Standout standup Darryl Lenox will help kick off a new chapter in Twin Cities comedy with the first big event at the recently opened second location of the Joke Joint in Lilydale, just south of St. Paul. The new club, which is in the old Diamond Jim's space, is a unique setting for comedy with its saloon-style layout and spiral staircases leading up to a spacious balcony. And who better to christen the club than the insightful, incisive Lenox, who says his goal for standup is simple: "I want people to say, 'I've never seen a guy do something like that.' Originality is huge for me." Lenox is a verbal wizard who fuses the conversational pace of storytelling with the high laughs-per-minute ratio of a hard-hitting one-liner comic. The former college basketball player got off to an improbably hot start when he first took the stage at an open mic at Seattle's famed Comedy Underground in 1989 —the very next night he was invited to audition for the Seattle Comedy Competition. "I knew I could be a pretty good ball player, but when I got onstage I felt like I was a six-foot-eight sixth-grader," Lenox says. All weekend he'll be recording his first big-label album with Minneapolis's own Stand Up! Records. Local notable Tommy Thompson will open. 18+.
Thu., April 1, 8 p.m.; Fri., April 2, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sat., April 3, 7:30 & 10 p.m., 2010