On Friday, Natasha’s Bar and Grill, 627 Commercial St., hosted the first of what it hopes will be many upcoming comedy shows.
“It was a really great stand up comedy show,” said Chad Schmidt, attendee and local resident. “Both comedians tonight were hilarious. I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile.”
Bill Vilmos is a nationally touring stand up comedian, radio personality and blogger. Vilmos has been a comedian since 1992, and has been touring nationally since 1995. Critics have described Vilmos’ comedic style as similar to “‘Steven Wright on steroids,’ in which he delivers his satirical view of life to audiences, leaving them gasping for air.”
“I really enjoyed performing here tonight,” Vilmos said. “We had a great audience tonight. There were a few loud mouths up front, but still, a great audience.”
The Friday night comedy show was Vilmos’ first performance at Natasha’s, as well as in Emporia. But on stage, Dan Rock, the other performer for the evening, said he was no stranger to Emporia or Natasha’s. Rock took note of the new remodeling done to the bar and said last time he had performed at Natasha’s, there was a buffet bar right by the stage.
“I feel like tonight’s show went really well,” Rock said. “Natasha’s is probably one of my favorite venues for a comedy show.”
Rock said despite a group of loud audience members directly in front of the stage, the show was a hit. Rock was able to successfully use his comedy to diffuse the situation and quiet the loud patrons during his act.
Vilmos is the creator and host of the popular online radio show The Green Room, also known as Green Room Radio. Vilmos said Green Room Radio gives the listener an inside look at the world and business of stand up comedy and how comedians view the world. The online radio show premiered its first episode on April 22, 2008, and has since produced 388 episodes with 214 different comedians.
Before creating Green Room Radio, Vilmos briefly hosted the show The Hungarian Help Line on the Todd & Tyler show on Z-92 FM in Omaha, Neb. The show featured Vilmos finding humorous solutions to tough problems that people face in every day life.
Vilmos said the content of the episodes’ topics ranged from dealing with children with behavior problems and husbands that watch too much football, to the awkward process of going from “just friends” to a relationship and what to do when a female boss shows interest in her recently-hired male employee.
Both Vilmos and Rock said on stage they were also from the Midwest. Vilmos grew up in Illinois and lived in Chicago until he moved to Colorado in 1986. Vilmos owned a comedy club in Denver from 2004 to 2009. Rock now lives in the Seattle area.
Vilmos and Rock are currently on separate national tours. Natasha’s plans to have more stand up comedy shows in the near future.