April Foolish Travel
March 30, 2016
April Fools’ Day is Friday. Do not believe anything.
There may be no holiday more custom-built for the Internet than April Fools’ Day. Between joke articles on websites, the yearly Google “product announcement” video and the constant silliness of social media, the web goes all out for April Fools’ Day like Boston does for St. Patrick’s Day.
If you’ve got donors who go all-in on April 1, who push for your charity to send out fake fundraising letters or posts faux sonograms on their social media feeds, they may also be the type of person who would love to travel to one of comedy’s meccas, one of the cities responsible for the development and production of humor. There are several Mitch-Stuart fundraising auction travel packages that can put your supporters within a stone’s throw of comedy history.
Despite its reputation for being teeming with tear-jerking dramas, Broadway has shown its ability to be fall-down funny over the past 15 years in particular. Shows like “The Book of Mormon,” “Spamalot” and “Avenue Q” combine stage theatrics with big laughs, whether it’s social satire or pure silliness. “Mormon” is still on Broadway to this day, while “Avenue Q” has moved to an off-Broadway house. Of course, the rest of the city has deep roots in comedy, as well; Carolines on Broadway and Gotham Comedy Club are two of the most famous stand-up stages in the country, and incubators like The Pit NYC and Upright Citizens Brigade feature the next generation of funny people first.
For those interested in the recent history of comedy, Chicago is an interesting choice for a vacation. It was here that Second City, the improv troupe and school that gave the world everyone from Alan Arkin and Fred Willard to Tina Fey and Chris Farley. Stretching back to the 1950s, when the comedy team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May were seen on stage at a Second City predecessor, the city of Chicago gave talented funny people room to create comic personas without the glare of Hollywood or New York’s bright lights. It’s also the home city of two classic comedies of the 1980s, “The Blues Brothers” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
For the best in comedy today, though, Los Angeles may be the destination. Improv theaters like The Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade have been the primary farm systems for “Saturday Night Live” cast members for decades now, and everywhere from the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard to the Whole Foods in Pasadena (no, really!) now hosts stand-ups. One of our favorites is the Largo at the Coronet, a 280-seat theater near the Beverly Center shopping mall that hosts the best in alternative comics – stars like Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman are regulars there – in an artist-friendly environment (no cell phones and no talking in the theater). Bonus: It’s next door to one of the best cocktail lounges in the city, the Roger Room, making for a quintessentially L.A. one-two punch.