The Morrison Motel
By Michael Balla

TWO DRINK MINIMUM Issue 9 May 2004
The Morrison Motel
The Village Lantern; New York City
April 12, 2004

Okay, the secret's out. The new hotspot for comedy isn't at one of those premiere comedy clubs with their exorbitant cover charge and pesky two-drink minimum. Move over, Comedy Cellar; say hello to The Morrison Motel.

Produced and hosted by comedian John Morrison at the Village Lantern, "in the little room that could at the bottom of the stairs," as he likes to put it, Morrison's show takes place one Monday a month and spotlights top-notch comedians as well as emerging talent. All of this for a fraction of the price you'd pay at a "real" comedy club.

The most recent show on April 12th included great performances by seasoned comics Eddie Brill, Jim David and Wendy Spero, to name a few. Other well-known comedians that have graced the Motel include Marc Maron and Judah Friedlander.

Who to expect at this month's show? "I've been after Eddie Pepitone since December and hope to have him in May," Morrison replies. "Although it's actually a lot harder finding the audiences than the comics." That's hard to believe because each show so far has been nearly sold out.

Aside from producing this monthly booked show, Morrison is well-respected and admired on the underground comedy circuit as founder and proprietor of The Morrison MotelWednesday Night Open Mic. This room is touted as "One of the best, most supportive open mics around today," says comedian and Motel-goer Rhett Thompson. But don't call it an open mic in front of John: "I detest the term open mic and all that it confers; I prefer 'workout room.'"

In fact, this workout room just celebrated its one-year anniversary in April with a night of comedy, cake, spirits and other goodies, followed by Morrison's trademark raffling-off of prizes at the end of the show.

After reaching this milestone, what's next? "Good question," he ponders. "My oldest son, 21, keeps asking me, 'So dad, where do you see this comedy thing going?' He knows I'm squandering his money."

For an update on future shows, check out

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