Wednesday, December 15

Morty's Comedy Joint

Steve Hofstetter 
Most of us make New Year's resolutions. This year, Chris Bowers and Tony Deardorff resolved to re-open Morty's Comedy Joint, 3625 E. 96th St., just two months after previous owners threw in the towel. Once that goal had been met, the owners set their sights on being better than just another laugh factory. So they did what anyone would do; bring in a comedian or two as partners.

But not just any comedians.

International-touring headliner Steve Hofstetter is also CEO of Next Round Entertainment and known throughout the biz as a marketing magician. With him came funny man Marshall Chiles, owner of the Skull Club, a successful Atlanta comedy club.

Hofstetter invited me to drop in and put them to the test. So I did.

The friendly staff and cozy ambiance is apparent as soon as you enter the place, with the bar, complete with smiling bartender Chris Petsel, located in the lobby...very handy.
Chris Petsel, bartender
Emcee Todd McComas, was discovered through the popular Wednesday Open Mic night and handled his duties like a pro. Headlining was Hofstetter, who brought the crowd to laugh-out-loud level with his interaction with the audience enhancing an already appreciated routine. With all but six of the 250 seats filled, it is easy to see that the changes made to the venue are working, and quickly.

Since the talent varies weekly, I went with the intent to check out everything else, also. The extensive menu, not so normal for comedy clubs, made it easy to see these guys mean business with their declaration to take things up several notches.
Strawberry Shortcake
and Strawberry Daiquiri

Flirty cocktails such as the blue Wicked Waterfall and their signature Strawberry Shortcake provide fun in a liquid form.

The prime rib sandwich gets my vote as one of the best sandwiches I have had in awhile. My only suggestion would be to change out the bread for a heartier one which complements the quality of the steak better, perhaps a crusty Italian. The soft bread used could not hold up to the meat and actually was a weak link.

 Musgrave in the Green Room with
Bowers, Deardorff and Hofstetter.
It's no secret how important I believe customer service to be. The owners, wait staff, hostess, bartenders and even the performers themselves, seemed to have a vested interest in the comfort of the patrons.
Watching how the wait staff tended to each person was a nice change of pace from the lackluster service which has become so common lately. It is obvious throughout the venue that each one feels as a member of the team. 

Bottom Line: Given the speed with which the foursome have worked
thus far, and the quality being infused into their business, I predict Morty's Comedy Joint will become one of the country's destination comedy clubs for performers and fans alike.

Photo credit: TStorm; Izzy Evans
Info: 317-848-5500
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer and theater critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC and follow her on Twitter @ejmusgrave1 and Facebook.

Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, West Side Community News, New Palestine Reporter, West Indianapolis Community News, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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