Omaha’s first Comedy Week kicks off
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.
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.”
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.”
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)