Comedy Lounge has last laugh


By Malcolm Coleman

Perth's Comedy Lounge

Malcolm Coleman, Reporter

Perth’s Comedy Lounge serves up comedy from Wednesday to Saturday nights each week. Whether it’s up-and-coming amateur stand-up comedians on a Wednesday night or more professional comedians on a Friday or Saturday night, the popular licenced nightspot offers several weekly opportunities for belly-laughs.

Comedy Lounge Director John McAllister said the Comedy Lounge provides “a lighter moment for people to escape the reality of their usual routine for a little while and laughter is a good medicine. The one thing this venue can guarantee is a barrel of laughs and occasionally the crowd could also be in for an unprecedented surprise!”

The venue mainly has local professional stand-up comedians performing most nights, though it has on more than one occasion been known for surprise guests dropping in unannounced.

“Anyone who is anybody who comes here to Western Australia, will turn up here at some stage,” McAllister added.

These surprise guests are often the big stars of comedy, who entertain thousands of people at a time in sold-out venues. This includes nationally renowned names, such as Dave Hughes, Peter Helliar, Rove McManus and Joel Creasey, just to name a few. These comedians have all at one time or another graced the stage at the Comedy Lounge in Perth.

“Joel Creasey began his career with us. His very first stand-up gig was at the Charles Hotel when he was 17. So, Joel’s sort of a friend of our group, really. He doesn’t come very often, though when he is in town, he will come in and jump up and do five or ten minutes when he has time,” McAllister said.

The same scenario applies to the other surprise names that, according to McAllister, just turn up with no rhyme or reason other than one of their close friends suggesting to come here and because they like this place. Of course, he generally knows when they are planning on turning up here.

“Though in saying that, there was one star who did turn up unannounced. That was Russell Peters. We just went down to the alleyway outside here and there he was with his bodyguards, saying to me, ‘I’ve heard of this place and I wouldn’t mind jumping up and doing five or ten minutes,’ to which I ecstatically replied, ‘Yeah go for it!’ So, we get that every now and again, so it’s good,” he said.

What sets the venue apart from others in Perth is that it is only one of five purposefully built comedy venues of its type in the world and is only one of two in Australia, with the other being The Comedy Store in Sydney.

“I have long been involved in this business of comedy and I don’t know everything, though I know a lot about this game. I knew what was needed: a small room that is intimate with no viewing restrictions at all, with top quality sound and lighting,” McAllister said.

The Comedy Lounge sells out most Fridays and Saturdays. Recent renovations give the venue the style and trimmings of a small theatre and make it a great place for the entertainers to perform and audiences to laugh.

“When you get good acts and the crowd are loving it, that is the best thing in the world. We aim for that. Though you don’t always get ten out of ten every time, we certainly try,” McAllister said.