Tucked away in a discreet Overland Park shopping center, Stanford’s Comedy Club appears to blend in quietly with its surrounding neighbors.
Inside, the club reverberates with the sound of laughter, cheers and groans as loose-lipped comedians spout off on stage. Though this Overland Park location has been open just a few months, Stanford’s has been a staple of Kansas City comedy since the late 70s.
Every Tuesday night, 30 amateur comedians put their jokes (and self-esteem) on the line in front of a crowd full of strangers at Open Mic Night. Some comics do well — or ‘kill it,’ as they say — while others bomb so badly they become hermits and never leave their homes again.
Here are the 11 comedians you’re guaranteed to see at the club:
The Angry Yeller
This comic subscribes to the idea that the louder you are, the more laughs you’ll get. Unfortunately he’s so busy screaming about the perils of turning 40 that he doesn’t realize he’s the only one in the room making any noise.
The First Timer
This person comes in two versions: 1) The First Timer who has absolutely no idea what he’s doing and goes down in flames or 2) The First Timer who has absolutely no idea what he’s doing and miraculously kills it.
The Unprepared Note Reader
This comic trudges up to the stage with his notebook, then proceeds to stumble through his entire set. It’s like being in 3rd grade reading class all over again.
The Child Prodigy
The kid can’t even drive, but he’s killing it like Chappelle in his prime. Delivering one-liner after one-liner, he’s got the crowd rolling while the other comics sit in the back crying quietly to themselves.
The Dirty Hack
This comedian goes for pure shock value by talking about the most obscene things imaginable. “TMI” is just about the only phrase not in his vocabulary.
The Uncomfortable Comic
This comic believes that being super awkward on stage is somehow comedy gold. “First I’m going to whisper so quietly that no one can hear me, then I’m going to talk in a low voice that totally belies my physique, all while pretending I have a stutter!” LOLOLOLOLOL
The Quirky Musician
This person accidentally mistakes the Open Mic Night for a poetry slam.
She brings her ukulele onstage and sings an adorable little number that lasts the entire three minutes she’s on stage. It’s never very funny, but at least it’s better than …
The Boring Storyteller
Sigh. It’s like listening to a co-worker talk about the *wild* weekend he had before you’ve even had a chance to get your morning Joe.
“Oh man, I went on the craziest hike last weekend. I forgot my ball cap, and my girlfriend was all like, ‘Now your scalp’s going to burn!’ and I was all like, ‘Is it because I’m bald or because my jokes are on fire? Zing!’ Then I got poison ivy all over my thighs, and it was hilarious!”
The Defiant Rebel
This comic knows he’s gone over his allotted time but just doesn’t care. He keeps going and going until the house MC has to physically usher him off stage. Sometimes fists are thrown, providing the only “punch” line of his set.
The Budding Star
This is the workhorse. The one who mixes great material with a quick wit and strong work ethic. She gets better every week, and it’s only a matter of time until she gets her big break on the Tonight Show. All of the comics worship her like she’s Ellen. At least to her face.
The Unapologetic Bomber
Oh, he’s bad, but that doesn’t stop him. Instead of peacefully leaving the stage, he defiantly calls out the audience for not getting it. “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND COMEDY! THIS IS AN ART! I AM AN ARTIST!” Sure ya are, bud. Sure ya are.