Local comedians take center stage in Wilmington this weekend

Updated: Dec. 27, 2018 at 10:02 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - For its final weekend shows of 2018, Dead Crow Comedy Room in downtown Wilmington is staying local.

Four Wilmington-area stand-up comedians — Wills Maxwell, Billy Raim, Brian Piccolo and Matt Coghlan — are the headline acts Friday and Saturday night with several other locals opening on each show. Maxwell and Raim are performing Friday at 7 and 9:30 p.m., respectively, followed by Piccolo at 7 and Coghlan at 9:30 on Saturday.

Clubs almost always reserve weekends for national acts, but Dead Crow co-owner Timmy Sherrill said giving locals headline time is mutually beneficial.

"They're here 52 weeks out of the year," Sherrill said of Wilmington-based comedians like Maxwell, Raim, Piccolo and Coghlan. "I think it's only right, if they're gonna support the club week after week, that everyone gets a shot. Not everyone gets to that level, but when they do, we try to utilize that. They're the ones that helped us build this club so they deserve to not be overlooked."

Deciding who among the local crew gets weekend shows isn't terribly complicated, Sherrill said. Basically, Dead Crow's bosses pay close attention to which comedians have 30-45 minutes of material and who is getting the most stage time at Dead Crow and other Wilmington venues.

Sherrill made it clear however that this isn’t some charity situation for local comics. These are paid gigs after all and the more work a comedian puts into it, the more likely they are to be happy with the audience, and the payday.

"We look at who has the material, enough time to stay on stage and then, who's putting in the work to promote themselves, whether that be social media or who's going around doing the mics," Sherrill said. "If they're invested, the more people they bring out, the more they walk away with on the weekend so it helps them out too.

“In a lot of cities, they make you pay to get on stage or bring 10 people or it costs you an arm and leg to get any time at all. We always say, ‘Go do other cities and other stages because you’re gonna feel that exclusion and you need to feel that exclusion and that alienation so that you appreciate what you get to do here.’”

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