Rick Matthews is trepidatious; the crowd is looking a little light and it’s a holiday week. But then, from the bar’s dark corners, people begin to file in the room when his voice booms over the mic from the back stage. He’s cajoling folks to join him on another raucous Tuesday night of comedy at Nietzsche’s, and they are obliging.
The ample back room of the stalwart Allentown bar plays host to local music of every variety most nights of the week, but on Tuesdays the jokers of Buffalo take over with the Rust Belt Comedy Showcase. Buffalo’s longest running open mic, Rust Belt was first known as Doin’ Time Comedy, captained by local comedy superstar Kristen Becker. Becker began the room in March 2006 with the sole purpose of creating a stage for herself and the smattering of other local comics in the city. Since then, the show has morphed into a combination open mic / showcase, and recently underwent another formatting change in which local comics can forgo their entire routines in favor of off-the-cuff riffing based on a (nearly always ridiculous) draw from a Cards Against Humanity set.
Matthews is now the ringleader of this circus, and can be found every Tuesday night at approximately 8:30 p.m. hosting the local comedy showcase that features a dozen or so up-and-coming comics in the city, as well as visiting acts from out of town. With a cover at the door and dirt cheap drink prices, the Rust Belt Comedy Showcase is a sure bet for weekly good times in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood.
8:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Nietzsche’s, 242 Allen St., $5.