Nestled in a brand new location on Greene St., right here in Greensboro, lies a sweet getaway from the pains and troubles of everyday life. If you hear laughter pouring out of the double glass doors, you’ve likely come to the right spot. This is the Idiot Box, and the name alone lets you know that you’re in for a good time.
I happened to come to an Open Mic Night on Jan. 29, not sure of exactly what kind of show I was walking into. I was pleasantly surprised by all six acts of the night, and their ability to work a room. By the end of the night, I had tears in my eyes and a sore belly from laughing from beginning to end.
The comedy of the night ranged from awkward Tinder experiences, to crowd heckling, to the pains of growing up. Each comic seemed to reach from a place of truth and vulnerability to bring content that felt relatable, while still remaining comical. Every performer brought their own style to the material, and though comics were performing one after another, it never felt exhausting.
The headliner of the night was Jake Weddle. Weddle had driven up from Greenville, NC to deliver a twenty minute set at the end of the open mic, a pretty substantial time slot for a young, up-and-coming comic. He does this three to five nights a week, driving all over the state to do comedy, while still attending classes at Eastern Carolina University.
Weddle mostly draws his material from his own experiences, stating that, “when I was younger I used to do stuff exclusively with my family… I’ve only recently gotten into more of the political stuff just because it’s so prevalent right now.” Political and personal jokes alike seemed to be wellsprings of comedic gold for Weddle, as he had the crowd in an uproar from the moment he took the stage to his very last joke.
Weddle is hoping to work the NC comedy scene for a few more years, and then move on to a bigger city. For now though, the Tarheel State is proving to be a great spot for an up-and-coming comic.
According to Weddle, “North Carolina is fantastic, and has one of the big up and coming comedy scenes. I tell people all the time how exponentially growing the North Carolina comedy is in Greensboro, Asheville, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, everywhere there’s comedy stuff. Not clubs, but local places coming up.”
It seems obvious from the talent exhibited at the open mic, that The Idiot Box was yet another example of the aforementioned talent here in North Carolina, and even here in Greensboro. Local performers happen to be their specialty, and for good reason.
Though the club has gotten attention from nationally touring acts, they prefer to focus on local comics, and establishing a place that primarily showcases the talent right here in Greensboro. The club currently boasts between 10-20 in-house comics from in-state who often perform and perfect their acts at the club. By refraining from booking only big name acts, they really allow themselves to tap into local talent, and to create a supportive environment for comics who are trying to hone their own comedic abilities.
Not only do they book local performers, but The Idiot Box holds Improv and comedy workshop classes throughout the week to help comics young and old to harness their skills, and to better understand how to work a crowd.
To learn more about The Idiot Box, you can visit their website at https://www.idiotboxers.com/.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment