While sitting in Luna’s last night waiting for Ground Chuck to arrive I was reminded of our first encounter some 15 or 16 years ago. My sister and I were eating lunch at Piece’s and this hyper skinny frenetic white dude with long hair wearing all black and carrying a boom box that was held up to his left ear kept shooting in and out of the restaurant in fits. Not knowing him, neither of us knew what to expect, although after a few minutes we noticed that he had begun working on a large chalk art mural on the sidewalk outside which peeked our interest. We also noticed that everyone in the place was jazzed to know him and he addressed every customer like they were old friends eventually including my sister and I. I don’t remember what we talked about at the time but I remember being charmed by the whole experience.
In the years that have followed I’ve encountered Chuck more times than I can count. Sometimes he’s working on his art, others he’s hanging out around town discussing his real love in life… Norwegian death metal. There was even talk at one point of having a fundraiser to send Chuck to Norway. I’m not sure if that fundraiser ever happened…
Flash forward to last night when Keith Lowell Jensen tells me that Ground Chuck will be performing his stand up routine at Luna’s during Jensen’s new Comedy Night. Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Chuck does stand up? This I had to see.
The night began with all of the fits and starts an amateur comedy night can provide, with some funny moments and some fairly awkward as newbies open the show with untried material. Fortunately, Luna’s intimate surroundings were filled with many fellow comedians and other supporters of the scene to cushion the missteps.
Chuck was running late and about three or so acts in I was beginning to worry that I wasn’t gonna get what I came for. Fortunately, Chuck walked in at the perfect moment and took the stage like he owned it, kicking things off with a quote that went something like, “alright, y’all I got tourettes so y’all fuck with me here and I’m gonna bolt. I’m fucking serious!” If you know Chuck you know that he is in fact serious. This opening line completely commanded the audience’s attention and what followed were fifteen minutes of well written and delivered comedy bits including, anecdotal jokes about growing up addicted to metal music, and “vernacular” snack products. In almost every instance the set-up, delivery, and punch line were perfectly timed. Better still Chuck’s refreshing stage presence was unabashed, and abrasive in an almost unselfconscious way. Not bad for guy just starting out.
Chuck was also on Insight yesterday morning along with Jensen and some of the other comics featured on last night show to promote Keith’s new Comedy Night Programming at Luna’s. You can catch that program here.
The night’s headliner was a comedian named Ray Molina who I wasn’t familiar with prior to last night’s show but was happy I caught. Ray’s unassuming stage presence caused his punch lines to sneak up on me, and I found myself laughing unexpectedly on more than one occasion. Funny, funny, stuff. Sadly, the second Pabst I had during the set snuffed my already shoddy memory so I unfortunately, don’t remember any of his zingers so I will spare you my ham fisted retelling of his jokes. Suffice to say if he comes back you should be sure to catch him.
Jensen’s Comedy Night will be an ongoing affair with Cheese headlining next weeks program. If you’re looking for a little midweek entertain this is a fine way to spend $5.
For more info check out Jensen’s site at: