FALMOUTH – Knock, knock.
Comedy is here on Cape Cod and it is becoming part of the cultural landscape due to the perseverance of one man, Preston Simpson.
“We’re inundated by all this other crap in the news,” said Simpson. “We all need to laugh. If i can bring laughter to the Cape, I feel like I’m fulfilling my personal mission.”
Tonight, July 16, at the Seacrest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, Simpson will be hosting one of four shows his company, Flapjack Comedy Productions (named after his cat) is bringing to Cape Cod the remainder of this summer. The headliner tonight is Steve Sweeney.
Besides the Seacrest, Simpson is bringing shows to the Double Tree Hilton in Hyannis as well. Both venues seat about 300 people, he said.
“I’m always looking for the top-notch headliner, that we can afford, of course,” said Simpson. “I like to bring down the big name people.”
Usually there are three comics, including the headliner. Sometimes Simpson, a comic himself who has appeared on the David Letterman show among others, does a set.
“I am sometimes the host,” said Simpson. “Mostly, I am just producing the show.”
He has already brought two shows to the Cape. “This is the second one at the Seacrest,” said Jennifer Keys, senior sales catering manager at the Seacrest. “The first one went great,” she said.
Keys attended the first show. “I thought it was fantastic. It was funny. It was something different.”
Simpson along with his wife, Andrea Kooharian-Simpson, does all the promotion for the shows. It costs about $2,300 to put on a show, he said.
“We’re inundated by all this other crap in the news. We all need to laugh. If i can bring laughter to the Cape, I feel like I’m fulfilling my personal mission.” – Preston Simpson
He began Flapjack Comedy in October of 2015 after putting on several comedy benefits around the Cape. He saw a need, and starting bringing comedy to the Cape fit his passion, he said.
“Since we started, we’ve done one show a month,” said Simpson. “This summer, we’re doing two a month.”
Alison McSorley, director of sales and marketing for the Doubletree Hilton of Cape Cod in Hyannis, said there used to be a successful comedy lounge on the property about four years ago. When Simpson approached her about putting on shows, McSorley said, “It was serendipitous.”
She said Simpson’s shows are put on in a function room usually used for weddings, and conferences and such.
Simpson’s goal is to find a permanent home for his comedy shows. “It fits because of the feedback I get,” said Simpson. “People say, ‘Why don’t we have more of this on the Cape?”
Tickets cost $25, he said. “That’s $25 for two hours of straight laughter,” said Simpson. “And lord knows, we need to laugh more.”
McSorley said the Doubletree decided to put on shows because Simpson “really impressed us.”
And McSorley said that the shows increase awareness of the hotel. Keys echoed the same sentiment about the Seacrest.
So knock, knock, comedy is here on Cape Cod and the punchline is it might even stick around. “We think there’s a year-round market for comedy on the Cape,” said McSorley.
The rest of this summer’s shows
July 30 at the Doubletree – Headliner Joe Yannety
August 11 – at the Seacrest – Headliner Lenny Clarke
August 27 – at the Doubletree – Headliner Tony V
For more information see Flap Jack Comedy