So these two kids from Jersey walk into a bar…….
It sounds like the start of a joke, but it isn’t. Keeping Chattanooga entertained for the last 25 years has been serious business for Michael and Cheryl Alfano.
In the summer of 1985 The Comedy Catch debuted as Chattanooga's first full time comedy club, then located in Dr. Sages atop the since demolished Holiday Inn downtown. Comedians Kens Sons and Les McCurdy started the club but soon relocated the club to its present Brainerd Road location and it was renamed The Comedy Catch at the Cafe. Being comedians they missed touring and performing comedy nationwide and decided to sell the Brainerd Road business to the Alfanos.
It was a rather small and intimate club back then; seating about 100; with the restaurant, now named Giggles Grill, downstairs and the Show Room upstairs. Improvements over the years boosted the club's seating capacity to around 150 until the Great Remodel of 2000 transformed The Comedy Catch into the jewel it is today. The club is now all on one level and the show room can comfortably seat 250 with state of the art sound and lighting. One thing that hasn’t changed in the last 25 years is the hands on ownership of the Alfanos, delicious food and beverages, and the best service staff in town.
In its history The Comedy Catch has hosted some of the biggest stars in comedy. Names such as Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, D.L Hugley, Tommy Chong, Paula Poundstone, Tommy Davidson, Richard Jeni, Bobby Collins, Carrot Top, Tracy Morgan, Gallagher, James Gregory, Pauly Shore, Bobcat Goldthwait and many others have all graced its stage. In addition to national talent, The Comedy Catch stage has launched many local careers, and is considered one of the best venues in the South by many of the regional favorites.
Week 1 of the 25th Anniversary Celebration
Appearing Aug. 5-8
David Alan Grier
Best known for his work on the groundbreaking TV show In Living Color, this multi-talented performer just recently finished a run on Broadway in David Mamet’s Race.
He hosted a show for Comedy Central entitled "Chocolate News" was a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars", and was featured in the movie "Dance Flick". In addition Grier has gained recognition for his numerous feature film roles, including “Baadasssss!” for director Mario Van Peebles, “The Woodsman” opposite Kevin Bacon and Mos Def, “15 Minutes,” “Boomerang,” “Bewitched,” “Jumanji” and Robert Altman’s “Streamers,” for which he won a Golden Lion Award for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. David also co-wrote, produced and appeared in the independent film “Poker House,” Lori Petty’s directorial debut.
Although David Alan Grier has been known for his ability to create comedy and humor, the graduate of the Yale School of Drama has successfully made the diverse jump from theatre to television to film and still alternates between all three.
Trained in Shakespeare at Yale, Grier began his professional career on Broadway as Jackie Robinson in “The First,” for which he earned a Tony nomination in 1981. He then joined the cast of “Dreamgirls,” went on to star opposite Denzel Washington in “A Soldier’s Play,” and both actors continued their roles in the film version, “A Soldier’s Story.” Grier starred on Broadway in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He has also performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival in productions of “Richard III” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor” at Central Park.
David’s television credits are abundant. He is well known as being a principle cast member of the acclaimed television series “In Living Color,” where he helped to create some of that show’s most memorable characters, and also as a co-star on Bonnie Hunt’s hit ABC comedy “Life With Bonnie.” He also starred on the hit NBC show “DAG” where he played the title character, as well Keeping his close comedic relationship with the Wayans’ brothers, he co-starred with Damon Wayans in “Damon.” He also starred in the television miniseries “The 60s,” and “King of Texas” for cable television.
Show times and ticket prices
Fri. and Sat. 7:30 & 10 p.m. $25 & $270
Thursday and Sun. 8 p.m. $19
Appearing Aug. 12-15
Cledus T. Judd
An American country music artist well known primarily for his parodies of popular country music songs. He has been called the "Weird Al" Yankovic" of country music. He has released over 20 music videos, nine studio albums and two EPs, with several of the singles entering Billboard’s Hot Country Songs charts.
Cledus T. Judd was born with the name Barry Poole on Dec. 18, 1964, in Crowe Springs, Ga. He grew up in Cartersville, Ga., in a double-wide mobile home with his mom and stepfather. A hairstylist by trade, he won first place at an open mic comedy night at the Buckboard country music nightclub in Marietta, GA, by singing two funny rap songs. Six months later he was in Nashville. Two years later, he had a record deal with indie label Razor & Tie.
In January of this year, he released the single "Waitin' On Obama" (a parody of Brad Paisley's "Waitin' on a Woman") referencing Barack Obama's election as President of the United States. This is the first single from his forthcoming album Polyrically Uncorrect including his latest parody of Buck Owens’ “Got a Tiger by the Tail (The Tale of Tiger Woods)”. Cledus was co-writer on a bonus track “The Way” from the Rascal Flatts CD Still Feels Good.
Show times and ticket prices
Friday and Saturday 7:30 & 10 p.m. $15 & $17
Thursday and Sunday 8 p.m. $13
The Comedy Catch & Giggles Grill are smoke-free.
For more information call 622-CAFE. For preferred seating for any show call 629-CAFE. The Comedy Catch at the Cafe's, 3224 Brainerd Road near the tunnels.