Open mic gives new comics a chance

Darby Cash, a comedian from San Dimas, performs at the Claremont tea house, CK Cafe, for their second Open Mic hosted by FeedThatFunny, a comedy group supporting comedians in Southern California, on Feb. 22. Each comedian had five minutes to crack jokes with an entry fee of one drink from CK Cafe. / photo by Sarah Van Buskirk
Darby Cash, a comedian from San Dimas, performs at the Claremont tea house, CK Cafe, for their second Open Mic hosted by FeedThatFunny, a comedy group supporting comedians in Southern California, on Feb. 22. Each comedian had five minutes to crack jokes with an entry fee of one drink from CK Cafe. / photo by Sarah Van Buskirk

Kelli Makenna Kuttruff
Arts Editor

The FeedThatFunny group of comedians hosted the second of their new series of bi-weekly Thursday open-mic events on Feb. 22 at CK Cafe.

About 30 people sat in the chilly outdoor area sipping warm tea and laughing with the lineup of comics at the tea house located at 109 N. Yale Ave. in Claremont.

Audience sign-ups for the mic opened 30 minutes before the show for any person who wanted the opportunity to show off their funny side in front of a crowd of comedy lovers. 

FeedThatFunny is a group of comics founded by Darby Cash. Cash and his group of about seven fellow comedian friends have made people laugh at different open mics for about a year and a half.

The group advertises these open-mic shows for comedy, but they are also open to anyone signing up to show off their other skills as well. They give an open stage, a loud mic and a welcoming audience to anyone whose artistic side is waiting to prevail.

Cash gives anyone a chance at these events and said that all performers at open-mics get nervous, but that the key for anyone performing is to just stand by what they say up there. 

“I’m very much about giving people a shot,” Cash said. “This is an open mic, so I have newer comics that will feature if I see it in them, as well as comics that are on the road touring the country… I’m trying to be diverse and give a little bit of both sides of comedy, the up and comer and the guy who’s been doing it a while.”

He entered the comedy scene by accident three years ago, and wanted to bring comedy back into Claremont through FeedThatFunny open-mics. Everyone who signs up and performs will get about five minutes, and featured acts will get about ten to keep the show moving. 

“I was always kind of the guy trying to crack a joke or something,” Cash said. “I just like laughter and people smiling, and so that’s just something I fell in love with a few years ago by accident… it’s consumed a lot of my life and I have no regrets.”

Comedian of three years George Guzman got his start at open-mics and is now an opener for well-known comedian Jeff Garcia. This is his first time doing a FeedThatFunny open mic, and was brought into the group by Cash.

He first fell in love with comedy as a kid when he saw a recording of a comic doing standup at the end of a wrestling pay-per-view he borrowed from his friend. 

Now that Guzman followed that love and made it his career, he said he feels like himself when he’s on stage performing. 

“I feel intimate, like therapy,” Guzman said. “I guess I’m just exposing everything from my life in a funny way… I feel like I just want to be myself up there… I hope that’s what I’m giving off.”

La Puente comedian Tox makes the crowd laugh at the CK Cafe’s Open Mic hosted by local comedy group FeedThatFunny on Feb. 22. Tox performs regularly at local places like the Laugh Factory and Chatterbox. / photo by Sarah Van Buskirk
La Puente comedian Tox makes the crowd laugh at the CK Cafe’s Open Mic hosted by local comedy group FeedThatFunny on Feb. 22. Tox performs regularly at local places like the Laugh Factory and Chatterbox. / photo by Sarah Van Buskirk

Isiah Starks and Timmy Maldonado co-hosted the open mic and kept the line-up seamless by telling jokes in between sets and introducing the next performers. Both hosts just merged with FeedThatFunny to be involved in these open-mic events.

Starks has been doing comedy for four years and encountered great comics along the way, which he is now bringing to Claremont.

“The most rewarding thing is making people laugh,” Starks said. “Making people laugh is like a drug, it’s addicting. The energy you get on that stage when you tell a joke and everybody just starts cracking up is amazing.”

Maldonado has been doing comedy for five years and said that one of the most gratifying feelings for a comic is the experience of working on a joke for years until it finally makes sense enough to land with an audience, which can happen at these events. This open mic gave anyone the chance to speak openly and take a shot at showing their funny side. 

“(We’re) just trying to make people laugh while also building a community of people that want to share joy,” Maldonado said.

Frequent supporter of the FeedThatFunny events Carl Roy said that this new bi-weekly open mic is the funniest place on the planet on Thursday nights with the best lineup. 

“Come to Clare-Clare (Claremont),” Roy said. “Come here and I tell you, you will laugh, you will be entertained, and you will have a freaking good time.”

Kelli Makenna Kuttruff can be reached at kelli.kuttruff@laverne.edu.

Kelli Makenna Kuttruff is a senior communications major with an emphasis in public relations. She is the arts editor of the Campus Times, and is in her second semester as a staff writer.

Sarah Van Buskirk is a senior journalism major with a concentration in print and online journalism. She is the Spring 2024 editorial director for the Campus Times and has recently served as editor-in-chief, sports editor and staff writer. She is also currently a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine, and a staff writer for La Verne Magazine.

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