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This content is in partnership with Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Everyone wants to laugh. Whether its chuckle, chortle or full - on ROTFL, most people want more humor - and less drama and sadness - in their lives. The Midwest has produced major Laugh - makers thanks to Chicago's prestigious Second City improvisational school with graduates like Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. And MILWAUKEE groom and / or was birthplace of Great wits from the late Gene Wilder to present - day personalities like Will Durst, Frank Caliendo, Charlie Berenz, Tom Clark and Johnny Beehner. In 1984, Joe Sanfelippo Open Wisconsin's first Comedy Club, Bonkerz, on the ground floor of his Downtown music venue and nightclub, Papagaio. Milwaukee is always on par with other cities in terms of talent, they just dont have numbers like bigger cities, say Sanfelippo. Today, Sanfelippo is president of Bonkerz Las Vegas. He also partners with Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to bring comedians to Northern Lights Theater numerous times every month. Potawatomi has a long history of hosting popular comedians, including Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, Jay Leno, Carlos Mencia and Sinbad. Visit Potawatomis Comedy Show schedule for details. When Matt Kemple moved to MILWAUKEE from Columbus 15 years ago, and later found organization MILWAUKEE Comedy and launched MILWAUKEE Comedy Festival in 2006. This year, MILWAUKEE Comedy Festival, which takes place July 21 - Aug. 5, features more than 18 events and 50 comics from MILWAUKEE and around the United States. Kemple said he had NO intention of building such a large comedy scene in MILWAUKEE, but his early efforts were extremely well received and so he kept going. Milwaukee Comedy started booking 12 shows a month this year, said Kemple. According to many people in the biz, there is something special about Midwest comedians that resonates with audiences throughout the country. Comedians that come out of MILWAUKEE have a certain charm, niceness, that makes them instantly likable and accessible, says artistic director for CsZ MILWAUKEE, Jake Shaw. Csz is home of ComedySportz - which started in MILWAUKEE in 1984 and went on to become a worldwide organization that grooms talents like Wayne Brady, Iliza Shiesinger and Tom Clark. After performing in now - defunct Kalts on Oakland Avenue, ComedySportz moved to their current location in Walkers Point where they perform and teach workshops. Comedysportz definitely establish local audience for both sketch and improv, says Sammy Arechar, comedian and Co - Founder / Producer Of Cream City Comedy Festival. Although Milwaukee's contribution to the national comedy scene will never be compared with New York, Los Angeles or Las Vegas, it continues to play an extremely valuable role, especially for up - and - coming comedians. The Midwest is really a great Incubator for comedians, says Dan Deibert, MILWAUKEE - base comedian for 30 years. Audiences here are kind and understanding. Comedians have a better chance of getting a gig in the Midwest, ideally in tourist towns like the Wisconsin Dells, and therefore, can work on honing their talents in front of a live audience.
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