Comedy Through the Looking Glass: comedians and their differences

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Feb. 8, 2023

DeWitt, Mich. — Looking Glass Brewery Company held one of many comedy nights on Feb. 4, consisting of five comics.

In the basement of an old church-turned-brewery, Comedy Through the Looking Glass hosted four comics: Jordan Hanson, Louis Michael, Nicole Melnyk, and Dave Wellfare, who created laughs throughout the room with the help of special guest comic Jake Silberman. 

Differing styles of comedy, superstition, presentation and timing in the business made for a unique show. 

Louis Michael, a comedian of seven years, opened the show with a 20-minute set. He described his style as “zany and manic,” as well as non-observational. Michael began in comedy via local open mic nights and has succeeded from there. Years later, nerves still get to him.

“On stage, I’m still trying to figure it out,” Michael said. Additionally, he copes with nerves with “copious amounts of caffeine.”

“I like trying to make people laugh, and I’ve been doing OK of that,” Michael said. 

After Michael, Jordan Hanson performed. He is newer in comedy, with five years under his belt, but said he was not very good for at least the first four years. Hanson also began from open mic nights and made his way up the ladder. He describes his style as “nervous” and “alternative.”

“I’m trying to connect ideas that aren’t really based in a hardcore theme or anecdote,” said Hanson.

 His superstitious pre-show ritual is hydration.

“It’s like the only time I drink water,” said Hanson. “I’m not a big water drinker. Probably why I don’t feel good most of the time.”

Guest comic Jake Silberman took the microphone next. Silberman has been doing comedy for 10 years. He said he had always been a funny kid, and after listening to comedians’ podcasts, he tried an open mic. He described his style as loose, very crowd-interactive and improvisational.

“I don’t see a lot of people doing, kind of, the looseness that I’m trying to go for,” said Silberman. “It is hard to stand out because there’s a lot of comics now. There’s way more comics than when I started, and there seem to be more and more every day. You have to work really hard to find the little things that make you different”.

Next on stage came Nicole Melnyk, a comic who offers a “spunky, unique and fresh” side of comedy.

“I count how many shows I do, and when I got to 365, I celebrated my one-year,” said Melnyk about her time in comedy. “I’m a little bit over 365, so in my head, I’m just over a year. So that’s the mentality I want toward my development.”

Melnyk has now reached about 390 shows in total and also began her career at open mic nights. After being voted class clown in school and making more mature jokes than other kids, she realized her knack for comedy. 

Getting over her stage fright was a struggle, so Melnyk’s pre-show ritual consists of her telling herself she’ll be OK. But, she said still gets nervous every single time. 

Melnyk was voted as Lansing’s best comic in both 2021 and 2022 and is most known for being a regular at Future of Comedy, according to Eventbrite.

The final comic of the night was Dave Wellfare, a Bath local. Wellfare has been in comedy for more than 10 years. He got his start with a friend, who is also a comedian. 

Wellfare realized he was funny at age 3 and kept going from there. He received a class clown superlative in high school and got his start at open mic nights after people told him to give it a shot. 

“I have a lot of energy, I like to talk with my face,” said Wellfare, when asked about his comedy style. “My energy, my enthusiasm. I like being up there. I try to be relatable.” 

Wellfare likes to keep his outfits consistent when doing shows as well.

“I do wear the same shoes and try to wear the same kind of socks. I don’t know why,” Wellfare said.

Looking Glass Brewing at 115 N Bridge St, DeWitt, MI 48820, holds comedy shows every first and third Saturday of the month according to Eventbrite. Every show introduces new comedians. The next show is March 3 at 8:30 p.m. and has been moved upstairs due to growing popularity.

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