Insider Insight: Renee Fandt

How to enjoy standup comedy in the Inland Northwest

In March 2016, Renee Fandt opened the Spokane Comedy Club with her husband Kevin Fandt and business partner and son Adam Norwest. Since that point, they've seen the comedy scene start to grow, and have brought plenty of laughter to the city where Renee and Kevin met.

We sat down with her to see if she'd share a few things you might not know about getting your laugh on in Spokane.

1. Big Comics, Smaller Venue

Something unique that Spokane has going for it is that the club, which seats about 300, is able to book big-name comics who might opt to play a larger theater in cities like Seattle, Renee says.

And the people they bring through town love the audiences and the city, she says.

"Every single comic we've brought in just loves it here and really wants to come back."

2. Who's on Stage Right Now?

"Stand-up comedy is an art," Renee says. "It's basically like live theater."

But some people have the misconception, maybe from watching TV, that lots of people holler out or heckle during shows, something the club doesn't allow, she says. So, there's some audience teaching that happens.

Some comics invite that type of attention, but others don't want any crowd interaction at all. Security at the club will give people a warning or two and then ask them to leave.

3. See Someone You Don't Know

Many of the comics the club brings in have had Comedy Central specials and been on late night TV, but most people don't know them.

"There's so many funny people out there, and a fraction of them are famous," Renee says.

But those lesser known comedians are hilarious, and often make for some of the best shows, she says. If you're not sure, look for videos beforehand to get a sense for their style of comedy, she says.

"Comedy is very subjective. I always recommend if you're going to go to a show, Google the person to see, is it even a style you like?" she says.

Some of her favorites include Chad Daniels, Andy Woodhull, Pete Lee and others who are coming up in the comedy world.

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About The Author

Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...