Acme Comedy Co. celebrates 20 years

Famous comics credit Acme as a Midwest mainstay

"It's really cool seeing all the comics who are a part of the show, because, like, they've been where I am, and they're at a place that I hope I can be at one day," she says.

Erikson started her comedy career just four years ago during a Monday-night open mic at Acme. The club's reputation preceded itself, which was the main reason why she chose it as the place to launch her career.

That, and the fact that she didn't have anywhere else to go.

Acme veterans Mary Mack (left) and Tim Slagle, on stage as part of the 20-year anniversary celebration
Ryan Brennan
Acme veterans Mary Mack (left) and Tim Slagle, on stage as part of the 20-year anniversary celebration
The wall of Acme's green room features signatures from hundreds of comedians who have performed at the club, including such notables as Retta of NBC's Parks & Recreation, former SNL cast member Finesse Mitchell, and Comedy Central Roast regular Anthony Jeselnik
Ryan Brennan
The wall of Acme's green room features signatures from hundreds of comedians who have performed at the club, including such notables as Retta of NBC's Parks & Recreation, former SNL cast member Finesse Mitchell, and Comedy Central Roast regular Anthony Jeselnik

"I didn't know that other places did open mic," she says. "I just knew I wanted to try it, and my friends told me this was a good place to go so I did."

That first night went pretty well for Erikson. She quickly learned, however, that not just anyone can get practice at the city's most prestigious comedy club.

"It's getting harder to get stage time at Acme, because there are so many talented people doing comedy right now," she says. "The bar is really high here, so it's important to keep polishing your jokes and working on new stuff before you get here so that you can be your best."

Much like the weekend's headliners, Erikson says that the club has been instrumental in her growth as a comedian. She also says that the crowds at Acme are far more accepting of unique comics than anywhere else, which is another reason she loves working here.

"It's a smart crowd that welcomes everyone," she says. "College kids, weird kids, adults, people with families; my mom and grandma come here and watch me. It's great. And everyone is so nice and really likes comedy, which makes me want to try new things that might be kind of weird. Acme makes me feel...yeah. It makes me feel like I'm not afraid."

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