BY ELLEN KOESTER
The Last Laugh Comedy Theater in West Des Moines appeals to the funny bones of its patrons. Drake students frequent the theater, whether to watch their shows or to act in them.
The theater mainly does improv shows with a free show once a week. These free shows, usually on Wednesday nights, attract many students.
“College students are always looking for cheap, easy ways to have fun,” junior Taylor Eisenhauer said.
The theater is only ten minutes away by from campus car and has shows every night from Wednesday to Saturday.
Eisenhauer said that whenever she goes, she has a good time.
“It’s a good stress reliever to get away from campus. It’s free, and you can’t beat it. It’s great entertainment for free,” Eisenhauer said.
Students over 21 can buy drinks at the bar in the back of the theater. Otherwise, the theater sells snacks to enjoy on top of the laughs.
Junior Maggie Dickman enjoys the food, like the fried ravioli. The last time she went was this summer, and she is hoping to go again this year.
“From what I remember, it was a pretty intimate space. It’s not huge, so it’s easy to get sucked into the show,” Dickman said.
The club is located in a small room with a stage up front and a bar in the back with seating in between. There is very little space between the audience and the performers.
“Every time I went, the audience was engaged and excited,” Dickman said. “They’re very open to audience participation especially because the space was pretty small. It was a fun atmosphere.”
The shows greatly vary. They host professional comedians and have open mic nights. On an average night, there will be four cast members who perform using audience suggestions. The club often uses audience participation.
The cast members also change every night. Occasionally, Drake students may see a familiar face in the cast.
Zoe Zuidema had her first performance there this past Wednesday. She is also a part of the D+ Improv Group at Drake. She said that another D+ Improv member, Jasen Emamian, who also works at the theater, encouraged her to try out for a job at the theater.
“It’s been a good experience so far,” Zuidema said. “Everyone else who is involved is really funny. It’s a cool community of people who enjoy the same kind of humor and activities. And improv is just fun. I really enjoy it as a creative outlet.”
The theater hired Zuidema last fall. She will be in one or two performances at the club a month. She said it is a much more creative and fun job than her on-campus work-study.
“It’s really fun,” Zuidema said. “It’s the nature of doing improv that I personally really enjoy. It’s refreshing and being around funny people all the time is a blast.”
Tickets to Last Laugh performances cost around $10 most nights, except for their free shows on Wednesday.