Arts and Culture

A group of early-career stand-up comics from the region perform Thursday as part of a recurring event called the New Comics Showcase.

Organizer and local comic Creig Ewing, who is also behind the site Louisville Laughs, said he strives for a lineup of performers who are promising, funny and “putting in the work.”

“What we try to do is take comics who’ve been maybe doing it a year or less, are fairly new to it, and give them a stage and, hopefully, a good crowd to showcase what they can do,” Ewing said.

The event, which is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Aloft Louisville Downtown, features eight stand-up comics, plus special guest Jerrel Beamon from Dayton, Ohio. 

“I think he’s gonna go far in comedy,” Ewing said of Beamon, “because he really puts in the work, and he’s a funny guy.”

Ewing explained that the comic is great at “crowd work.”

“[Beamon] doesn’t do it in a kind of way that sometimes people are scared, ‘they’re gonna ask me a question and make fun of me,’” Ewing said. “It’s more getting the crowd involved. He’s a real high-energy guy. He just has a way of lifting up the whole room and making them laugh.”

Other performers, some of whom have a background in comedy, but are new to stand-up, include Lena Beamish, Nathan Alexander, Danielle Schwolow, Jake Macias, Kelli O’Toole, David Santos, David “Melman” Melvin and Esther Sturgeon.

Ewing started the New Comic Showcase as venues began to reopen during the pandemic. He’s found performers for the event, which happens about every few months, through open-mic nights at Louisville spots like The Caravan Comedy Club

It’s tough to get stage time when you’re new to the industry, Ewing said, and he wants to help talented comics make it.

“Comedy is difficult. But, you know, the ability to make people laugh… that’s the greatest feeling that you can get,” he said. “It’s just a wonderful thing.

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.