A comedian stands on stage at a club, telling jokes
The Blue Room Comedy Club usually hosts touring comedians. Saturday, Jan. 7, it will host a comedy workshop for kids ages 6 and up. (Photo: Jeff Kessinger)

The Blue Room Comedy Club has featured plenty of veteran comedians. This Saturday afternoon, it’s time for the amateurs to shine.

We’re talking very amateur.

That’s because the Blue Room is putting on a Kids’ Comedy Workshop for ages 6 and up. The workshop, which costs $10 to attend, runs from 2-3:15 p.m. on Jan. 7 and will be taught by a group of local comedians. Adults are free, but they must accompany their children.

“It’s an interactive show that’s educational as well as entertaining,” said Chris Richele, owner of the Blue Room. “It’s going to be a show for kids, but also at the same time, we’re going to interact with them and engage with them.

“We’re just kind of making it up as we go right now. What we want to do is grow the education in comedy in the community.”

Club has hosted family-friendly events in the past

It’s not the first time the Blue Room, located at 420 West College St. downtown, has catered to families and young people. Last month the club had a family-friendly weekend with sets from touring comedians Jeff Allen and Ismo. Greg Warren, meanwhile, performed a kid-friendly matinee in 2020. In fact, it was Greg Warren’s show that inspired this workshop.

“Greg is a popular comedian in the circuit, and he did a kids’ show for us one time,” Richele said. “It was basically just him doing his act, in the middle of the day, with kids there. Then he opened it up and did a ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’ kind of thing, brought kids on stage, and they got to tell jokes. It was great.

“This one is going to be an experimental trial. Basically, we want to see if there’s a market for it and if we can grow it.”

There’s also a personal reason for putting on the workshop.

“I have a niece who’s 9 and is begging me to do this, so we’re going to give it a shot,” Richele said.

Creating avenues for young people to pursue comedy

Richele notes there aren’t a lot of avenues for kids to pursue comedy, outside of theatre. He’s hoping to change that.

“I want to give kids the platform to try comedy,” he said. “We want them to learn how to perform and how to do public speaking. We want kids to be comfortable on stage and know what comedy is.

“One of these kids might be the next big comedian one day, and it’s good for them to know it’s possible to have a career in it. Plus, I think it’s important for everybody to have one joke in their pocket, just to break the ice in social situations.”

For more information on the Kids’ Comedy Workshop, call 417-228-8403 or visit the Blue Room Comedy Club’s website.

Jeff Kessinger

Jeff Kessinger is the Reader Engagement Editor for the Springfield Daily Citizen, and the voice of its daily newsletter SGF A.M. He covered sports in southwest Missouri for the better part of 20 years, from young athletes to the pros. The Springfield native and Missouri State University alumnus is thrilled to be doing journalism in the Queen City, helping connect the community with important information. He and wife Jamie daily try to keep a tent on the circus that is a blended family of five kids and three cats. More by Jeff Kessinger