Can A Mid-Size City’s Thriving Comedy Scene Survive The LA Exodus?

If you’re a mid-level comic with a few credits under your belt, at some point you’ve probably been asked the question: “So, when are you moving to LA?” The person asking was likely from Los Angeles, and didn’t ask in the neutral tone of a guidance counselor “have you thought about moving to LA?” It’s always when are you moving. For many in this business, your hometown comedy scene is viewed as the high school of your career, with road-gigs and festivals as your bachelors degree — followed by the inevitable move to Hollywood to begin your masters.

And just as every comic has to decide when (and if) they want to take the big leap to Hollywood, their hometown comedy scene of Austin, Portland, Boston, Denver, or wherever, has to restructure itself in their absence, either dealing with a flood of talented performers clamoring to fill the newly open gigs, or shutting down clubs and canceling mics because half the people moved away and the other half are jaded.