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Comedy fills downtown with laughter

Posted May 5th, 2016

 

Looking just a couple years back to his first gig at The Stones Throw -- a nervous five-minute set for a few friends and a relatively empty bar -- comedian Eric Christenson could not have predicted Eau Claire's comedy scene cultivating into such a religiously-followed local attraction. 
 
Christenson, a managing editor of VolumeOne Magazine by day, is one of many Eau Claire funny folk who took a leap of faith by stepping on stage at a downtown open mic, leading to the cultivation of the troupe known today as Clear Water Comedy. 
 
Christenson said comedy is an art form that did not exist on stage in Eau Claire before the Clear Water gang. The Plus proudly hosts events for $3, with a free drink ticket included. Comedians Cullen Ryan and Ryan Kahl take on the booking legwork, often billing nationally-renowned headliners. The venue regularly brims with laughs, bringing in crowds of roughly 80 on a weekly basis.
 
On March 4, Clear Water celebrated its one-year anniversary by fittingly hosting two comics from Peoria, Illinois, Drift Roberts and Jeff Bailey, who performed at one of the group's very first shows. Over this time, Christenson said The Plus developed into a stellar venue for both newcomers trying their hand at the mic because it's a bar, not a formal comedy club setting.
 
In fact, proven to be popular, is Open Mic Night, which is every Tuesday.
 
For regulars, too, Clear Water Comedy adds to already inviting atmosphere for folks who would otherwise just being coming in to hang out and enjoy a beer and some food, Christenson said.
 
"I just like being there because the energy and happiness that comedy brings to me and to a lot of the other comics is amazing," Christenson said. " It's like any creative outlet, any art form, and you get to spreads joy and laughter to your community ... I love it."
For more information about The Plus and their event schedule, check out their website here!