The thing about comedians is that they have a genuine smile, a genuine laugh, and it’s contagious. It’s what draws us in. Here in Fort Wayne, with the help of the four men behind Jirk Comedy, it seems to be catching on.
Last year, Living Fort Wayne’s Lynn Altevogt introduced us to Dirk Walker, Ryan Ehle, Jared Busch and Ian Anderson as they embarked on their dream of recreating the comedy scene in Fort Wayne. What began as an outlet for local amateur comedians to do stand-up in a venue other than our long standing Snickerz Comedy Club (which can be a tough place to land a gig), has turned into something much bigger.
Although the four seem slightly surprised at their success, the evidence of their hard work makes it not surprising at all. Thanks to the business savvy of Dirk and Ryan, Jirk Comedy is not only bringing rising stars and national acts to our city, but they have made a name for The Fort in the process. Comedians and agents know we’re here now, they know we’re on the map – and they are eager to pay us a visit. I met with Dirk and Ryan and we talked about how business has changed for Jirk and the funny guys that created it all.
“We have a good eye for comedy,” they humbly explained.
And clearly, they have a good eye for their city as well. “It’s easy to sell Fort Wayne because of our location. We’re in a perfect location between the other bigger cities – like Dayton, Toledo and Chicago – to tag on to another show.”
It’s all about smart scheduling. …So, they’re funny and smart.
Local venues have been very open to working with Jirk, and as more locations learn about it, their list continues to grow. The local band scene is solid in our city, and it seems that the venues who support local music and the arts are excited to incorporate comedy into their entertainment offerings as well. Jirk makes a habit of appearing at places like CS3, O’Sullivan’s, Pint & Slice, the Cinema Center and even the Embassy. In fact, 2015 kicks off the Embassy Comedy Series, which currently consists of three shows taking place in the Indiana Hotel Lobby. Their first show happens this Wednesday, March 18th featuring DJ Dangler and Mike Bobbitt. Keep an eye on Living Fort Wayne for updates and even a chance to win tickets!
Then, mark your calendars. Thursday, May 7th Jirk Comedy presents “Last Comic Standing’s” Doug Benson at IPFW’s International Ballroom. Buy tickets online now and we’ll keep you up to date on ticket giveaways and more.
There’s plenty more to come from this comedic enterprise. Jirk has a summer planned that will keep us rolling. But, their true commitment isn’t lost on their success. Budding comedians can still step into the spotlight on open mic nights put on by Jirk. O’Sullivan’s hosts the open stand-up opportunities the first Sunday of every month at 8pm. Although the venues have grown to accommodate the acts and audiences alike, the close knit casual venues are what made Jirk unique in the first place. And they’ll continue to be a mainstay. As Dirk and Ryan so eloquently explained, “We’re doing this because we love it, and we’re going to keep doing this because we love it.” People connect with that.
The vision for Jirk is vast, including new venues, festivals, more rising stars and even a comedy club of their own someday. It will happen. You see, there’s a charisma that comes with being funny, smart, talented and charming. (I promise they didn’t pay me to say that.) But, it’s exactly that charisma that will continue to draw us in…and keep us laughing.
Find Jirk Comedy on Facebook to find out about these upcoming events and tons more in between.