A barrel of laughs from Clear Water Comedy

Minneapolis comedians perform at The Plus

Liz Curtin

More stories from Liz Curtin


Photo by Liz Curtin

The event’s venue.

On April 6, Clear Water Comedy hosted Minneapolis comedians Lucy Beers Shenk, Elliott McVey, Tido Maldonado and headliner Cal Murata at The Plus

The quartet of comedians had already met at various open mics before that night’s show and were all visiting Eau Claire for their first time. The show consisted of jokes about grandmas, look-alikes, Cub Food’s raspberries, dead presidents and all-around self-deprecation. 

Beers Shenk opened the show and introduced all the other comedians before they came on. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, she said she ended up in Minnesota after attending Macalester College. 

Of all the comedians performing that night, Beers Shenk said she was the newest, having had her first show back in May of 2021.

“I’ve only really been doing it consistently for the past year,” Beers Shenk said. 

She said she wanted to perform stand-up for a long time but was held back by her fears, and eventually COVID-19. 

“I’ve always been interested in comedy. Growing up, my family was obsessed with watching sitcoms and I watched SNL a ton,” Beers Shenk said. 

She had another show the following night at Roxy’s Cabaret in Minneapolis. 

Following Beers Shenk, McVey took the stage. He entertained the audience with jokes about how often people say he reminds them of someone, such as Brendan Fraser and Lennie from Of Mice and Men.

He said this was his first time in Eau Claire, although one of his relatives went to nursing school at UW-Eau Claire. He said he had a great time at Eau Claire and hopes to return. 

Then Maldonado took the stage. That night, Maldonado was the senior comedian on the stage, having performed for the past four years starting back in 2018. He said he was inspired to do so by going to comedy clubs in Minneapolis. 

Now, he says he can sometimes be seen performing at several open mics in one night in Minneapolis, which is normal in the area. 

“It’s part of the culture to be on the grind,” Maldonado said. 

He said that because of COVID-19 it took a while for the comedy scene to go back to the way it was, and many comics had to perform on Zoom before people could see comedy live again, but with masks. 

“You can’t hear people laughing if they’re wearing a mask,” Maldonado said.

Finally, Beers Shenk introduced the headliner Murata to the stage. His segments consisted of dark jokes, especially about history, with a dash of self-depreciation. Murata said it was great that the audience understood all of his jokes. 

“What I’m trying to do is just make jokes that work anywhere,” Murata said. 

He said he was first inspired to do comedy by telling some jokes at a talent show at his high school, and that he has never performed a better show since. The show ended around 9 p.m.

Curtin can be reached at [email protected].