Once upon a time, Toquet Hall was a hotbed for comedians. Mike Barbiglia, Bo Burnham and Bill Burr — big names have appeared there.
But it’s been a while since Westport’s downtown teen center hosted a major comedy night.
This Friday, laughter returns. Ryan Conner — a writer for “Saturday Night Live” and Dave Chappelle — headlines a show.
Equally intriguing are the warmup acts.
Staples senior Josh Popkin and junior Michael Mathis take the stage. It’s one thing to be a professional comedian. It’s another thing entirely to stand up in front of your peers — and do stand-up.
But they’re ready.
“I have a weird obsession with making people laugh,” Josh says. He’s performed at summer camp, but this will be his first time in front of a hometown crowd.
Josh calls himself an “observational” comedian, like Jerry Seinfeld. His routine includes jokes about school, Facebook, parents, the orthodontist and public nudity. Michael is more improvisational.
So is Josh nervous about his debut?
Sure — but not because of his material or delivery.
“I’m more nervous people won’t show up,” he says.
So help him out. Pack the house. (This Friday’s show is 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $5.)
Then — when Josh and Michael are household names — you can say you knew them when.
They might even come back and headline their own Toquet Hall show.
(For more details on Toquet Hall, click here.)