Grandma’s Eulogy #11: No More Grandma’s – by Matt Kona
One of our favorite comedy clubs has just closed its doors. As such, we’re having a few comedians write eulogies about their beloved, Grandma(‘s Basement Comedy Club.) This is the #11th…
Regardless of whether the scratched up, Benny Bosh autographed banner of a stock photo old lady and a 1950’s radio mic hangs up ever again, Grandma’s Basement, as most of us know it, is over.
It was a tough room. That’s what a comic needs, to try to get good.
I first heard about the open mic through the Kvetch board on The Comedy Studio’s website. I just had an address. I didn’t bother to jot down any other information. I knew it was at a bar. That section of Boylston street only had two bars at the time, the Baseball Tavern and The Ram Rod. I went to both and got confused looks and no help. I then looked across the street and saw ‘Tiki hideaway’ on the marquee of the Howard Johnson’s and went in.
Year’s later, a fellow comic, Laura Crawford, said to me about that set “I didn’t like your jokes, I didn’t like YOU.” Fair enough!
One night I coaxed Benny into letting myself and John Paul co-host the mic while he was away. It was my first experience in that role and I loved being able to tag people’s jokes, connect them in some way to something I had and play around with John Paul, one of the first people I became friends with at open mics. I went to the first booked show there which had a low single digit audience turnout and Benny let the comics that watched all do a few minutes after the inaugural headliner, Steve McConnon.
Over the years I got to do sets on weekend shows, host a weekday showcase, a live podcast, then a storytelling show/podcast (both of which were called “Comics Coming Up” and able to be heard on iTunes or MattKona.com if you’re feeling nostalgic already) and of course a yearly New Year’s Eve show called Y2Kona.
I tried to hide it but it warmed my heart to preside over a room full of people who all were drawn together by comedy, but especially this little tiki lounge in a decrepit hotel.
Grandmas’s gave me a lot, but I clawed and clawed to get it.
I know some people that don’t do comedy anymore who still liked to go to Grandma’s and hang out because of that atmosphere. They’re trying to recapture it, I guess. I’ve never bothered to ask them if it worked, I don’t think it could.