June 9, 2023
8:00 pm
Door: 7:00 pm

Downtown Santa Rosa Friday Night Comedy – Headliner Tony Sparks

Stand-up comedy in Downtown Santa Rosa

Doors – 7p / Show 8p

$15adv / $20door

Every Friday night hilarious comedians from The Bay Area and beyond perform at Barrel Proof Lounge. Stick around after and dance with Legendary DJ Rob Cervantes.

Host Casey Williams brings a fresh lineup of funny each Friday.

This week, don’t miss:

Christie Bahna

Holly Shaw

Mitch Norton

Headliner: The Godfather of Bay Area Comedy: Tony Sparks

He’s been a working comedian for over 30 years and hosted the legendary Brainwash Café shows for 17. If you’ve been to a comedy show in the Bay Area, you’ve probably seen him. And you already love him.

His raw, personal, and often darkly hilarious style made him a quickly rising star within the California comedy scene. With grizzled vets arguing he got “too good, too quick” he did things his own way and found himself sharing the stage with comedians like Dave Attell and Robin Williams and was soon opening for Iliza Shlesinger and Brian Posehn. Just two years in, his first album “Tangled Up In Plaid” was released on Stand Up! Records and debuted in the iTunes Top 10 comedy releases. With his follow up album and TV Special “Bummin’ With The Devil” scheduled for 2018 release, and the pilot of his TV show “Sick Joke” in the can, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Amazon wrote of Taylor’s “Tangled Up In Plaid” album, “A man forever in his “blue period” (in color and sensibility), Taylor’s worked to hone a comic sensibility that’s equal parts introspection and intellectual inversion-which is to say, he’s funny, thoughtful, a little mean, a little earnest, and a man who lives up to his Twitter handle (few among us can make that claim). He could be the guy on stage, the guy next to you at the bar, or the guy who’s about to take over American comedy.”

Retrocrush.com wrote, “Part of Taylor’s charm is that he can come at you with tough guy material, then reveal a frail side that takes you off guard. And when he lulls you into a calm with his charm, and you think the material is going to veer in one direction, the joke suddenly stops with a sucker-punch to the gut.”

The Sacramento Bee called him, “a hysterical and occasionally melancholic storyteller.”

Above all, Johnny Taylor loves making people laugh, regardless how dark the world has become. In a piece he wrote for Huffington Post titled “An Open Letter to Comedy”, Taylor wrote, “You’ve always been with me, really. Far before I ever took the plunge to use you to work through me from a stage to paying strangers. As far back as I can remember, I was using you to break the tension that I constantly found myself surrounded by. The tension was like my second skin as a child. When my Mom was having a manic episode and telling me I was John the Baptist and instructing me to baptize my siblings in the bathtub, you were there to guide me through.”

Taylor has been a featured and headlining act for Live Nation clubs and has thrived in non-comedy venues, opening for acts like Pinback. He’s performed in venues big and small throughout the US and Canada and is a regular on the comedy festival circuit performing at San Francisco Sketchfest, Hell Yes Fest in New Orleans, The Asheville Comedy Festival, and Altercation Fest in Austin and many others.

Johnny Taylor’s Twitter account @hipsterocracy has more than 150K followers as of this writing and is frequently quoted source by many pop culture taste-makers including @midnight, Huffington Post, and Paste. He’s been featured on the cover of Sacramento News and Review and Submerge Magazine and has been a frequent guest on Good Day Sacramento and Capital Public Radio. His music reviews are regularly featured on “Now Hear This Music”, as well.

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