By Jan Syverson
For the past 30 years live, stand-up comedy has had a place in the Fargo Moorhead area, Starting with Courtney’s Comedy Club in the former Days Inn Moorhead which closed back in 2016.
The Cellar comedy club, in the basement of the Front Street Tap Room has become the area’s premier spot for weekend shows.
Due to the pandemic of 2020, there was a moment in time when getting to see live entertainment wasn’t as safe and easy as it is today. As a comedian who went from having a weekend gig almost every week to taking a break to navigate the complexities that covid-19 brought, I am happy that we have a comedy scene in the area that is thriving.
Prior to the pandemic, if you were a comedy junky you could check out standup almost every day of the week. Some of these shows were open mics, a necessary evil of stand-up comedy. Comedy open mics, like music, carry a variety of talent from those starting out to those who have been able to develop into full-fledged professionals.
This last November 2022 I was able to check out a Fargo-Moorhead best of showcase at The Cellar, featuring a list of the area’s best performers from over the years that frequented their popular Wednesday night comedy open mic. It was a blast with great drinks, and amazing performances telling jokes to a sold-out audience.
This club also has regular bi-monthly comedy shows which feature comedians from all over the country. You’ll have to check out their page on Facebook to get show information. At the end of 2022 another club joined, the F-M area Boss Comedy Club, underneath Downtown’s Boss Pizza and Chicken. They have a comedy open mic Thursday evening.
All this new comedy hype got me thinking of some of the area’s funniest people, because as we know it’s the people who make the scene. Here's my list of some of the Comics you should check out!
Jenni Lou Russi
Jenni Lou has been performing stand-up comedy in Fargo for many years, starting at The Red Raven Espresso Parlor. She is a multi-talented tour de force of charisma and comedic skill. She’s performed at comedy clubs all over the United States, has been in the Cleveland Comedy Festival, Alaska Comedy Festival, SnoJam Comedy Festival, and Fargo Comedy Festival. Jenni Lou is one of those performers you don’t forget and has been a comedy staple for over 10 years. Check out her websitewww.jennilou.com for how to book this talented comic.
Marlin has been performing stand-up comedy in Fargo since 2014, starting at Courtney’s Comedy Club in Moorhead. Since then, he’s performed nationally and was recently featured at the Portland, Maine Comedy Festival. You can see Marlin performing in The Forty Below Comedy Show, which travels the Midwest, along with other comedians. You can book Marlin by connecting with him on Facebook.
David started performing stand-up in Fargo in 2017 at the former Dempsey’s comedy open mic. Since then, he’s been regularly performing stand-up everywhere in the Midwest. Dave has a wry sense of humor and a charming on-stage personality which is always fun to see. He’s a Fargo fan favorite, and you can see him perform regularly in The Cellar, and Boss Comedy Club. Dave is currently booking acts for Boss Comedy club, and if you’re looking to book this comic you can reach him at email@example.com.
Tim got his start in the F-M area at Courtney’s Comedy Club back in 2010. He hails all the way from Birmingham, Alabama and brings a southern authenticity to the stage. He got his start performing at house parties. Tim is known as a roast master and won the very first Roast battle back in 2017 at The Cellar Comedy Club. You can see him perform throughout the upper Midwest. Book Tim at Tim_Jones_196862@yahoo.com or via his Facebook page.
Erin started doing stand-up back in 2019 at the Red Raven Espresso Parlor. While they only began doing stand-up in the last few years, they are not to be underestimated. Erin brings an absurdity, and theatrical approach to the art of stand-up comedy. Check out Erin regularly Wednesday nights at The Cellar.
While there are too many comedians in town to feature them all, I wanted to give a shout out to some of the talent that keeps me inspired, and entertains us all.
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