FLINT, Michigan—Seth Addison looks as if he walked right out of a 1980’s rock-n-roll dive bar. Long blonde hair flowing over an acid wash denim and leather jacket, he takes the stage, drink in hand, to prep the crowd for Comedy Night at Soggy Bottom Bar.
Addison started Comedy Night here at Soggy Bottom back in January 2015—and his motivation was simple: “I’m from Flint. My friends are in Flint.”
The 24-year-old has been making the rounds on the Southeast Michigan comedy circuit for about three years but organizes this Flint comedy night out of a commitment and determination to bring his craft to his community.
It adds a unique element for the growing downtown Flint scene, where Art Walk and Jazz Nights have flourished for years. The usual roster includes eight comics from the surrounding area.
“I kept having to come back home from Detroit and tell people about this amazing scene and these incredible shows,” he says, throwing back his hair and flashing a grin. “But no one would come see these comics with me, and I was tearing my hair with seeing this talent and none of my friends here would come see it.”
To coerce his friends and for kicks, Addison recalls saying, “If I deliver these comics 10 minutes from your house, for free, will you come see them? And that's how it started.”
It’s a once-a-month show on a Monday night. At the March show, the place is packed and a few others are standing along the back wall.
Scott Fischer of Royal Oak takes to the mic with a Steven Wright a la Mitch Hedberg delivery. Stories range from buying marijuana legally to his conversations with a police officer in the back of a cruiser.
“You know, actually, this is my first time to Flint,” says the comic dropping the slow voiced, delivery. “You’ve got a really good crowd here. Everyone is listening, no one’s looking on their phones like at bigger bars on a weeknight.”
Detroit comic Laura Witkowski talks about divorce, moving back to Michigan, being a pitbull owner, neighbor drama, and how difficulty inspires her jokes.
“Even if something is absurdly horrible or tragic, I believe there is still humor to be found there, and I
think, great healing in that,” she says.
Ray Hollifield’s act includes talking about being a father, awkwardly declining advances from friends of the same sex, and going to his 20-year high school reunion.
“It's about storytelling and being a little punchy, people want to hear and relate to real stuff,” Hollifield says.
Comedy Night at Soggy Bottom is every third Monday of the month. Soggy Bottom Bar is located at 613 Martin Luther King Avenue, in Flint.