A group of Springfield area comedians who have gone on to grow their careers in other cities are coming home for a set of shows at the Blue Room Comedy Club.
The “Third Annual Comedy Homecoming” will take place this weekend, December 21st and 22nd.
The show will feature comedians Tyler Snodgrass, Ryan Trickey, Matt Barnes, Bailey Norton, Chance Nichols and Omar Quersh among others.
Chance Nichols, who is now in Chicago and has an hour long solo comedy show ‘Delicious Ham’ that opening at The Second City next month, says he’s excited to come back to Springfield and visit with old friends.
“I enjoy being back downtown and seeing some of the friends I made coming up,” Nichols told OI. “The Blue Room is an awesome venue and I’m glad they have us back each year for this show. I love Springfield and I really enjoy coming back and doing all the traditional things like getting Mudhouse coffee, eating at Grad School, finding a dead body in the woods near Branson with my childhood friends, going to Bass Pro, and all the other cool local things!”
Tyler Snodgrass shared much of the same sentiment.
“I…love to do comedy here,” he told OI. “I think Springfield has great comedy audiences. So it’s really fun to perform to those audiences again, and it’s really special that once a year I can do it with a bunch of the people I started with… It’s really cool to have so many of us back together, to see everyone’s new material, in the town where we all met.”
Snodgrass, who like Nichols is performing in Chicago, said Springfield helped him overcome a key issue before heading to a larger city.
“Springfield did more than anything else was give me the chance to practice just being on stage,” he said. “Whether my jokes worked or totally bombed…and they did, a lot!…I was still getting practice talking in front of real audiences, and I was building confidence. Being comfortable on stage can even take the funniest people years to do, and Springfield eliminated my stage fright before I even moved to a more competitive city.”
Nichols said he loves the growing comedy scene in Springfield.
“Springfield has a very fun comedy community that seemingly is doing very well for itself,” he said. “Especially organizations like Missouri State Improv who consistently keep large student groups laughing weekly. “
“The Mystery Hour is golden and, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of the arts scene in Springfield and everyone should go see a taping,” he added. Nichols is a former writer for the Emmy-Award winning show. Although Nichols did have a tongue-in-cheek warning concerning his former boss at The Mystery Hour.
“Jeff Houghton is a vile, cruel man who constantly threatens me and my family and someone needs to stop him,” Nichols joked.
Both Snodgrass and Nichols credit Houghton with helping them grow and learn the craft of comedy from their time working with him on The Mystery Hour and as part of Skinny Improv.
Snodgrass credits The Skinny Improv with being invaluable in his current position.
“I really would not have had the confidence to move to Chicago at all if it weren’t for the people at the Skinny Improv who kind of grew me and encouraged me (Houghton, Dan Clair, Sarah Jenkins, Jeff Jenkins, and Leah Gunn),” Snodgrass said. “I can’t say enough about how the friendships of Sarah Jenkins, Dan Clair, and Leah Gunn made me a funnier and better person. Starting at the Skinny was unreal at the time, and Jeff Jenkins trusted me with stage time when I was still in college, which was huge for me, and I’m incredibly thankful.”
The “Third Annual Comedy Homecoming” shows at Blue Room Comedy Club are expected to sell out. Tickets are available online through the Blue Room Comedy Club’s website.