Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the comedy club, of course! Chickens know how to cluck it up, and now you can, too, at the Comedy Hideaway. Andrey Belikov launched the venture in 2012, with a single show per week in Goleta. Now the entrepreneurial comic and promoter puts on six comedy shows a week in Goleta and Santa Barbara, and has additional venues in Ventura and Oakland.
“We’ll frequently book comics to all three places together,” says Belikov. The reception in Santa Barbara has been really good. “People love our shows; they give them 4.5 or 5 on Yelp,” he says. “A lot of clubs in other places are really dated with a two drink minimum, long lines and bouncers—it’s not the best experience. Here in Santa Barbara, we’re more laid back.”
That laid-back vibe attracts top-notch talent. Recent performers include Iliza Shlesinger (winner of Last Comic Standing), Taylor Williamson (second place winner of America’s Got Talent), Carlos Alazraqui (Officer James Garcia on Comedy Central’s Reno 911) and Bryan Callen (comedic actor in The Hangover 1 & 2, Mad TV, Ride Along and Old School).
“A lot of our headliners will use Santa Barbara as a place to try out material when they know they’re going to appear on Letterman,” says Belikov. “They’ll do seven shows just to get ready for a five-minute appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, which is great for us.” The lineups are usually announced on Sunday night before the Thursday shows and typically include four to six comics: a host, special guests and a headliner—and a lot of special guests are also headliners.
Goleta Comedy Hideaway is every Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. (inside Petrini’s, 5711 Calle Real, Goleta). Santa Barbara Comedy Hideaway is every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. (upstairs at Apero, 532 State St.). “The later shows tend to attract a younger crowd (guests must be at least 18), while the earlier 7:30 p.m. shows get all ages,” says Belikov. “It really depends upon the headliner. It just keeps growing and growing. It’s been great.” No joke! For more information or to purchase tickets, visit sbcomedy.com.
Originally published in the Fall 2014 issue of Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine.