SCV comedy scene standing up to be counted 

Comic Mohesh Kotagi entertains during the Punchlines at Pocock, free comedy show at the Pocock Brewing Company in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, 030723. Dan Watson/the Signal
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Four comedy shows walked into four bars in the Santa Clarita Valley… 

And the stand-up comedy scene hasn’t been the same since, according to Sean McBride, who co-produces the Cosmic Comedy Show on the second Monday of every month at Brewery Draconum on Main Street in Old Town Newhall. He and other comedy show producers spoke with The Signal recently about the growing comedy scene in the SCV, and why they think stand-up comics are drawn to this area.  

“The nice thing about Santa Clarita, and I think why I’ve always loved that community so much, is that it does feel like it’s a small town, just on the outskirts of Los Angeles,” McBride said. “I think part of what comedians like about coming to Santa Clarita so much is that you can get away with saying a little bit more. L.A. is very, ‘You can’t say that,’ and, you know, we’ve got a lot of brilliant comedians in Los Angeles that sometimes have to work things out and just be able to speak freely.” 

As seen in the 2002 documentary “Jerry Seinfeld: Comedian,” which is streaming on Netflix, where veteran comedian Jerry Seinfeld and then up-and-coming comic Orny Adams navigate the stand-up comedy circuit, essentially test-driving new material to create acts for themselves, stand-up comedians, McBride said, rely heavily on small comedy shows to workshop their material.  

Comic John Wynn entertains during the Punchlines at Pocock free comedy show at the Pocock Brewing Company in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, 030723. Dan Watson/the Signal

“A brilliant comedian up there working something out that’s fresh and new and clearly just off the top of their heads — that’s some of the most fun comedy you can watch,” he said. “Yes, it’s fun seeing the polished bits that’s like, ‘Oh, wow, that was perfect.’ But it’s also really fun to see the comedian who gets inspired right there that day, who’s working it out, and then a year later, it’s something they’re doing on TV. That’s the opportunity that I want to provide people that are coming to the shows. You could see anything here, but it’s always going to be from a professional, accomplished comedian.” 

McBride, a comedian in his own right who’s opened for legendary headliner Vic Dunlop and was featured on TV’s “Man up, Stand-Up,” started the Cosmic Comedy Show with comedy producer and comedian Zach Miller almost six years ago in Echo Park. Last year, the producing duo moved the show to the Lyons Den inside Valencia Lanes in Newhall, and then in the fall, they found the show’s current home at Brewery Draconum. 

The Cosmic Comedy Show 

The Cosmic Comedy Show is free of charge, McBride said, and is seemingly picking up momentum. In fact, he believes that by this time next year, the comedy night will be a weekly thing as Old Town Newhall becomes a more popular place for people to visit, play and hang. 

“Santa Clarita just has so many different cool events and stuff,” he said. “There’s really no reason to have to go across the hill.” 

McBride, who lives over the hill, offered that the Cosmic Comedy Show pulls from a large pool of talent, both local and touring, with new faces, familiar faces and fresh material that audiences have never seen. 

“Nobody’s coming and just doing the same exact set that you saw the last time,” he said. “It’s always going to be different.” 

For details about the Cosmic Comedy Show, go to  


There are two Punchlines shows — Punchlines at Pocock at the Pocock Brewing Company on Avenue Tibbitts in Santa Clarita, and Punchlines at The Main on Main Street in Old Town Newhall. 

Jeff Frame, who jokingly referred to himself as the king of comedy, is a stand-up comic and comedy producer who, with fellow comic John Wynn, co-produces Punchlines at Pocock, a free stand-up comedy show on the first Tuesday of every month, and Punchlines at The Main, an ever-changing show with local and touring comics every other month on the first Thursday. Tickets for shows at The Main are $20 for the general public and $15 for seniors. 

“We’ve been doing the Pocock show now for about a year and a half,” Frame told The Signal. “The main goal is just to have a good vibrant comedy community and scene in Santa Clarita, to have places for people to get out and do things on. It’s having something to do on a Tuesday night.” 

Jeff, left, and Ravinder Pilson, center, join attendees as they laugh at the jokes by stand-up comics during the Punchlines at Pocock, free comedy show at the Pocock Brewing Company in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, 030723. Dan Watson/the Signal

Frame added that Punchlines features national touring headliners.  

“You’re not going to see the same comics over and over,” he said. “You might see some familiar faces here and there that pop in a little more regularly than others, and those are probably our locals.” 

To learn more about Punchlines at Pocock, go to the brewery’s website at, and for more about Punchlines at The Main, go to The Main’s website at  

Telco Comedy Hour 

Andy Benedetti, a stand-up comic and one of the producers of the Telco Comedy Hour on the second Tuesday of every month at the Telco Brewery on Fremont Court in Santa Clarita, said his show began last March. He personally liked the idea of doing something in the SCV because he’s a Canyon Country resident. 

“Los Angeles is a big city,” he told The Signal. “You’re driving all over the place. So, when you produce your own show, you really want to do one that’s kind of closer. Save a little money on gas.” 

But he also said that he liked the idea of starting a show in the SCV because there wasn’t much comedy in the area. 

Benedetti added that those who check out the Telco Comedy Hour can expect headliners who had previously made appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “An Evening at the Improv” and others. 

“We’ve got a big mix of acts,” he said, and added that many comics often use the Telco Comedy Hour as a testing ground for new material. 

“A new joke is kind of scary,” Benedetti said. “It’s kind of like going on a tightrope, and walking across the skyscrapers, like, ‘Alright, well, we’re going to see if this works.’ It’s a new energy.” 

He said that audiences get to see the catalyst of a joke. 

“It’s fun to watch,” he added. “Maybe you see it at a live show — a comedian tries a new joke — and it doesn’t go over that well. Then you watch them later, like doing a special, or you see them in another live show, and you see it evolve, and you get to see the process a little bit. You get to see where they made tweaks and how it works better.” 

The Telco Comedy Hour is free of charge. Learn more about it online at

J.R.’s Comedy Club 

J.R.’s Comedy Club, which currently takes place every Saturday and sometimes on Thursdays and Fridays inside Mimi’s Café on Magic Mountain Parkway in Valencia, has been around since 1998, according to Randy Lubas, a stand-up comic and the man responsible for bringing the club to the old Marie Callender’s restaurant in 1998.  

“We were in Marie Callender’s for about 20 years until they lost their lease and Santa Clarita decided they needed another McDonald’s,” he said.  

J.R.’s then moved to JJ’s Bar and Grill on Tournament Road in Valencia, and finally landed at Mimi’s Café. 

“We’ve consistently done shows with some of the most amazing comedians,” Lubas said.  

Past comedians include Shawn Wayans, Dana Carvey, Jamie Kennedy and Tom Green. 

“I’ve been a comedian for my whole life, and many of these people are my friends,” he said. “And so, we’ve been able to bring in amazing, incredible talent.” 

And that talent really wants to come to the SCV, he added. One of the benefits of performing in Santa Clarita versus performing in the big cities or particularly Los Angeles, he said, is that the audience is made up of “normal people.” 

“You’re not going to get a bunch of actors or people in the industry,” he said. “You don’t get as real a reaction from those audiences as you do from just regular folks who are going to a comedy club for entertainment, going there to spend two hours and forget about their troubles and get some laughs.” 

J.R.’s Comedy Club has a $20 cover charge, though it could be more with the more well-known acts. You can find them online at

And so, four comedy shows walked into four bars in the Santa Clarita Valley. You’ll have to attend the shows to hear the jokes.

Comic Mohesh Kotagi entertains during the Punchlines at Pocock free comedy show at the Pocock Brewing Company in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, 030723. Dan Watson/the Signal
Comic John Wynn entertains during the Punchlines at Pocock, free comedy show at the Pocock Brewing Company in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, 030723. Dan Watson/the Signal

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS