such as Mike Lawrence.

Reinert began his set with jokes that allowed just the right amount of inappropriate humor.

“I’m having a rough day, my niece is in the hospital from falling in a well,” said Reinert. “I’m having a hard time picking out a card to get her. Get well soon just doesn’t seem appropriate.”

After Reinert’s somewhat lewd, but hilarious set, Zimmerman introduced the main act of the evening.

OK Party Comedy began as a group of three comedians from Omaha formed around 2012. With changes to cast members over the years, the OK Party Comedy group has still made a name for themselves on the Omaha comedy scene.

Ian Douglas Terry, Cody Hurd, Ryan de la Garza and Mike Perry graced the stage of the Bourbon following Zimmerman’s introduction. The group of four provided various laughs to the night that didn’t end until after 11 p.m.

Ryan de la Garza took the stage Friday night as part of the OK Party Comedy Group.

Ryan de la Garza took the stage Friday night as part of the OK Party Comedy Group.

As the crowd dispersed, a showcase regular added his thoughts of the comedy-packed night.

Luke Maher, a UNL junior has been coming to the Bourbon for showcase comedy since he was 18.

“I’ve been waiting to see OK Party since they started up,” said Maher. “They have some of the best narrative comedy around and do a great job at choosing material that’s from their daily lives. It was definitely worth the 5 bucks.”

Zimmerman plans to continue his comedy hosting Feb. 19 at Vega in Lincoln accompanied by Parsons. OK Party Comedy plans to continue making people laugh during their performance at Brother’s Lounge in Omaha on Feb. 21. Check out the links to see all of Friday’s lineup and their individual acts.

To follow the live-tweet action of Friday’s event, click on the Storify link.

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