Even though we could use the humor, the pandemic shut down the in-person stand-up comedy scene. But laughs are on the way.

McCurdy’s, Sarasota’s flagship stand-up venue, remains closed, although it has been offering virtual shows and is starting outside shows in April.

You can also try a new venue. Chris Sanders, a born-and-raised Bradenton boy, wanted to fill the comedy void left by Covid-19 and created Moonlight Comedy SRQ, which has been offering live stand-up at the Bahi Hut.  “I missed doing stand-up,” Sanders says, “and I realized I had to create my own opportunity.”

Each Moonlight Comedy show is headlined by an out-of-town performer, while local talent fills the mid spots. This Tuesday, March 30, the headliner is Usama Siddiquee, a Brooklyn-based stand-up who was a finalist on America’s Got Talent and was featured on the Netflix series Inventing Anna.

To make people feel safe, Moonlight Comedy happens outside at the Bahi Hut’s newly renovated outdoor seating area. The shows are every first and last Tuesday of the month at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door, $9 if you buy in advance on Eventbrite.

Sanders hopes to enrich the comedy scene in Sarasota and leave patrons smiling. “Most clubs and open mics are in St. Pete and Tampa,” he says. “But there’s a lot of local talent, and comedy is a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

Whether you love or hate the show, Sanders has set up a Google Voicemail for patrons to share their thoughts and feelings. He'll share the reviews on the Instagram @moonlightcomedysrq

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