Ellie Hino is finally breaking quarantine. More than five months after her last time on stage, Hino is doing a real comedy show in front of real people tonight at Brit’s as part of the first ever Comedy Bits at Brit’s.
Taking place on the outside veranda, Hino will be joined by fellow comedians Shelly Paul and host Trish Cook as she tries to remember exactly how standup comedy works.
“I was texting Shelly Paul and asking, ‘So are you nervous? Do you remember how to do this?’ Because this is her first show back, too,” Hino says.
Prior to COVID, Hino was having a killer 2020, performing regularly at Sisyphus, Comedy Corner Underground, and House of Comedy. She was also getting ready to head back to the Limestone Comedy Festival in Indiana for the second year in a row, and, most importantly, was getting herself dressed on a full-time basis.
Once coronavirus hit, however, both her comedy career and wardrobe were forced to take a break.
“In May I told my husband, ‘You know what I really want is a new pair of sweatpants. I’ll just order them and you can pretend they’re from you, but I just want some cute new sweatpants because that’s my life now,” she says.
Though she dabbled in online shows early on in quarantine, Hino’s performance tonight will be her first time telling jokes to an audience larger than her husband and five-year-old son. And while her coolest mom in the world/insane person at the grocery store style jokes still fit in the “new” world, she admits that coming up with new bits is way more challenging.
“I’ve been depressed just like everyone else,” she says. “Everyone is experiencing the same thing right now, and it’s hard to find a take that someone hasn’t already had on social media. I can’t make a banana bread joke, you know?”
Fortunately for Hino, she’ll have fellow comics Paul and Cook, who have been equally isolated during these times.
“I’m happy to be doing this show with people who are in the same boat as me,” she says. “Trish and Shelly are just as cautious and isolated as I am, so we’ll all be socially awkward together.”
Whether it’s new jokes, old jokes, or just mumbling into the mic for 40 minutes, the one thing Hino is prepared for is getting dressed up from the waist down.
“I’ve done some online stuff, so I’ve done waist-up,” she says excitedly. “But this will be my first time putting on cute shoes in a long time. I think I’ll go with a wedge, maybe even paint my toenails. We’ll have to wait and see!”
While there are no concrete plans in place, tonight’s show will hopefully be the first in a series of Outdoor Bits at Brit’s, giving fans and comics who miss comedy -- but also aren’t ready to head back into the clubs -- a chance to laugh again.
IF YOU GO:
Ellie Hino w/Shelly Paul & Trish Cook
No cover, but reservations are required.
Email [email protected] to reserve your table.