What do television actor Charlie Sheen and local musician Robbie DaCosta have in common?
What do television actor Charlie Sheen and local musician Robbie DaCosta have in common? Not that much, but the comedians of Black Market Comedy like to roast each of them.
"A big part of our comedy is about being from the Rogue Valley," says funnyman Scott May. "It's a fun place to live, and there's a lot to talk about. The professional world wants to roast Pamela Anderson and Charlie Sheen, but we want to roast people that we know from around here."
May, along with stand-ups Dan McLaren and Levi Anderson, are the core members of Black Market Comedy, a small collective of comics in Southern Oregon.
The three met in 2003 at the open-mic comedy sessions once held at Lithia Fountain and Grill on Main Street in Ashland. Now the members of Black Market Comedy host open mics at such venues as Tabu, Hong Kong Bar and Oak Tree Northwest in Ashland and LodeStar in Jacksonville.
They'll host an open mic at 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at Caldera Tap House, 31 Water St. For more shows, see www.blackmarketcomedy.com.
"Comedy is one of those niche things," May says. "There are fewer and fewer clubs that book professional stand-ups. I think it's because of the economy."
Chadwicks Pub in Medford is the last venue to host regional comedians every Friday and Saturday night. Aldo Juliano and Brian Diamond perform there Oct. 21-22.
In 2006, May, McLaren and Anderson competed in a "Bob & Tom Show" Amateur Comedy Laugh-off at Chadwick's.
"It was like 'Last Comic Standing,' " May says. "We competed every weekend for four weeks. I was fortunate enough to win, and the prize was supposed to be airline tickets to a Bob and Tom comedy show. But I got some money instead."
May's comedy is observational with a redneck slant, he says. He grew up in rural Eastern Oregon and listened to comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Jeff Foxworthy.
"I joke about my job, about growing up in a small town," May says. "My high school was so small, I had to share a locker with my cousin. We had just broken up, so it was a little awkward."
McLaren's comedy is about his relationship with his girlfriend, being a stepfather to her three kids and how the experience has changed his life. McLaren accepted a dare to compete in the Amateur Comedy Laugh-off.
"Some jokes worked, and some didn't," he says. "But it was life-changing."
There is no cover for the Black Market Comedy open-mic session, and the shows are never censored. Call 541-482-4677.