The shows are scheduled for the second Tuesday of every month to help build excitement for each act. Hampton believes that once a month gets more people to attend more than weekly or bi-monthly shows.
“We’re making people feel that they can’t afford to miss each show,” Hampton said.
The shows have been steadily increasing in popularity, with over 180 people at February’s show, over three times the size of the first show in September. The crowds are also receptive of the jokes, according to multiple performers, which makes the shows more fun for acts and attendees alike.
“This town is definitely ready for comedy,” February headliner Johnny Beehner said. “The crowds are a lot of fun and looking for a laugh.”
The larger crowds have also inspired other MQT natives to try a stand up act of their own. Two locals, Rosemary Fields and Alex Ratliff will take to the stage for their first ever act.
“Its nerve wracking. All my friends are going to be there and its in front of that hometown crowd,” Ratliff said. “If I was anywhere else, I could get away with whatever I want. But if I don’t do too hot, I’m going to have to see these people in class and around town.”
That local involvement was one of Hampton’s goals for MQT after moving back to MQT from Baltimore in 2013. Creating local opportunities helps other MQT acts from traveling to places like Chicago or Madison, Wisc. for just a few minutes on stage.
“Not having to travel to a show is great,” said MQT comedian Jordan Asayag. “You would hop in a car and drive four hours one way just to do a three-minute act and drive four hours home.”
The show is 18-and-up and the doors open at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are available at the door, $7 for general public, $5 for students. Dia De Los Tacos will be available during the show.
Brice Burge is the Editor in Chief of MQT Social Scene. He can be reached at briceMQT@gmail.com.