Arts & Culture

B.GOOD: A Chance for Comedy and Community on Monday Nights

By Daniel Jordan

There’s a secret I’d like to tell you about. It’s something many people think is impossible, but it’s true. You can go out and have a fun and unique experience on a Monday night. Every Monday night, in fact.

Nestled in the heart of the Old Port, B.GOOD Burgers graciously hosts the best stand-up comedy open mic in town. There are many open mics across the southern Maine area, but only two of them cater to comedy. And only B.GOOD is accessible to anyone and everyone. You don’t have to be into the nightlife — the mic starts at seven and lasts about an hour. You don’t have to be in the know about the (actually, surprisingly vibrant) Portland comedy scene, and if you’d like to be, this is a great place to start. You don’t have to be a comedian. Anybody and everybody is encouraged to experience live comedy as an audience member. Treat yourself and enjoy a burger and some free laughs.

Of course, if you’re interested in trying stand-up comedy, it is wholly recommended that you check out B.GOOD. It is an intimate, non-intimidating environment full of helpful and encouraging voices. If you think to yourself, “Well, I’m not funny,” that’s good! That means you’re already better than half the comics who think they have gold in their notebook, only to get up and spout nonsensical ramblings about Count Chocula.

It is an open mic — the point is to try new things. And if you want to try something new, something fun, something daring, or something that generally impresses people but is actually very easy, you should try telling jokes.

You don’t need to drop money on a specialized class, B.GOOD is the best place to learn comedy. Almost every week at B.GOOD the sets are open to criticism. Meaning, if you like,  the comics in the audience (and the normies if they’re there) will give you immediate feedback and suggestions on your material. And don’t worry, they all pretend to be jaded and cynical, but the local comics are so happy to see a new face (and finally hear a new joke) in the scene that they are always delighted to give you a suggestion. And they’ll let you know where else comedy happens, and who to talk to (now you’re in the know!)

In addition to the “workshop” aspects, the B.GOOD open mic is always setting itself apart from other participatory forms of entertainment. The host, the lovely Nikki Martin, is like your cool, hippy stepmom that you’re thrilled to see every Monday. Nikki is insanely inventive and is always trying new things with the time she shares with us. She’s had comics answer prompts on the spot, or react to daily news. Last week she brought her Nintendo Switch and we played Quiplash! Picture all of us adults in a burger place playing video games together like we’re 10-year-olds at a sleepover. Now picture yourself. You’re having fun too!

Let me take a moment because you are probably not in the know (not yet, anyways) about what a typical open mic looks like. Well, actually, a typical open mic looks like a bunch of bitter dudes in leather, carrying acoustic guitars and wondering why nobody has recognized their genius amongst the 30 other names on the list. A typical comedy open mic looks like this: fewer people who are slightly less bitter, who drink beer to kill time while the host runs 30 minutes late, so they can spout something dirty or unimaginative.

The comedy open mic at B. GOOD on Exchange Street is atypical. Because it’s early in the evening, everybody is mostly sober and happy to still have their whole night ahead of them. Nikki is always the first one there, she says hello to everybody, she keeps up with your personal lives and creates an atmosphere that allows everybody to not only be friendly with one another, but to be friends with one another. If you attend the B.GOOD open mic you have a bunch of new friends, and we all have one new one.

The B.GOOD open mic is more than an open mic, it’s more than a place where you can work out some jokes. The B.GOOD open mic is an opportunity for community and connection. It’s a place where you can express yourself with your words, a place where you won’t be judged, but you will appraised (for the better). B.GOOD is a place where you can grow as a comedian, as a storyteller and as a person.

So don’t believe anybody who says there’s nothing to do on a Monday. Instead tell them “I’ve got a secret for you, you stupid idiot,” then politely inform them how wrong they are. This Monday, come to B.GOOD on Exchange Street and enjoy a laugh; bring your kids and laugh at the comic that tries desperately not to talk about his dick. And definitely, if you’re up for it, tell those jokes you’ve tossing around in your head forever. We’d all love to hear them.

Categories: Arts & Culture

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