When you get to Jed’s basement, you may be alarmed. This is not a business establishment. Not at all. This is, most definitely, not a place that’s regulated by any government agency. If you ask a regular, though, they might say that’s the beauty of it. It’s idyllic, it’s anarchy. It’s alt.
When you find the house, you’ll follow the well-trodden path past the creaky gate and through the backyard. The front door is more of an ornament – it’s a functional passageway, but I’ve never seen it used. Most likely, you’ll start to smell (cigarette?) smoke and hear voices as you approach the back door. Not to qualify this, but many of those voices are male. Is this common at comedy open mics? Sure. I’m just a girl, pointing out what I see in the world.
People shoot the s*** in a narrow rock-laden clearing behind the house or inside before the mic starts at 6pm. It’s common to take breaks here at intervals throughout the mic – for a cigarette, some fresh air, or perhaps to avoid each other’s amateur comedy. Who’s really to say?
If you have a dayjob, getting to Jed’s for an early sign-up is a tall order. The list goes out at 5:30pm and, sources say, and some people start showing up by 4pm. FOUR O’CLOCK! They must really love basement comedy. And must not have daytime responsibilities. On a popular night, the mic may go for three or four hours. Boston comedy offers multiple Wednesday mics to even things out, but Jed’s became the most popular almost overnight.
Inside, people can be seen hanging out in the living room, where you’re sure to run into Hadley, a dog whose friendly-but-strong-preference-for-women-over-men-until-you-get-to-know-her quality can be jarring. Hadley and I get along fine.
The eponymous basement is the actual venue. Sigh, I just wanted to use ‘eponymous’ in a sentence.
A walk down the stairs and you’re in another world, lit and dank – no pun intended. Rugs line the floor of the room, with camping chairs set up for somewhere between 15 and 30 audience members. A skeleton labelled “Jed” looks onto the stage from behind the stairs. Around the corner, there’s a bar, sometimes equipped with refreshments (reminiscent of places the general public might want to go!). If he’s there, ask Sean Egan to make you a drink. I’m sober, but I hear he’s magic.
The residents of the house and favorite regulars of the mic take turns with hosting duties. Names are called out in blocks, with those “on deck” invited to wait their turn in the “green room”, a curtained off section of the basement with couches and a mysterious VIP vibe.
LADIES! Sometimes, ladies don’t want to hang at Jed’s. You don’t have to. Here, women can “bump”, or sign up on the list between people and take their turn on stage whenever they feel is right. Men have had their time. At Jed’s, women get to be audaciously self-serving. And I do so.
Everyone gets 5 minutes on stage, with a light at 4 (women get 6 minutes, with a light at 5).
This mic is great. Ask someone in the know for the address, and enjoy. You’ll find us creating and consuming Boston comedy.
Show and go:
BYOB, don’t be allergic to dogs
Article by Vally D
Featured Image from flickr.com