Ten years after Alex Grubard dropped out of Temple, he came back to pursue his career on Wednesday nights at Masters Bar & Restaurant.
Now a 28-year-old English major with a focus in creative writing, Grubard runs a comedy showcase held by Masters, located on the corner of 15th and Carlisle streets.
The former president of the Temple University Comedy Club said he had the opportunity to perform in the same lineup as comedians like Pete Holmes, Tommy Davidson and MADtv’s Bobby Lee.
Grubard said that when he noticed Masters was being built, he contacted the owner, Waylon Nelson, about the possibility of hosting a comedy show. He continued to follow up with Nelson and eventually when the bar opened, he said his wish came true.
Two weeks ago, Masters held its first comedy show and Grubard said it has been picking up speed. While the first show had about 25 audience members, the second was closer to 30.
“It was the perfect scenario,” Grubard said.
Grubard said he previously performed comedy shows at the Draught Horse, Pub Webb and Maxi’s Pizza, but didn’t feel the venues were the right fit.
“The way the comedy show works is that it’s a showcase and not an open mic,” Grubard said.
“There are no amateurs that perform in the showcase.”
The comedy show is also not only exclusive to student performers – local professionals also come out for the event.
“This ensures a quality comedy show,” Grubard said.
Nelson said he saw Grubard’s idea for a comedy night as a “unique opportunity to stand out” among all the bars surrounding campus.
Nelson said that as word spreads around Main Campus about Master’s, he hopes that the comedy show will become a huge success.
“There’s a big pool of comedians,” Nelson said. “We’re looking for a large, full-capacity crowd. We want to give students something different than just drinking at the bar.”
President of TU Comedy Nathaniel Margolis also performed at the most recent show.
“I didn’t do as well as I wanted, but it was fun being there,” Margolis said, laughing. “I went first and it seemed like [the audience] was afraid to laugh. Either that or I was just bad.”
Margolis said that after a while the audience warmed up and were reacting positively to the comedians as they came up.
Though Margolis was not initially scheduled to perform, a guest spot became available while he was helping Grubard promote the show, allowing him to take the stage.
“It’s fun getting mic time,” Margolis said. “If I could do this in 20 years and get paid doing it, I’d be happy.”
Jane Babian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org