Comedy club celebrates anniversary

Eric Thompson got plenty of warnings when he told people he wanted to bring standup comedy to downtown Warren.

“A lot of people, with any new venture, say, ‘Hey it might not work,’ ‘You might lose money,’ ‘You might lose your rear end.”‘

Thompson’s wallet – and rear – are in tact.

The Warren Comedy Club at Sunrise Inn will celebrate its first anniversary Saturday with a show featuring Dennis Ross and Gary Keshner.

“It’s exceeded my expectations,” Thompson said. “We’ve filled that room every single show … Our region is starved for quality entertainment, and it really filled a niche.”

Thompson said he plans to stick to the once-a-month performances for the time being. If the crowds continue to grow, he would consider adding a second show on Saturday rather than expanding to two nights.

For the anniversary show, Thompson is bringing in two New York-area comedians.

Ross has worked with such comedians as Lewis Black and Chris Rock and has several television appearances on his resume, including a half-dozen performances on Canada’s Comedy Network. He also has done several USO tours, performing for U.S. troops in Japan, Korea and Iraq.

Keshner has worked at many of New York’s top clubs and describes himself as a combination of “Jackie Gleason, Buddy Hackett, Rodney Dangerfield, a pinch of oregano and some gouda cheese.”

“Gary is a big favorite at every single comedy club he shows up at,” Thompson said. “He’s just awesome.”