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Mental Ward: Raw

Open mic comedy can be a real mixed bag (you never really know what to expect on stage). But no matter how terrible or talented one open mic performance might be, the right unfiltered, raw vibe can transform an otherwise awkward room into Showtime at the Apollo. And that’s the gutsy mentality behind Open Mic Comedy Night at the Mental Ward (1931 S. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale).

The Tuesday night session is a comedy night for comedians, where local working funny people like Matt Zigan, Lisa Corrao, Hansen Sinclair, and Ivan Hernandez show up weekly to try out their newest and rawest material. Zigan, an unapologetically blue comic who got his start there last December, explains the night like this: “It’s totally freeform, and there are no rules. Whatever comic gets there first will host it. It starts late and always ends late. It’s a room where we can just come in and let loose.” Even though the comics involved are there to escape the firm rules of club comedy, Zigan and company actually encourage the Apollo-like heckling that goes down. That may sound daunting to newcomers, but it’s all in good humor. “Comedians will tear each other up,” says Zigan. “But actually you’ll get jokes out of it sometimes. If someone insults you really, really well you can keep it and use it.” The show usually gets underway around 10 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m., and is free to attend. Call 954-764-7664.
Tuesdays, 2007

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John Linn