New St. Paul venue Baddies Comedy Co. showcases urban, black talent

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There is no shortage of places to see live comedy in the Twin Cities.

From established clubs like Acme Comedy Co., House of Comedy, and Joke Joint, to open mics and independent shows in restaurants, bars, and even gaming stores, fans have the opportunity to see the best local and national comedy almost any night of the week.

However, despite the embarrassment of comedy riches stretching across the cities, comedians and friends Brandon Riddley, Pierre Douglas, and Bruce Williams saw that something was missing and set out to fix it.

“There was no comedy venue in town for urban comedy,” says Douglas. “You go to other comedy towns and there are clubs or rooms that cater to an urban audience. We knew that there was an opportunity to fill that void, so we just decided it was time to do our own thing.”

With that goal in mind, the trio opened the doors to Baddies Comedy Co. in St. Paul this past February. The club, which seats 130 people, has been off to a strong start, booking a mix of established names and new up-and-coming comedians on a bi-weekly basis.

Douglas, who has been active in the local Twin Cities comedy scene for more than five years, has found plenty of opportunity for stage time, both at established clubs and by producing his own shows. Still, he knew that he wanted a more permanent location to help bring in new fans and develop new comedians.

“The goal of Baddies is to bring in new people who have either never really tried comedy themselves, or who don’t feel like there are any rooms or nights to see urban comedians,” he says.

So far, Douglas says the club has been met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction. This weekend, they’ll be hosting two shows featuring national headliner Khai Morgan along with Minnesota comedy heavyweight Shed G.

“Shed G. has been one of my comedy mentors,” says Douglas. “He’s taught me so much and having him headline the club is a really big deal for us.”

Though Baddies is attracting the attention of headliners and touring comedians, Douglas is quick to point out that the real focus now is to focus on homegrown talent.

“We’ve had a lot of touring comics contact us about coming through,” he explains. “But right now we’re trying to take our time and get our footing. That’s why we’re bringing in hometown comedians like Shed, K Jay, Alvin Irby, and Earl Elliot.”

Douglas says that they plan to expand to a weekly slate of shows in the near future.

“I think people are starting to realize that we are a legit comedy venue,” Douglas says. “For me personally, I’m hoping that this opens up more opportunities for comedians, and creates more rooms and nights for urban comedy so that we can develop this scene even more.”

And as for his own future?

“I want to make sure that people know they can still book me to perform at other places too!” Douglas laughs.

IF YOU GO:

Baddies Comedy Co.
220 Robert St. S., St. Paul
Shed G. April 21, 8 p.m. - $20
We Got Jokes w/Khai Morgan. April 22, 8 p.m. - $10 at the door
Click here for details


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