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Bonkerz Comedy Showcase
Bonkerz Comedy Showcase is a stage show featuring different comedians from the entertainment industry. The shows are produced by Bonkerz Comedy Productions, a comedy club that began in 1984. The company has comedy clubs in Florida, Wisconsin, Nevada, Maryland, Michigan, and Mississippi.
Comedians like Mark Curry, Guy Branum, Catherine Maloney, Caroline Rhea, Tom Garland, Bob Zany, etc., are a part of the company’s performing team. Bonkerz has classified its comedians into different categories- celebrities, club comedians, college comedians, Christian comedians, corporate comedians, hypnotists, magicians, and variety comedians.
History and Background Information
Joe Sanfelippo, his brother John, and his ‘other brother’ George Maltezos had a live music and dance club called Papagaio in Milwaukee. The trio was looking to expand the business when a friend suggested they hire a comedy star to entertain the crowd. Since there were no comedy clubs within 100 miles, their new expansion became an immediate success. The only thing it needed was a name!
After much discussion, they decided that Bonkerz was the best name for a place where they intended for the audience to go bonkers with laughter. The company moved to Florida in 1987, where they invited more comedians to perform on the stage.
Bonkerz became famous when their friend, Rick Messina, convinced the makers of The Showtime Comedy Club Network to choose the club as their setting. These segments continued to run on Comedy Central for ten years.
Bonkerz Comedy Productions continued to expand in the 1990s and 2000s. The company opened more clubs in different locations. It produced shows in Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas, which led to an exclusive production for their friend, Louie Anderson. From here on, the company continued to produce comedy shows and assisted other productions like Billy Gardell’s Road Dogs of Comedy.
Bonkerz is fully involved in standup comedy while also providing consulting services for casting, auditions, etc. Celebrity comedians Billy Gardell, Mike Mercury, Darrell Hammond, Daniel Tosh, and Carrot Top have grown their careers through Bonkerz comedy clubs. Juanita Lolita, Helen Hong, Ken Miller, Kathleen Dunbar, etc., are featured comedians with the club. The comedy club was featured on many popular shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Show With David Letterman, Live Kelly & Michael, Conan, etc. The comedians from Bonkerz club offer tailor-made outlines and itineraries to suit the venue, audience, and clients.