January 2022 - Make 'Em Laugh: Revel Yell
For a city that doesn’t have a stand-alone comedy club, Albuquerque sure does have a lot of comedy going on. That includes the weekly Wednesday night shows at Uptown Funk Dueling Pianos inside of the Revel Entertainment Center. Producing and hosting these shows is Jamar Hall, a long-time comedy veteran in the Albuquerque comedy scene who performs throughout the southwest.
As the city began to open up after COVID shutdowns, comedy was a natural fit for the space that is otherwise a specialized music venue. Hall reveals, “I initially asked Revel if I could host shows in their Sound Garden patio. They suggested the piano bar and mentioned they think the show would be great there. The first week proved to be a success and Revel offered Wednesday night as comedy night inside Uptown Funk.” What was first conceptualized as a monthly showcase became a weekly night offering.
Hall’s experience on the road helps him to create a special atmosphere at Uptown Funk. As the show’s producer, he looks to make sure everyone is happy: the audience, the venue, and the comics. He noted, “The audience has fun when the comics enjoy themselves.” In addition to providing a good time, Hall says the shows provide networking opportunities for the up-and-coming local talent. “[They get] a chance to be seen and to rub shoulders with established comics who run shows, tour, and just want to try new stuff.”
Even though the show is weekly, that doesn’t mean it will be routine. Hall says that there’s always something that makes the night special. He mentioned the camaraderie he felt during the first open mic night they had in the space. “It felt like the Albuquerque scene was rallying behind it.” Providing high energy, packed out crowds and a supporting lineup of professionals is what captures the attention of out-of-town, working comedians and brings them here to perform. One memory of an out-of-town guest comes to mind. “Tristan Bowling out of Phoenix stood out the most. He was a feature and I remember seeing someone [in the audience] hold their stomach from laughing so hard.”
But it’s not only people who pass through that make the crowds chuckle, Hall also noted that local comic, Caleb Mulkey, as a consistent highlight. Also, he recalled that “A great Revel moment was while Zach Abeyta was headlining, he took time to dance battle an audience member!”
Whether it’s big names or new performers on the bill, Hall is thrilled to welcome audiences to Uptown Funk and the whole center. “Revel is set up for entertainment. The environment they create compliments comedy well.” Hall believes that the comedy in Albuquerque is as funny as any other city and he’s excited to provide audiences with the chance to see it. “Each comic that has performed at Revel has been chosen because they can bring the funny.” That’s exactly what audiences are looking for.
Comedy at Uptown Funk is free every Wednesday inside the Revel Entertainment Center on 4720 Alexander Blvd NE, 87107. Shows start at 7:00 pm and most are all ages.
Sarah Kennedy is obsessed with supporting comedy in New Mexico and can be found on IG and Twitter at @SarahKomedy