Omaha’s first Comedy Week kicks off

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July 25th, 2012

Omaha, NE – Omaha’s inaugural Comedy Week kicked off Monday night, and continues around the city through Sunday. Robyn Wisch checked in with organizer and local comedian Zach Peterson.

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Robyn Wisch: This is the first year for Omaha Comedy Week. How did it all come together?

Zach Peterson: “There’s something that we want to stress is that these shows are not just happening this week. These are shows that happen almost every week. Backline Improv, OK Party Comedy the group I’m with, the Pizza Collective, all these guys, they run shows weekly and they have their followings, they have people that come out work and that’s because they work tirelessly promoting them. But when we work together like we are in this Comedy Week, we can sort of show a much larger group of like that this is going on. That’s pretty much the focus. We work together to promote everything. We work together to promote Omaha comedy as a whole, to show everyone what is out there and show people that it is a viable option for people to go out or participate in.”

The Weisenheimers, an improv troupe, performed Tuesday night at the Pizza Shoppe Collective (Photo courtesy Omaha Comedy Week)

RW: Can you describe the Omaha comedy scene right now?

ZP: “Fledging. I wouldn’t say it’s in its infancy. But it’s definitely like a toddler. It’s come a long way in the past two years. It started out where it was nothing besides four open mics and the comedy clubs, or comedy club singular. And there was not a lot of room to develop in between the two. And recently, there’s been a lot more activity.

“I mean I talk to people who run alternative rooms in say Denver, which has a scene that’s getting national attention now. It’s really interesting to see where they came from. The last person that we had here from Denver said that we are where they were at five years ago. So we’re doing the right things, it will just take time. So that’s encouraging but we realize there’s a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but we definitely have the talent. And we definitely have the people that want this. And it’s nice to be part of a community. And that’s what it is right now, it’s a small community.”

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle kicked off opening night of Omaha Comedy Week Monday night. (Photo courtesy Omaha Comedy Week)

RW: As fledgling as it is, does Omaha’s comedy scene have an identity right now?

ZP: “Maybe I’m too close to it to sort of see the bigger picture. It’s just really hungry. People want the best for it and there’s a lot of people who work really hard… People want to do this because they love comedy, not what it brings, not anything else around it. No one gets paid for this. It’s because people enjoy doing it and love doing it. So I would say it’s probably the purest form of what people want from comedy, but it’s just a long way to go.”

Omaha Comedy Week continues through Sunday night. There will be standups, improv and sketch comedy nights across the city. (To see the full schedule click here)

One Response

  1. Mike Perry says:

    First of all, full disclosure, I’m with Zach in OK Party (www.okpartycomedy.com). I’m very excited about all of the events of the week, and can’t express my gratitude enough to all of the groups that came together to put this event together. I don’t want to speak for the other groups, but I think they’d agree, one of the main goals for OK Party is to get new people interested. I know for me, I didn’t know how to get started and didn’t find an open mic until years after I started writing material. We’ve given a lot of new people a chance to get on stage, and we’ve found some really funny performers out of just giving people an opportunity. The great thing about this week is, with the variety of shows going on, whatever you’re interested in, you’ll get a chance to see and talk to the people that do it. Building awareness is so important in creating a scene, so thank you to KVNO for helping us get the word out!

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