story and photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti
Water dripped from the ceiling. A broken speaker cleverly tied to a pole fashioned with a belt and a guitar strap beamed the voices.
“We are really DIY, like, we won’t even buy a real strap to hold that. That’s something you don’t get at a venue,” host and musician Bobby Comparda, 26, half-jokes.
“Eh! It’s the Lousy Weather Media Basement Comedy Show! Eh!” rattles host, Sean Ast, 26, of Goodyear Heights. It’s his basement. It’s also Comparda’s basement. The buzzed crowd woo’d loudly and clapped.
Eleven white plastic chairs filled three rows deep behind a small black futon. Another black futon squared off a makeshift stage. Two dining room chairs, two PA speakers laid down as benches and a lawn chair were placed to let you know the hosts had thought of everything you could possibly sit on. Backs lined the wall up the stairs.
There was even a guy sitting on an exercise machine.
“I’m claustrophobic and it’s near the stairs,” guest Tony Sansonetti, 28, of Tallmadge, told me. “It’s a unique seating area. I can see the stage, crowd reactions and sound booth. Also, I like to think I can help direct people to the hidden standing area behind the booth after the show starts but mainly, I’m just a loner.”
On nights dedicated to the comedy shows, the hosts bring in their favorite local comedians and musicians, picking new acts they explore between shows. Host Paul Wolfe, 27, of Akron, proactively goes to local comedy shows and reaches out to comedians and musicians he wants onboard.
The idea of having basement comedy shows spun off of Ast and Wolfe’s experiences of being in bands and playing in basements. It’s to “bring the comedy world to punk rock,” said Ast. “I think shows in a basement are the funnest thing in the entire world,” adds Comparda.
On March 21, the LWM boys held their third comedy show where comedians Matt Brady, Erik Cribley, Willis Gordon and musicians Bobby Vaughn and Comparda were featured. Daniel Palmentera of My Mouth Is The Speaker was also pulled on stage by the crowds cooing that he and Vaughn play “At Your Funeral” by Saves The Day. (They all ruled.)
Two boxes stacked on a dryer cradled a black HP laptop with a video-streaming camera attached so people could follow via social media sites. To thank those who came, pay the comedians, and offset the cost of their podcast dues, the trio set up a raffle.
“The whole reason why we do this is because we host a podcast and we have all these people on it and we want to showcase their talents,” Wolfe said.
Comparda added, “We do the podcast to showcase anything that goes on locally, art-wise.”
“We celebrate everything about this city,” Ast said.
To catch the next show, ‘Like’ Lousy Weather Media Podcast Channel on Facebook.
For podcast episodes visit http://lousyweathermedia.podbean.com/feed