Known best for live music, Radio Bean smashes with Comedy Wolf’s open mic debut


Mary McLellan

Stand-up comedian Nico D’Elisa performs at the Comedy Wolf Open Mic night at Radio Bean Nov. 3. The event will reoccur the first Thursday of every month.

Striking red and yellow lights beamed down at Radio Bean Nov. 3 as local comedians bustled through to the sign-up sheet, eagerly awaiting their call to the stage.

Local comedian and musician Max Higgins ‘19 hosted the first-ever Comedy Wolf Open Mic night at Radio Bean. For a venue celebrated for live music, it was a pleasant surprise to be treated to laughs instead.

“We have a little light box that people slip pieces of paper into to sign-up,” Higgins said. “Because it’s a limited amount of time, I have an exact amount of slots available.”

The show’s comedians were scheduled to perform from 7:30-9 p.m., with each of them given four minutes to throw any material they wanted at the audience. 

Stand-up comic and sophomore Saylor Flannery was delighted by the turnout at the first Comedy Wolf.

“The crowd was awesome, people were super receptive and energetic and that makes going on stage so much easier and more enjoyable,” Flannery said.

In her four minutes on stage, Flannery regaled the crowd with the story of her Halloween night, elaborating on how much she’d been crushing on people in Anakin Skywalker costumes.

“Shit, I’d help him kill those kids,” she joked.

But many more topics were hit than Halloween. Every stand-up comic was bringing something fresh to the table, whether it was their suggestive Instagram depression survey advertisements or their aggressive barber nicknamed “bitch-tit.”

Junior Isaac Tabb made it into attendance at the show and was thrilled with the joke-filled performances.

“All of the performers were hilarious,” Tabb said. “I honestly thought many of them were professional comedians, which left me thinking, ‘how’d I get in here for free?’”

That’s another great thing about Comedy Wolf—unlike many other Radio Bean events, audience members don’t have to pay any cover fee for a good time. 

In fact, this is one of the reasons Higgins was so eager to host stand-up comics at Radio Bean, they said.

“I go here all the time for music, but I really wanted to bring comedians into [Radio Bean],” Higgins said. “It has a very particular identity that you can simply walk by and walk in. It’s open doors here, and very few comedy sets are like that.”

With a high level of turnout on the show’s debut, Higgins had the Comedy Wolf Open Mic night looking more like a staple of Burlington nightlife than any event’s first gig. 

Junior Gemma Diforio thought much of the event’s success had to do with the crowd’s support for newcomers.

“Everyone was so welcoming, and whenever someone said it was their first time doing stand-up everyone just cheered, which was very sweet,” Diforio said. “Whenever someone made a mistake, or said they needed to look at their notes, people would reassure them and cheer.”

It can be intimidating to perform stand-up at any time, but Higgins thinks anyone with even an inkling of desire to try should absolutely give it a shot.

“If you think you have it in you, trust your gut, trust that you know what’s funny,” Higgins said. “We’re all thinking funny stuff all the time—after that it’s all about putting it into joke format with a punchline.”

Another one of the night’s stand-up performers, Nico D’Elisa, said it never hurts in the beginning to bring a notebook that lists your jokes.

“One thing that can happen when you start stand-up is a joke you think will get a laugh doesn’t, and suddenly your set erases from your mind,” D’Elisa said. “So it always helps to have it written out somewhere to fall back on.”

Whether students are inclined to get out of the house for some laughs or perform on the stage themselves, it’s clear Higgins’ Comedy Wolf show at Radio Bean should be at the top of their bucket list. 

Radio Bean will be hosting the event on the first Thursday of every month, so get out your calendars and circle Dec. 1 in red. You’re guaranteed a great time.