It’s been a long time coming, but it wasn’t planned that way.
Juneau comedy collective Club Baby Seal will perform its first Juneau shows in slightly more than a year Friday, but the lengthy pause in performances was a quirk of comedians’ living their lives.
“We took a little hiatus and some people, like Corin (Hughes-Skandijs) moved away, Alicia Hughes-Skandijs is on the Assembly,” said Club Baby Seal member Allison Holtkamp in an interview. “We all still work together to create our material for the most part. We’re excited to be back at it.”
While the two Friday night shows at the Gold Town Theater will be light by two Hughes-Skandijses, the show will otherwise feature familiar club members Holtkamp, Nathaniel Williams, Kirsa Hughes-Skandijs and Joshua Claeys. Ericka Lee, new to Club Baby Seal but not Juneau stages, will emcee.
Holtkamp took some time ahead of the performances to fill the Capital City Weekly in on why the shows are happening now, how one writes jokes for an event over a year-long break and why comedians working together makes sense in Juneau.
The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
Why is this happening now?
I will say, Nate Williams is kind of like a machine with comedy. He’s always consistently cranking out new material, so he was kind of like a big motivating factor for all of us to work on some stuff and make a show happen. I feel like he’s been talking to me for months, he’s like, “We gotta do comedy.” I feel like he kind of got us going.
Is there any hope that these start to become a more regular occurrence?
I think it depends on what’s going on in our lives. For a couple of years we were really Club Baby Seal-focused, cranking out material constantly.
I think it kind of just depends on that. It really just is a matter of having the time. I would love it, but, would I love it, or would that just be another thing?
That makes sense. I notice that when I got busier with work and life, that’s when my crummy music blog stopped getting new posts.
Exactly, but we love working together, and it’s always fun, and we’ll probably have the show on Friday, and be like, “Oh my God, we have to do this all the time,” because it’s always so much fun.
Something I always ask when previewing an event, but can you sell people on the idea of coming out to the show?
There’s a lot going on in the world, and I think it’d feel good to just come and laugh at it all. I think it will feel good for me to do that — to make fun of it all.
Over the past year or so, have you had thoughts and gone, “Oh, there might be a bit in there?” how have you been mining for material?
If I get a bit, an idea for a joke, I’ll usually put it in my phone, but if I don’t have a show to look forward to, when I go back to it, I won’t know what it means, so it’s nice that I have this show to kind of force me to think, “Oh, that’s funny, can I use that.” If I make somebody laugh, I’ll go, “OK, cool, they laughed. I should write that down.”
Have you been hearing everyone’s jokes rehearsing leading up to this, does it seem like perspectives have changed in a year and change?
It’s one of my favorite things to get together with everyone. We call it punch up night. We’ll see if it’s funny and see if it works.
I probably wouldn’t want to do a show without that.
That’s like when big headliners end up going to random clubs to work out material, except there’s really not corresponding venue to work out material in Juneau.
That’s exactly why we have to get together.
Know & Go
What: Club Baby Seal comedy shows.
When: 9 and 10:30 p.m., Friday.
Where: Gold Town Nickelodeon, 171 Shattuck Way.
Admission: Tickets cost $20 for general admission or $25 for VIP admission in advance, or $25 general admission and $30 VIP admission at the door. Tickets can be purchased at theclubbabyseal.com. Tickets include the price of a alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. The show is for people 21 and older.
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.