Zach Gzehoviak hosts the monthly Arguments & Grievances event at Brennan’s in the Central West End. He books comedy shows for the venue and has been around the scene for a while. His newest project is the Flyover Comedy Festival, which is having its inaugural festival this November.
Flyover is having its first pre-launch event tomorrow night. Make sure you attend, and learn about this exciting new project.
Flyover Comedy Festival
Describe your event.
Flyover Comedy Festival will be an annual comedy invasion of St. Louis, bringing together established national acts, regional superstars and up-and-coming talent, all in a four-day festival. The lineup will feature stand up, improv, sketch, storytelling and more.
How long have you been involved in the STLComedy scene?
I’ve been involved in the STL comedy scene since 2011, when I started booking comedy shows at Brennan’s and going to other shows around town. At that time, Brennan’s had a small stage and rows of seating in its basement, so comedy shows were more frequent. We had shows with Henry Phillips, Tommy Johnagin, Nikki Glaser, Geoff Tate, Gabe Kea, Jeremy Essig and more. Many of the shows were hosted by Matt Conty, a great St. Louis-bred comic who now lives in Costa Rica.
The first comedy show I attended in St. Louis (outside of Brennan’s) was a Bare Knuckle Comedy show at Cicero’s featuring Christian Lawrence, Kevin White, Kelsey McClure, and a few others. It was Sunday, so we all went to the open mic at Nick’s Pub afterward. I had always imagined having the balls to try stand up, but it wasn’t until that night that my interest became more real. From there I finally did stand up and put on shows regularly for about a year and a half, then went through the training center at The Improv Shop.
My stage time has since dwindled, but my love for comedy has not, hence the interest in producing a comedy fest alongside some of STL’s best comics and improvisers.
What is the highlight of your experience with the scene so far?
There are many, but one time myself and my friend Adam put on sloppily-run show called The Falcon Punch Variety Hour. Each show would start great because we would hand out pizza rolls or other unhealthy foods to the entire audience, and who doesn’t like a good pizza roll?
This one month, we had a full gorilla suit costume so we decided to write a sitcom-inspired sketch called “Oh, Gorilla.” It was a true fish out of water story, except it was a gorilla out of the jungle…
Anyway, the sketch involved this above average gorilla assimilating himself to the everyday life of a human being. As you can imagine, there would be problems there. In each scene the gorilla found himself in a “wacky” situation, at which point we would sound the laugh track and the human character would sigh and say “Ooh, Gorilla.” As the sketch progressed, the “wacky situations” got darker and more terrible, but also super funny. Bobby Jaycox was in that sketch and took it from being lost to something. It was still slop, but a super fun night.
What do you like most about the STLComedy scene?
I think the Olive Garden said it best when they said, “When you’re here, you’re family.”
Your sitting upstairs at Brennan’s, in the audience for Arguments and Grievances and the topic is Jello Pudding Vs. Jello Biafra. Amy Milton is arguing for Jello Biafra. What are you drinking and why?
If the debater on stage is smart, I’m drinking the jell-o shot they handed out to win the audience over.
Who’s better? DB Cooper or Jesse James?
DB Cooper, for sure. That guy got away with no one hurt and never had a crappy, reality TV show related back to him. James on the other hand, see West Coast Choppers.