Kathleen McCann celebrates two years of stand-up in Park City
December 29, 2011
When stand-up comedian Kathleen McCann moved to Park City from Los Angeles, Calif., seven years ago, she noticed a lack of laughs, so she pitched the idea of a comedy night to anyone who would listen.
"I wanted to bring something different to Park City, because there was no stand-up here," McCann said during an interview with The Park Record. "I banged on the door for nearly two years and finally someone said, ‘Yes.’"
The someone was the Egyptian Theatre, and once a month for the past two years, McCann has provided giggles to the Park City area by bringing in everyone from Karen Rontowski to Bob Kubota and Wes Martins.
She’s able to book these established performers because of her background in running a string of comedy clubs in Southern California.
"I made a lot of friends and connections," she said. "When I started things up here, I just went through my Rolodex."
After a while, word got out that Park City loves stand-up performances and those comics who do come to town are treated well.
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"I’m calling the shows a Boutique Comedy Club, because a lot of these comics regularly have to drive to the gigs and rarely get their own hotel room, but we’re treating them like VIPs," McCann said with a laugh "I think that’s why the big heavy hitters agree to come, even though they won’t make as much."
Still, McCann has learned the comics she books have to reliable.
"We can’t have anyone not show up," she said. "In L.A., if someone didn’t show up, it was no big deal. I would make four or five phone calls and find a replacement.
"Here, if someone doesn’t show up, we’re knocked off kilter," she said.
McCann wants to book the best comedians she can because the Park City audiences have enjoyed the shows so far.
"I am stunned, amazed and grateful to be here," she said. "In fact, Park City is the only place where I’m doing comedy now.
"We’re not just bringing in another band, and people don’t have to drive all the way to Salt Lake to have some laughs," she said. "Plus, the theatre audience in Park City is such a great crowd, and they are really smart.
"I tell all the comics I book that I don’t really care how filthy they are as long as the funny is more big than the filthy," she said.
McCann fell in love with stand-up by accident when she participated in the open-mic night while living in L.A.
"The idea for me to do stand up was more a goal for me to do something scary and do it once and never again," McCann said. "That was 11 years ago."
McCann got hooked by the fear factor of being on stage in front of strangers.
"It’s like skiing," she said. "There’s the adrenaline rush and it’s scary and its fun."
There’s always the chance of failing, that gives stand-up an additional danger.
"I wasn’t very good that first time," she said. "In fact, the club owners didn’t tell me I was funny, but that I was ‘very likable.’ I mean, if you can’t say something nice, still say something, right?"
For more information about Kathleen McCann, visit http://www.laughartist.com