The night is one the longest running weekly comedy shows in Sydney.
They celebrated their 10th birthday earlier this year in June.
Every week there are stand out line-ups.
There is usually a mix of local comedians, as well as comedians from other parts of the country - and from time to time International acts too.
What I love about it is that you never know what to expect.
Even if there is a comedian you have seen before, you get to see them in a new way.
For $10, you really couldn’t ask for more.
You often see acts there that are charging a lot more for their shows in bigger venues, and the Friend In Hand is a lot more intimate than larger Sydney venues. Therefore there is a lot of audience interaction, and not just people on stage reciting a rehearsed speech.
Friend In Hand is the perfect venue for Comedy. Mic In Hand is held in the upstairs part of the venue with good seating and a pool table at the back with a T.V. On this, if you're chilling out at the back with friends - you'll still get to see what’s going on stage.
The Friend In Hand also has seating and good food down stairs, as well as a beer garden - so it's cool if you get down early and have a bite to eat for instance.
The atmosphere of the room is always fantastic.
You walk in and new people feel like old friends. Everybody is just there to laugh and have a good time.
Last weeks show was hosted by Jackie Loeb.
I had never seen her before, but I was in pain from laughter before the first act even came on.
She kept the whole night going with a really genuine style, mostly just vibing off the audience and telling people off for using their phones and flirting wildly with a young guy at the front on his birthday.
I will definitely be looking out for her next time.
Plus she made some comment during the show about my friend and I being “Young and attractive”…So y’know I love a good show where I get an ego boost too.
Comedian Nick Sun has asked not to be pictured, and instead sent me a picture of a jellyfish - as pictured below.
Madeleine Culp was next up.
I met Madeleine at a show earlier this year when she was an MC at Comedy Confessionals at the last Jurassic Lounge.
Madeline’s style is quite self deprecating and intellectual…she finished her set off with a pretty cool party trick, yet you’ll probably have to go to one of her shows to check it out.
Madeleine Culp. Photo by Merel Krediet.
Ben Elwood was on. He is a personal favourite of mine. I have seen him at quite a few local shows, and at his Fringe Show earlier this year where he had audience members throwing darts at a board to determine what jokes he would tell.
His style has you doing a lot of ‘shame laughs’…you know the kind where somebody says something, and the way you laugh sort of determines a lot more about you than it does the comedian?
...yeah he is into that, always taking that joke a little too far.
I would definitely recommend checking him out. I can’t say whether or not you’ll regret it, but if you don’t laugh - it’s probably on you.
David Williams was the head-liner, and a pretty funny way to cap things off.
He has a really genuine style.
I’ve been to a couple of his shows, and each time you get something new.
He’s been around, so you may have seen him before. He was the perfect way to cap off the night.
Here’s a snip of him on Rove a few years back:
The whole night was a really good time, as it is every week.
Liam Nesbitt who organises the weekly event answers a few questions:
How did Mic In Hand start?
“A Mic in Hand was started in 2003 by two good friends of mine, Sam Bowring and Kent Valentine.
At that time there weren’t many rooms running, and not much by way of opportunity for comics to get stage time outside of more formal settings." (sorry guys - italics function seems to be playing up in this paragraph - editor)
"Sam grew up in Glebe, and they found the Friend in Hand, which has always been a great venue. The Friend got behind it right away, and so A Mic in Hand was born!”
What’s your favourite part about running the night?
“I’ll have to say my favourite parts…seeing the diversity of comics out there, and watching them develop and settling into their styles over time - and the feel of a room that is enjoying a great night of comedy."
"A great pro in action is always magical to experience when they have an audience in the palm of their hand. I never tire of it.”
How long have you been involved in comedy?
“I’ve dabbled around it from when I was a young smart arse at school. I loved parody and theatre sports in particular, and then throughout uni I did quite a bit of musical comedy and produced a sketch show in my final year."
"There I met Sam and Kent, who ran the university comedy club, and began my appreciation of standup. When they started AMIH I would help them by doing sound and filling in for them if one or both were away. I also started doing standup pretty regularly myself, but I haven’t gotten up in a while now."
"In 2007 I started a group called Manchoir, which is an all male comedy A Cappella group. That’s more my performing outlet now.”
What makes it different from other comedy nights?
“There’s a great combination of factors at AMIH that makes it pretty special, in my opinion."
"The room ticks all the boxes on my list of what makes a room work well. We’ve always been blessed by attentive, comedy-loving audiences. Comedians love the room, and tend to have a lot of fun on stage there, which really improves the atmosphere greatly. It’s well established."
"It’s been running longer than any other room in Sydney. Put all that together and sprinkle in a lot of love from us, and you’ve got AMIH.”
Why should people come to a show?
“For all the above reasons as well as the most important one: to support the industry. Comics put a lot of time and effort into putting their material together, and do a heap of sets for little or no money in their quest to better themselves at it."
"That’s the only way that we end up with the household names of comedy, and this process needs people to support it and hold it up."
"Coming out to live comedy shows helps improve the quality of every other form of comedy we experience, believe me. Also, everyone needs to laugh sometimes.”
Where: The Friend In Hand, 58 Cowper Street, Glebe
Why: Great Comedians.
When: Every Thursday at 8pm