Bullfrogs Live provides comedy, entertainment

Leia Karimul Bashar

The first time I went to the comedy show at Bullfrogs Live, I realized I was experiencing decent entertainment, something of an anomaly in Topeka.

It was sometime in late 2004, and I became addicted to live standup. I went to the comedy shows on a weekly basis. Sadly, when I enrolled at Washburn in 2006, I no longer had the time or the money to attend the shows on anything resembling a regular basis, so my weekly comedy nights became a thing of the past. Last Saturday, however, I decided to give Bullfrogs comedy club another shot for old time’s sake, just in case it falls victim to the nose-diving economy.

I went on a Saturday night. The featured comedians were Ross Duncliffe and Troy Baxley. The first comedian’s material is rarely as funny or polished as the second comedian’s, but Duncliffe managed to keep the audience amused with his sarcastic, raunchy jokes and frequent swearing.

When a small group of people walked in late, Duncliffe used them to show how much he doesn’t pick on audience members.

“Hey, I don’t pick on the audience. You know, people like you guys. ‘Can I get you a watch or something?’ You know, I don’t do that. I’m glad you guys are here. That’s my point.”

He also told the requisite “insert your town and local establishments here” jokes. Every comedian has one or two.

“So last night while I was here, I was like, ‘What should I do in Topeka? What should I check out while I’m here?'” said Duncliffe. “The bartender just laughed at me, so I went to Churchill’s and smoked with some old guys for a while.”

After Duncliffe’s set, the audience took a quick smoke break, during which I had time to ask other audience members what they thought of the show so far.

“When he started, I thought he was trying too hard to make everyone laugh,” said John Clark, 23, “but in the end, he just went with the flow because he relaxed and caught on, and then you start laughing.”

After the smoke break, it was Baxley’s turn to take the stage.

“Hold on, I gotta lube my flavor hole,” he said to the audience, taking a swig of Corona. “My flavor hole was dry. You have to keep it lubed,” he further explained, to gales of alcohol-augmented laughter from the audience. Then, Baxley told the audience to yell out the best job in the world.

“Teacher,” yelled one woman.

“Nurse,” suggested another.

One man called out, “international banker,” and the poor guy became Baxley’s intermittent target of ridicule during the remainder of the evening. Somehow, every joke seemed to come back to the international banker. “International banker? Wow sir, is that your PT Cruiser out there in the parking lot? ‘Pulling up in my PT Cruiser, showing Topeka who’s rolling with the dough.'”

Overall, the show was entertaining, so I decided to go the next weekend, too. Unfortunately, Bullfrogs Live comedy shows are hit-or-miss, and the next one missed big time.

One of the comedians, John Lewis, talked about how lucky women are because their breasts help them get all the good jobs. He then explained to the crowd that there should never be a female president in the United States because she would send the country to war over emotions-based reasons. Maybe it was because his material felt dated, or maybe it was because the audience consisted mostly of women, but his jokes fell flat.

The headliner was a little better, but he wasn’t nearly as funny as Baxley from the previous show.

In the end, though, it’s worth suffering through a couple of bad comedians to get to the good ones. Having a comedy club in Topeka is about the principle of the matter. Comedy clubs are usually reserved for the big Midwestern cities like Chicago and Omaha, yet here sits one in the middle of Topeka. At the very least, Bullfrogs Live Comedy Club is an interesting diversion from Topeka’s typical bar scene, and most of the time the comedians are pretty darn funny.

Doors open Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. Guests must be 21 or older.