Organizing 50 people to be part of a show is never easy. But organizing 50 comedians?
“It’s cuckoo,” said Shelly Smith, who programs and hosts Ann Arbor’s 50 First Jokes show at The Ark, happening Tuesday, January 3 at 7:30 p.m. “It’s completely ridiculous.”
But that’s part of the fun, of course.
The show was the brainchild of comedian John F. O’Donnell, whom Smith met as part of the Ann Arbor comedy scene in the early 2000s. When O’Donnell moved back to New York more than a decade ago, he had the idea to gather comedians in Brooklyn to deliver their first new joke of the year.
“The first show was not exactly super-organized,” said Smith.
Now, though, 50 First Jokes has taken root in 10 different cities across the country, and three years ago, at O’Donnell’s urging, Smith brought the annual tradition to Ann Arbor. The show combines comedians of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels — from headliners to those now earning their stripes — and seats 25 at a time on stage, where they have a maximum of two minutes to lay their first joke of 2017 on the crowd. READ THE REST HERE