Seven comedians perform first large venue show in 15 months
Comedy shows do surprisingly well at the Kahilu Theatre. Pre-pandemic, both JP Sears and Pauly Shore both sold out the nearly 500-seat venue and Piff the Magic Dragon, a popular Vegas comedian, was scheduled to perform in 2020. These shows also bring out a younger crowd (20s to 40s) that probably wouldn’t come to a Robert Cazimero concert.
Last Friday, the Waimea venue presented Justine Smith & Friends Comedy Night, which featured an all-female lineup with locals Justine Smith, Nikki Gour, Katie Lynn, Megan Mahina, Morgan Gallo (Oʻahu based), Laura Reid, and Carol Foutz, the winner of the 2021 Big Island’s Got Talent show.
The adult-themed humor show was a smash. Hard belly-laughs and constant “Chee-hoos” could be heard throughout the socially distanced crowd of about 85 people.
The evening opened with newcomer Carol Foutz, who performed comedy for the first time on June 18 and won first prize – a spot on the Kahilu’s comedy show. Kudos to her for not only a funny set, but she did it with a fractured leg, crutches, and one of those bulky black boots.
Nikki Gour, the vibrant morning crew co-host on TheWave@92FM, was the evening’s MC and did short comedy bits between acts. Although she’s pleased with her current radio gig, she admitted submitting a cover letter (filled with corny meat puns) to become an Oscar Mayer “Hotdogger” – the person who drives their 27-foot Wienermobile around the country. “I hope to have the pleasure of ‘meating’ your team and becoming your ‘main slice,’” said Gour reading from the official application with a happy thumbs-up hot dog on it. She never heard back, not even a coupon, and will keep riding the local airwaves instead.
Laura Reid confessed that she got through the pandemic by writing positive affirmations on sticky notes and she placed them on her jacket as an example. Most fell to the floor, except for “You Go Girl.” Reid, like Megan Mahina and others, did jokes about odd relationships they’ve had. Morgan Gallow was the exception who shared tales of her strange encounters on a nude beach.
The talented Katie Lynn had a great set, too. In addition to comedy, her murals can be seen around the island under the title of Funny Girl Art. Formerly from California, Lynn is the co-producer of Pineapples Comedy Shows with her partner Yasir Bey.
Headliner Justine Smith picked the comedians for the show based on their excitement to perform and the thought and effort they put into their sets, “I’m a big proponent of giving women the opportunity and support that may have pushed me to follow my dreams sooner than I did,” Smith said in our pre-recorded interview for Kahilu TV.
Smith is no stranger to the Kahilu stage. She opened for JP Sears and Pauly Shore in 2019/2020 and nailed it both times. In the past few weeks, she’s been busy with a comedy tour in Los Angeles and plans to return to the mainland soon with shows in Burbank and Minnesota.
When not on tour, Smith is promoting her Dirty Girl Comedy events at My Bar in Kona. “I’m taking July off to work on my one-hour special and one-woman show, which I’m hoping to bring to the Kahilu in the fall,” Smith announced.
If you missed this recent show, you could catch it on Kahilu TV, but nothing will ever replace seeing comedy in a live setting and laughing along with your friends.
Steve Roby is a music journalist, bestselling author, and editor of Big Island Music Magazine.
Photos: Steve Roby