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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 10:22 pm | Fair 48º


Paul Mann: Ventura Harbor Comedy Club Pulls in Sell-Out Crowds

Robert Zapata headlines a flurry of funny comedians, including Santa Barbara's Jeff Urrea

The secret is out about one of the best live entertainment deals in the Tri-Counties. The Ventura Harbor Comedy Club is celebrating its third and most successful year since its opening. For about the same price as a 3D feature film, comedy fans are regularly treated to a national lineup of some of the brightest new artists in comedy today.

The club is the brainchild of Andrew Fernadez and Randy Lubas, who are both accomplished comedians in their own right. The club features a variety of comedy acts tempered specifically to comedy fans from all sorts of demographics and tastes.

Weekend shows tend to be more high-profile comedians with tamer shows geared toward an older audience. During the week, newer up-and-coming comedians tend to pull out all the stops with much more tawdry performances geared toward a younger audience. The club features a full bar with affordable drinks and sandwiches.

A recent midweek show featured an all-star night, organized by headliner Robert Zapata. The drink special of the night was a chilled shot of Patron Silver Tequila. As the night progressed, the comedians on stage were ceremoniously presented with a shot that they handled in a variety of humorous ways.

The sold-out show featured no fewer than nine comedians, covering nearly every ethnic demographic in the country. The hilarious but graphic self-effacing ethnic humor was enthusiastically embraced by the diverse crowd, and every comedian received a strong ovation. Lubas began the festivities before turning over the floor to the master of ceremonies, Texas comedian Nick Guerra. A television and magazine writer, he has become a crowd favorite in his home state as a stand-up performer in just a few years.

Jaylyn Bishop was another crowd favorite, with her masterful physical humor and hilarious facial expressions. Bishop grew up in rural Thorton, Colo., a strange place for a girl with West Indian roots, but she uses her unusual everyday life stories to create her side-splitting stand-up that has won her fans across the country.

Santa Barbara tall man Jeff Urrea brought a local flavor to the show with some physical humor skits inspired by local night clubs. Stroklund brought ethnic Caucasian humor to the table. Hailing from Washington state, he did some funny fat man jokes, punctuated with hooting therapy for the audience.

There were other great performances during the two-hour-plus show, but the star of the night and the organizer of the evening was Zapata. The Southern California funnyman began his comedy career in Los Angeles, at the HaHa Club in North Hollywood, and has become a comedy staple at prestigious clubs across the Southwest. His unique brand of raucous Latino humor strikes a chord with many California comedy fans.

His act included a rollicking skit on cholas fighting, including his patented side-splitting take on a cholas punch. Zapata had the capacity crowd in Ventura rolling in the aisles with laughter. As an added bonus, the fans were treated to a two-for-one pass for the following week’s show, including a free food buffet.

Click here for information on upcoming shows at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributor. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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