Kyle Hackbarth (left) and Verlon Roberts listen to other comics as they prepare notes at the Comedy Garage. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Kyle Hackbarth (left) and Verlon Roberts listen to other comics as they prepare notes at the Comedy Garage. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Tony V’s Garage turns into a laugh factory on Monday nights

Local comedians Blake Kiltoff and Kate Carlson Carlsen co-host Comedy Garage in Everett.

EVERETT — We have another reason to not drive to Seattle — you can find good stand-up comedy right here.

Tony V’s Garage on Hewitt Avenue hosts a free comedy showcase Monday nights. The open mic draws regional comedians working out their longer sets and local amateurs trying new material. A touring headliner — a new one is booked each week — rounds out the show.

Local comedians Blake Kiltoff and Kate Carlson Carlsen have been co-hosting Comedy Garage at Tony V’s for about two years.

“A lot of strong comics come through because our room is developing a reputation,” said Kiltoff, whose day job is technical services project manager for Sno-Isle Libraries. “We give three to five minutes on stage, which is pretty generous for an open mic, then we book a comic for the end of the show, just to guarantee a good 20-minute set.”

Other touring comedians to take Tony V’s stage include Susan Jones, Jill Silva, Luke Severeid and Corey Michaelis. (Michaelis hosts Everett Comedy Night at Emory’s on Silver Lake on second Sundays.)

Ben Scott (aka “Little Ben the Funny Man”) launched the show in 2015 but turned it over to Kiltoff and Carlsen because he was wearing one too many hats at Tony V’s. Scott is the saloon and eatery’s head of security and booking agent for live music — and he performs stand-up there when he has the time.

Monday’s shows are held on Tony V’s mezzanine floor, where there is a separate comedy room with a stage offset by chain-link fences that seats about 40. Grab a beer from the bar downstairs, then a burger and fries at the snack counter on the stairs, and settle in for two hours of stand-up.

Kiltoff and Carlsen alternate which Monday they’ll play host. No matter who is hosting that night, you’ll get to see a five- to seven- minute set from both of them.

Blake Kiltoff, 34, of Snohomish, has been a comedian for 10 years. He calls his sense of humor macabre. He likes to joke about parenthood, diabetes and death. Kiltoff also hosts a comedy show at Collector’s Choice Restaurant in Snohomish on third Tuesdays.

Kate Carlson Carlsen (yes, she married a man with a nearly identical last name), 44, of Everett, has been performing stand-up for about three years. When she’s not on stage, she is a stay-at-home mom to four foster children — three of whom are in the sixth grade.

“I would describe my sense of humor as sarcastic and silly,” Carlsen said. “I love to joke about my life; it’s a deep well to pull from. I love sharing our fostering story in my comedy to hopefully encourage others to take the leap in to fostering.”

A fan of the show, owner Tony Verhey added the comedy room when Tony V’s moved to a bigger space next door on Hewitt Avenue in 2017.

“I love giving the space (for comedians) to come in and try out their talents. It’s just an added entertainment value to the city,” said Verhey, who has owned Tony V’s for 10 years.

“The comedians are always really great, and when word gets about about the featured comic, sometimes it’s standing-room only.”

If you go

Comedy Garage is a weekly comedy showcase and open mic held Mondays at 8:30 p.m. at Tony V’s Garage, 1716 Hewitt Ave., Everett. No cover. It features regional comedians working out their longer sets and local amateurs trying new material.

The show is technically all ages, but 18 and older is recommended because sometimes the material is rated R. The venue becomes 21 and older after 11 p.m.

Are you a comedian? Sign up at 7:15 p.m. for the open mic. Each comic gets a 3- to 5-minute set.

Headliner schedule

May 20: Darrin Chase

May 27: Laura Lyons

June 3: Joseph Gilleran

June 10: Casey Judson

June 17: Andy Iwancio

June 24: Jack Slattery

July 1: Birungi

July 8: Mikey Pullman

July 15: Gabey Lucas

July 22: Samantha Rund

July 29: Monica Nevi

Aug. 5: Charles Hall Jr.

Source: Comedy Garage

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