Business

Main Street Comedy Club bringing laughs to downtown Auburn

Kevin Mackie and Angie
Kevin Mackie and Angie 'Tygger' Knopp hope to bring laughs to downtown Auburn with the Main Street Comedy Club.
— image credit: Shawn Skager/Reporter

Kevin Mackie and Angie “Tygger” Knopp are deadly serious about bringing comedy to Auburn via their recently opened Main Street Comedy Club on Main Street.

For the past two weeks the husband-wife combo has been providing a spot for local comedians to hone their craft with open-mic nights before live audiences.

This weekend, Mackie said, the club kicks it up a notch, presenting the first of a series of shows featuring the best regional and national touring comedy talent.

“We were taking it easy at first with local showcases, but starting (this week) is the kickoff to our major headlining tours (with Jubal Early and Kelsey Cook),” Mackie said.

“Seattle has a great talent pool of comedians, national touring comedians. So we’re snatching all the great headliners to finish out our year. As we move forward into the first quarter of next year, we’ll start having celebrity headliners coming in.”

Mackie and Knopp got their start in the entertainment business as karaoke performers.

“We enjoyed that a lot, and after doing it on the weekends we decided we wanted to do it as a side thing,” Mackie explained. “So we put together our own karaoke system, bought everything that we needed and grew it from there.”

For the past five years the duo, who perform as Mackie and Tygger, contracted with local bars, providing hosted karaoke nights.

Soon, however, Mackie said they acquired so much gear, including mics, speakers and lighting, that they decided to branch out.

Two years ago they started Mackie Systems Entertainment, setting up stages for local music and comedy shows, including the annual Woofstock Animal Adoption and Music Festival.

But the plan was always to open their own place.

“Our overall dream is to have our own nightclub,” Mackie said. “But with the overall cost of that, we thought we’d start off small. That’s how we came across doing a small intimate comedy club and build it from there.

“After looking around and researching all the variables involved with opening a business I landed in my hometown, Auburn,” Mackie said.

Full slate

The plan for the club now is to offer comedy three nights a week – an open-mic on Tuesdays and bigger-name comedian showcases on Friday and Saturday.

“Tuesdays are free,” Mackie said. “It’s funny because those are just great shows, you never know what you’re going to see.”

This weekend, Main Street begins its comedy showcases with Seattle comedians Jubal Early and Kelsey Cook. The laughs continue on Sept. 28-29 with national acts James Heneghen and Brad Brake.

The cover for weekend showcases ranges from $10 to $20 and includes a drink and a slice of Godfather’s pizza.

“We don’t have our own kitchen, so we got a hot box from Godfathers, and they bring in pizza for us,” Mackie said.

The club also has a deal in place for patrons to order off neighboring Japanese restaurant Sushido’s menu.

The club’s capacity is about 50 people, but Mackie said he plans to grow the business slowly.

“When the lease is up, we plan on moving to a bigger spot somewhere else on Main Street,” Mackie said.

For now, Mackie and Knopp are just happy to be where they are.

“Everything just kind of fit well, plus I wanted to liven up downtown Auburn. It’s also great for the whole valley. You have to drive a fair distance for a real comedy club. Other bars will have a comedian now and then, but when you go see comedy in a bar, it’s a little bit of a different feel. The comedy isn’t their main focus, so they don’t take pride in the comedy exclusively. So with this being a comedy club, there is a big difference.”

The Main Street Comedy Club is at 113 E. Main St.


 

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