St. Louis Comedy Profile: Bare Knuckle Comedy

st. louis comedy, bare knuckle comedyYou can’t talk about comedy in St. Louis without talking about Bare Knuckle Comedy.  The organization is one of the longest running comedy troupes in the city, producing podcasts, sketch shows, stand up shows, and shows that really can’t be easily described.  Tonight (Friday July 8, 2016) their anniversary show with Ron Lynch, at Foam Coffee and Beer.

Organization’s name?
Bare Knuckle Comedy

How long has your organization existed?
Since 2009

Your organization’s URL?

Describe your organization?
Bare Knuckle Comedy is a comedy collective lead by founder Christian Lawrence, and its members include comedic performers of all types.  The current cast includes stand up comic Andrew Mihalevich, actor/musician Ford Fanter, improvisors Ella Fritts, and Caroline Bailey, sketch performer Angela Smith,  podcaster Jordan Rupe-Smith and Annina Christensen. We produce several live shows, podcasts, and videos. BKC’s shows have become “a stop for touring independent comics from across the country,” according to Alive magazine. Our flagship live show has been in production since 2009, and has been reviewed positively by comedians and media alike.

Other live shows we produce include the improvised interview show “Instant Expert,” and character-based stand up show “History Shmistory.”

What inspired you to form this organization?
We had no other option but to start it. When Bare Knuckle Comedy was launched, the only comedy-specific open mic that existed in the St. Louis area was at the Funny Bone. Looking to explore comedy outside of the normal stand up constraints, show founders Christian Lawrence and Kevin White started the flagship show.  That show quickly became a popular variety show that typically included stand up, sketch comedy, novelty music, videos, and character pieces. This open, variety-style show “kick-started the alt comedy scene” in St. Louis (as the Riverfront Times said), and helped build the current comedy scene. That describes why the show exists. It exists to give new comics a place to try new, weird characters, and learn how to write in their own voice

Describe your favorite moment with your organization.
After wrapping a show in Chicago, the cast was at Giordano’s with the stand up comics who had performed that night. There was a lull in the conversation. Former cast member, Drew Horton motioned to show founders Christian & Kevin and said “Had it not been for this show, I wouldn’t be in another city performing comedy right now.”  Drew has gone on to become a member of The Groundlings in LA. That moment crystallized our mission to give new comics a chance to find their voice.


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