For better or worse, Broward County can be a funny place to live — just spend a Saturday afternoon people watching on FTL Beach or the Dale-ien Gap. Despite that fact, we lack comedy clubs where a local stand-up comedian can poke fun about our off-the-wall community. Fortunately for laugh addicts, a new-ish comedy club, National Lampoon Underground, has opened up near the beach, right next to Primanti Brothers.
Not too long ago, Fat Hand and I decided to check out the spot and were instantly intrigued by the three story building’s potential, specifically the amazing performance area (floor #2) that could be used for for a live music showcase, and the stunning view from the third floor sundeck that towers over McSorleys similar rooftop bar. This particular night, a local posse of funny people known as The Have Nots successfully entertained the modest sized crowd. And even when a punch lines failed, the awkwardness evoked just as much laughter. Overall, I was impressed with the effort and poise of the local comedians. As I see it, music and paintings aren’t the only forms of art– it takes a special talent to make an audience keel over with laughter.
All jokes aside (pun intended), it’s difficult to imagine this venue surviving in the long-run (my opinion, of course). As I see it, the bar has two major hurdles to overcome:
- The name is painfully lame and narrow minded. Call it just Underground and the possibilities for different types of events are endless.
- The location is amazing, but inconvenient at the same time. Most heavy drinkers prefer the Las Olas intersection of the beach to consume their Miller Lites or High Octanes and the locals that do frequent the Sunrise/A1A portion of FTL Beach will need more than a lineup of unknown stand up comedians and Norman Rockwell toga party flyers to be dragged away from Eagles game at The Parrot or their beer pong match at McSorley’s.
First and foremost, I’d start referencing the bar as The Underground, rather than the full name. A lot of people I’ve talked to are turned off immediately by ‘National Lampoon’. It sounds like it’s catered only to tourists. The nickname could also open the floodgates for different types of events such as live music showcases. Bands bring fans, as do DJs. In addition, throw a huge party and advertise the hell out of it. I’m thinking some kind of all-you-can-drink draft special ($10), no cover, discounted food, 2 or 3 bands on the second floor with stand-up comedy in between, and DJ on the roof. This will get people to familiarize themselves with the spot, and hopefully entice them to check out future events.
Either way, in National Lampoon’s current form, its definitely worthy of your dollar bills. I highly recommend visiting The Underground on open mic night Wednesdays or a Thursday showcase by the Have Nots. Maybe even opt to take a date here; it’ll be more memorable than a standard dinner and a movie and probably score you some ‘creative’ points.
National Lampoon Underground is located at 900 Sunrise Ln, Ft Lauderdale, FL 33304 . Check their site http://underground.nationallampoon.com for more details about upcoming events.