This article also appears on blugoldmedia.org.
The Eau Claire music scene is so present in the community that there are multiple festivals and events to commemorate different aspects of it. However, another performanced-based art form has, in recent years, become prevalent in the Chippewa Valley: the local comedy scene.
The Eau Claire comedy scene has blown up since Clear Water Comedy, a group of local comedians, formed in 2012. Co-founder Cullen Ryan helped create the group after he moved to Eau Claire from Minneapolis that year and he noticed a lack of comics performing at The Plus’ open mic nights.
Knowing this, he went to The Plus’ weekly open mic night to perform a comedy set. From there, more comedians started showing up each week.
“It just kind of blew up from there,” Ryan said. “There was one week where we had 27 comics on the mic. For an open mic! … We used to do open mic in the bar side, but it just got too full. We had to move it to the main room. And in the early days, like 2013, early 2014, we would have 150 there just to watch it.”
From there, the group of local comedians has expanded significantly. The Plus and Clear Water Comedy host a weekly comedy show featuring local and out-of-town comics.
Wentland can be reached at [email protected]