Indiana is home to some pretty funny people. Classic comedian Red Skelton is from the Hoosier state, and David Letterman was born and raised in Irvington on the east side of Indianapolis. But it’s not all about past glory here in Indy: The Circle City’s comedy scene continues to nurture some of the funniest up-and-comers in the country.
“Few cities have the comedy community that Indianapolis has built,” said Michael Malone, a comedian who cut his teeth in Indianapolis’ comedy clubs. “I travel 46-plus weeks a year, so I’m confident in saying that I’ve covered most of the country, and the Indy scene, specifically [Morty's Comedy Joint], continues to come out on top in its support of comedians, both mature and those just starting out.”
Maybe it’s not so surprising that Indy is famous for nurturing the comedians of tomorrow. After all, Hoosier hospitality is one of our most prized assets. We’re a community committed to helping others succeed, and according to Malone, it’s that generosity that makes Indy stand out.
“In most cities, if a comic bombs he bombs: end of story. There are few competing egos in Indy. Everyone has the same mindset that respects comedy as a craft and wants to see each other get better,” said Malone.
If you’re looking to catch a comedy show in town, you can’t go wrong with ComedySportz, the Mass Ave staple offering improv shows geared toward families, as well as some late-night events where the comedy turns a bit more adult. Cracker’s Comedy Club, with locations both Downtown and in Broad Ripple, offers a variety of comedy acts and even the odd burlesque show or two. Malone’s old stomping ground at Morty’s Comedy Joint also offers up a diverse slate of comedians on the northeast side of the city.
For a true local’s experience, Malone recommends The Sinking Ship. Every Sunday night, this Broad Ripple bar and restaurant offers some of the best stand up in town. “The Sinking Ship has been doing a really great job with bringing in a special event names yet equally supporting the local comics as well. They have awesome one night special events, and the vibe is incredibly laid back and fun. Everyone should check out a show at the Sinking Ship at least once,” said Malone.
Ready to dive in and see what makes the Indy comedy scene so special? You can catch Malone at Morty’s Comedy Joint on Thursday, December 20 for a special 10 p.m. show. As a little preview, we asked Malone to tell us the funniest thing about Indianapolis. His answer? Our famous roundabouts.
“If you are not sure what a roundabout is, what we as society have done is take out the street lights that have been working for us for thousands of years and replaced them with a circle of death, where you sit wondering if you are faster than the other cars in that same circle,” said Malone.
Where are your favorite places to laugh in Indy?