Longbranch hosts free comedy show on Thursday

By Gus Bode

?Anyone walking past Longbranch Coffeehouse Thursday night may be startled to hear loud shouts, guffaws, giggles and peals of laughter emanating from the coffee shop.

Longbranch is hosting a free comedy show from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday featuring three different comedy groups: Skirts, a female comedy duo; a male comedy duo; and Community Floss, an eight-person troupe from SIUC that organized the event.

The comedy performed by Community Floss is similar to the setup of the show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” said Tamira Brennan, a doctoral student from Carbondale studying anthropology.

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Brennan, a member of both Community Floss and Skirts, said Community Floss practices short-form comedy and takes suggestions from the audience.

“I like [improv] because it’s totally different from everything else that I do,” Brennan said. “It’s really great to make people laugh – it’s an awesome feeling.”

Brennan’s partner in the comedienne duo Skirts is Heather Hull, a first-year master’s student from Tempe, Ariz. studying speech communication

Hull said she and Brennan began doing comedy together in March. Hull began doing improv in September and she said since then, her comedic experience has been an “uphill battle royal of greatness.”

Hull said improv is challenging because there is no good way and no bad way to practice – there’s just no way to practice. She said she and Brennan usually practice by doing warm-up activities and taking what they’ve done in previous performances and expanding upon it.

Though practice is difficult, it’s easier to do comedy when there is audience participation, Hull said.

“I love doing it in front of an audience. It’s easier to believe that we’re funny if we have real people laughing,” Hull said.

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Elaine Ramseyer, the general manager of Longbranch, said similar comedic events at the coffee shop have packed the house and she expects a similar turnout for this event.

Ramseyer said that though events such as Thursday’s comedy show are good for business, what’s more important is building community and giving artists a venue in which to perform.

Brennan said people should come to the show because it’s high-energy and built around audience interaction.

“You never see the same show twice,” Brennan said. “It’s always different and you don’t want to miss something.”

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