It’s comedy night at the Reel

Another big yuckfest is headed our way Friday, Sept. 17 at the Reel and Brand in uptown El Verano. Three hard-working touring comics will do their level best to crack us up, starting at 8 p.m.

The show will feature three brave souls who live to tell funny stuff and try to get a laugh. From Georgia will be headliner Mitch Burrows. From Sacramento will be Emma Haney and Marcus Williams, a structural engineer by day and comedian by night. Each of them has had extensive exposure on the various cable comedy shows and hope to be semi-household-name comedians someday.

Show presenter Torio VanGrol will open the night with two or three minutes of the funniest material you’ve ever heard. Or maybe not. But after he clears the stage, the hilarious hired guns roll in.

Headliner Mitch Burrows actually has a bit on YouTube called “I love guns.” Burrow is a Marine Corps veteran of the war in Iraq and knows a thing or two about guns. He also, hopefully, knows how to spin a tragic situation into one that brings laughter.

Burrows checked in from upstate New York last week, where he was attending a wedding. Burrows said he was looking forward to it. “I’ve only been to one other wedding, my own, so I don’t have a lot of data. But I did get lucky after my own, so hopefully, the trend will continue.”

Burrows is a big fish who finds himself out of his little pond. “I grew up in Carlton, Georgia, population about 200,” with the “nearest store about 20 miles away.” That time in his life is a material gold mine, no doubt.

He is a working comedy writer. “I write for a show that I co-host called ‘Crazy Ass Criminals,’ on Fox Soul. I am definitely a standout on a network called Fox Soul, being a white Southerner.” On this enlightening, highbrow show, he and two of his on-air buddies “riff on videos capturing the craziest, dumbass criminals on tape.”

Burrows also has found a way to endear himself to the audience when he is on the road. He was queried about his questionable choice of hat (LA Dodgers) in the main photo on his website and reminded that he will be entering San Francisco Giants’ territory in the middle of a pennant race. Playing defense, he said, “I try to fit in. I’ll just buy me a Giants hat. To fit in. That’s how I get along with people whenever I go to a new area. I just buy a hat from the local sports team.”

He continued explaining this tactic. “I make out like a fan. I say, ‘Oh, boy, this year’s gonna be the year.’ But, actually, I do like the Giants.”

A new father, a veteran, a Southerner, and the sibling of a LGBTQ sister, Burrows draws on his own life for much of his material. “Most of my comedy is very personal in nature. That way nobody can accuse me of stealing anybody else’s material, if I’m just talking about myself.”

The second comic who will be challenged by the notoriously staid Sonoma crowd (not really) is Sacramento resident Emma Haney. Haney is a busy performer with a slew of YouTube videos to her credit. Haney makes a point of stating that she once won a Monopoly beauty pageant. She is said to have a “dry absurdist wit.”

First on the stage to warm up the audience is Marcus Williams. He is said to be “funny as hell.’’ Williams has had success in big-time comedy competitions, and has performed all over New York, Denver and at San Francisco’s Punchline and Cobb’s Comedy Club.

The show will be held outdoors and reservations are highly recommended. Contact Of course, all COVID precautions will be in place. And that’s no joke.

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