Dave Stroupe knows funny. He witnessed great comedians as he made boilermakers while tending bar at the Funny Bone during the time he putt himself through college. He kept his eye on those same comedians while working his way up the food chain until inevitably becoming the club's owner.
With this sort of path forged, there probably aren't many jokes he hasn't heard. "I look at it as my job to bring what I think Columbus would really enjoy," says Stroupe. "There are a lot of big names out there, but who aren't that funny doing stand up. I'm not looking to make the quick buck. We might sell those out, but then we'll have a lot of unhappy people."
Stroupe has booked every act at the Funny Bone since 1991, making sure that he does his homework on up-andcoming comedians. Booking is his niche. Even though he is involved in the ownership of three other clubs in the region, he books more than 12 clubs across the country.
"We generally catch them on the rise, and sometimes they're on their way down from stardom," says Stroupe. In the last year alone, Stroupe's brought the Funny Bone such great acts as Daniel Tosh, Mike Birbiglia and Sheryl Underwood among others. Big names like Dave Chapelle and Pauly Shore have graced the stage in recent years as well. "In the last five to seven years, the comedy business has been mostly name-driven," says Stroupe. "The boom for the industry was in the '80s, but I think it'll come around again."
The key, according to Stroupe, is being more than just entertainment. He cites having affordable food and drinks as a key to making the whole experience, though he thinks just getting them through to door once will do wonders. "Comedy performances are much the same as sporting events," says Stroupe. "It loses an element if you do not watch it live."
For more information, go to www. columbusfunnybone.com