Grand opening at Café Europe is third location for Brew Ha Ha comedy shows
By Tanya Huang
December 14, 2010 (San Diego) — In the midst of cramming sessions for finals, San Diego State students eagerly sought the comedic relief of Brew Ha Ha’s talented acts at Café Europe on El Cajon Boulevard. The wide array of caffeinated beverages and comfort food served at Café Europe provided the ideal escape from textbooks and lectures. Students and community members were relieved to remedy their stress with effortless laughter and a slight caffeine buzz.
Perched in a front row seat sporting an autographed Brew Ha Ha T-shirt was Dr. Tom Craven, Brew Ha Ha’s no. 1 fan who follows the comedians to every venue.
“He’s our biggest stalker — I mean, fan,” host and co-producer Diane Jean joked. Many of Brew Ha Ha’s audience members are usually returning customers, but many new faces were also present during the grand opening.
Jean and co-producer Chris Clobber say they are bringing back the way comedy should be, which is a 90 minute show with friendly hosts.
“(Our) service is far superior to any other comedy club,” co-producer and Jean’s boyfriend Chris Clobber said. “We make sure that our people feel comfortable. And also we’re really, really big on giving quality service.”
Laughing as she tripped onto the stage, Jean showed no fear of poking fun at herself throughout the night. As she adjusted the microphone stand for her towering height, she looked at a girl in the audience and said, “She can wear all those cute little ribbons and bows and things. You know what happens when I wear that stuff? I look like a transsexual. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my tranny friends ‘cause if it weren’t for them there wouldn’t be shoes in my size.”
Jean evoked laughter from all throughout the room as she divulged in her opinions of politics, dating and sex.
“Most women have sex toys in their bedrooms,” Jean said. “I have a step ladder.”
After warming up the audience with a few laughs, Jean introduced local comedians Nic Flair, Sean Wherley, Chris Brockett and Richard Houghs. Brew Ha Ha strives for diversity in comedy shows and features the most female, gay and comics of all ethnicities.
“I could never date Diane. I look like her son,” Flair said as Jean left the stage. “I’m like Maddox and she’s Angelina Jolie and Chris is Brad Pitt.”
Flair’s routine consisted of a series of comical tales about his dating woes. He spilled every detail about his recent venture of moving in with his girlfriend, who has gotten him to listen to Katy Perry, watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” try various role-plays in the bedroom and indulge in her obsession with astrology.
“I researched it and it turns out we’re really not (compatible),” Flair says about astrology. “Because I’m a Capricorn and she’s what you call a whore.”
Houghs also shared a variety of hysterical blunders with past girlfriends. His bold red blazer and striking blond hair suited him well seeing as he portrayed himself as somewhat of a lady’s man. His jokes revealed that he not only had to deal with girlfriend troubles such as visiting Planned Parenthood and the gynecologist, but he’s also a struggling student on the verge of poverty.
Brockett also had a flair for sharing his sexual encounters and tribulations as an impoverished college student. Only a week from graduating from SDSU and being thrown into insurmountable debt, Brockett says he’s thinking about getting a food stamp card, which he calls his culinary specialty purchasing card. Not only does he have to worry about avoiding hunger, he jokes about avoiding STDs.
“One in four American women has some sort of STD,” Brockett said. “And getting laid is tough as it is, but now you gotta do it like you’re playing minesweeper.”
As a gay man, Wherley had differing sexual encounters to share, such as events that challenge the quality of his gay-dar. He joked about questioning the accuracy of his gay-dar when it buzzed and beeped in front of a fraternity house and then recalled a sexual encounter with a fraternity guy who claimed to be doing it for pledge week. Although Wherley declared his sexuality to his family several years ago, it amazes him that his mother still says she never knew.
“I got kicked out of the Cub Scouts in third-grade for being gay,” Wherley said with a smile. “The first two arrowheads I earned were for baked goods and vacuuming … Had I stayed just two more years I would have reached the level known as Webelos. I can’t tell you how much fun that would’ve been.”
Speaking to a college-age crowd was a treat for Clobber, a veteran comedian who got his first gig writing for Shari Lewis, the puppeteer of Lamb Chop the sock puppet, and was later featured on HBO and Showtime. He currently writes for various comedians and had just returned from performing in Laughlin, Nevada.
“You guys are the youngest people I’ve seen. I’ve never been terrified of the elderly people before,” Clobber said grinning beneath his signature black hat. “It was like doing a show in front of a pirate’s cave. It was nothing but gold and bones.”
Claiming to have grown up in the generation of marijuana users and to have invented the bong telephone, Clobber quipped, “What amazes me is whenever I get near SDSU it’s inevitable that someone tries to impress me with their drugs. I am over 40. I am unimpressionable.”
Clobber indulged the audience in a series of jokes about drug use and concluded with his famous bear story filled with hilarious sound effects, which were claimed to be too weird for HBO. Clobber can imitate the sound of any animal at the San Diego Zoo and it’s a popular request by his fans.
The guest star of the evening, Tommy Savitt, told his jokes through a boneheaded alpha male perspective. Originally from New York, Savitt’s thick Brooklyn accent and muscular build complemented his macho stage presence. He said he attended the best acting school — law school — and his routine consisted of one-liners and short stories that poked fun at politics, religions, foreign ethnicities and sex.
Throughout his routine, Savitt emphasized his great qualities as a male companion.
“Some men would take women to a hotel. I would never do that,” Savitt said. “I’m an outdoorsman. Have you ever made love in an alley? On top of cardboard boxes? Behind Café Europe?”
In addition to being a stand-up boyfriend, Savitt promoted his potential to be a remarkable parent.
“I want my children to be prepared for society. I want them to carry guns to school,” Savitt said. “I want the faculty to respect them. Just because someone’s carrying something doesn’t mean they’re gonna use them. Look at me, I carry condoms.”
Clobber guaranteed his audience that Brew Ha Ha will continue to showcase the best comics, even if they have to be recruited from New York like Savitt. This Friday Brew Ha Ha will be featuring hilarious comedian, Zoltan, and a variety of other headliners. There is no cover and no drink minimum. Jean and Clobber will be hosting a family of talented acts to help students kick off the post-final, pre-holiday celebration at Café Europe.
For more information about Brew Ha Ha and upcoming shows, visit www.brewhahaentertainment.com.
For more information about Café Europe, visit www.mycafeurope.com.