Small Talk with Sesty – Tempe Improv GM Joe Newcomer

Author: Patrick

Posted on: June 20, 2013


“Laughter is the best medicine.”  At some point in our lives, we’ve heard this saying.  According to scientists a lot smarter than me, there is some truth to it.  For example, did you know that laughing helps boost your immune system?  Or that laughing releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemical our body naturally produces.  Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.  Laughing is also good for your heart.   Studies have shown that laughing has caused improved blood vessel function and increases in blood flow, both of which protect us against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.  Not only is laughing the best medicine but it can literally save our lives.

When Tempe Improv re-opened (at the same location as before, on the northeast corner of Rural Road and University Drive), you can understand why I was so happy.  I knew that not only would I get to see a lot of talented comedians perform regularly but I’d also be helping my overall health and well-being in the process.  Like most of us know, Tempe Improv has been around for about 25 years.  However, it shut its doors on June 1, 2012.  Once it was decided to reopen the club, a makeover was in store.  If you’ve been there – like I have – since the reopening, the “new” Tempe Improv is more open and comfortable to watch a show.  The facility pays homage to Tempe and her history, as most of the décor comes straight from the Tempe History Museum.

Joe Newcomer is the general manager at Tempe Improv.  He’s worked there for almost two years.  Joe oversees the club’s food and beverage operations at an in store level, in addition to making sure the talent is taken care of.  Joe has a really cool job and he loves it.  He says,“What other career in the restaurant industry can you have where you get to laugh at work every day?”

One important aspect of Tempe Improv that Joe pointed out to me was the intimate feel it has for such a large room.  It’s something unique he says sets it apart from other venues.  “A lot of the acts that have been at the new Improv have felt the same way.  It gives everyone a sense that they are a part of the experience.”

The Improv has played host to some of the biggest names in comedy throughout its history.   Chris Rock, David Spade and the great Jerry Seinfeld have all graced the stage during their careers.  When the Improv reopened, Frank Caliendo was the first comedian to perform.  Since then, Pablo Francisco, Bob Marley and most recently, Whitney Cummings have found their way to Tempe to perform at Tempe Improv.

Tempe Improv is a Tempe institution and I’m glad the owners realized that and decided to make improvements and start business again.   They, along with their amazing staff, care a lot about us folks.  There are some great shows coming up and tickets can be purchased either online or by calling 480-921-9877.   When you head over there, take a little look around and know that this place is here to not only make us laugh but to help us live a little longer too.

For more information regarding Tempe events, visit the Tempe Tourism website or call 800-283-6734.

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