Star Wars Jokes and Tankards at The Midnight’s Comedy Night
Every Tuesday The Midnight bar in downtown Gainesville hosts a comedy night, where veterans and newbies alike put on a free joke session event.
Tuesdays are also Tankard Tuesdays at the bar, which means several beers, like Yuengling are only $5 in a Viking-sized stein. It’s a cozy, homey little bar that people may overlook, but there’s always an event going on.
“The Tuesday Comedy Show is the longest-running comedy show in Gainesville. It’s been about ten years for this show,” said Vito. “We started at 1982 Bar, then moved it to Market Street, and then we moved it here to The Midnight.”
“It’s been the best here at The Midnight,” said Vito. “The crowd every week is full.”
A full crowd is not an exaggeration, either. Chairs were set up outside for the crowd in the backyard area and a lot of people, including myself, were standing near the front to watch the event.
“My favorite thing about comedy night is when you have somebody who is really able to make a good point, or have a good message and it’s really funny,” said Vito.
“Comedy is such a great platform for communicating and getting new ideas across because it’s undeniable when you laugh at something and it’s funny, but it also made a point.”
It was a very warm, welcoming and respectful crowd. There were no racist or misogynist jokes from the comedians. Before the comedy shows, there’s a workshop for new comedians so they can work with more experienced jokesters before going up to the stage.
Comedian Chris Wims got the crowd going with his jokes, especially when he spoke about what he thought The Force was. Wims talked about seeing sinners at church repent for their bad deeds, and then saw the seizure-like convulsions that proceeded afterwards. It was like watching The Exorcist when the crazy girl is twitching and flailing around because of the demon inside her. This is when Wims discovered what it meant to be a Jedi… or perhaps what it meant to have a seizure as his inner demons were ripped from his body.
It’s daunting to think about going on stage in front of a live audience, but The Midnight provides the friendly atmosphere for it, and Vito encourages aspiring comedians to give it a shot pitching jokes.
“My advice would be practice. Practice by yourself, record yourself, practice in the mirror, and just practice delivering the material,” said Vito. “Write out your jokes and keep writing and revising, and then practice doing them live, by yourself, with your friends. The first time you go up it’s only going to be about three to five minutes.”
“Remember to have a punchline.”
All jokes aside, The Midnight hosts a bunch of weekly events. Monday is trivia night; Tuesday is Tankard Tuesday/Comedy Night; and Thursday is foreign night. Every Thursday, attendants choose a flag sticker to represent their native country and they can mingle with other foreign students. There’s also LGBTQ stickers and pirate stickers.
Check out The Midnight’s Facebook page for more events. Be sure to grab a bowl of their veggie chili mac because it’s scrumptious, according to a mystery attendant at the bar.