Savage Henry Comedy Club magazine in front of the club building in Eureka on Nov 11. | Photo by Becca Laurenson

Savage Henry Comedy Club faces potential closing

The club's GoFundme is near its deadline
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The club’s GoFundme is near its deadline

The Savage Henry, known for its magazine and comedy club, is being threatened with shutting down. Their current GoFundMe stands $9,000 short, as of publication, and the deadline is coming up.

The club temporarily shut down from March to July due to COVID-19.

Co-owner of Savage Henry Chris Durant first opened the club in November 2018. Ever since, the club and magazine have been a hit locally and statewide but due to pandemic restrictions, the club faces financial troubles.

“We couldn’t pay any bills because we couldn’t sell anything,” Durant said. “We were dead in the water,” Durant said.

Calista LaBolle, a stand-up comedian at the Savage Henry, has been performing at the club for a year and has been friends with Durant prior to stepping on stage. LaBolle emphasized the beauty of the comedy club and it’s importance in the community.

“It’s a mecca for comedy in Humboldt. It is for many comedians,” LaBolle said. “In our region, it is very well known. A rest fit for a lot of the comedians, a place that they can come and be themselves. That will be difficult for a lot of us, if it has to close.”

Eric Fitzgerald, a stand-up comedian at the Savage Henry, found the club from open mic acts. For Fitzgerald, the club is a place of creativity and expression, a supportive outlet for local comedians to get their art form public and have fun.

“A place to get together and see good entertainment that’s hilarious and to get a good laugh,” Fitzgerald said. “Especially now with the pandemic I feel like comedy kind of essential to break up the monotony.”

Although the club had shows in alternative forms during the pandemic, like drive-in and movie theatre-style comedy with protocol being followed within the building, it is not bringing in as much money as it was.

“If the comedy club goes away, there’s other things that will go away too and then we are all stuck in our houses staring at our phones,” Fitzgerald said.

Only certain drive-in and comedy streaming shows within the club are available making it hard to bring money in with the club shut down. Usually, the club packs the week full of different comedy sets.

“We would have local comics, open mics on Wednesdays and Sundays, the comedians produce their own shows, on the weekends we usually have headliners from out of the area,” Durant said. “The only dedicated comedy club between the Bay area and Portland, OR.”

The GoFundMe money would go towards rent and keeping the building. There’s still time to raise the money and with flexibility between landlords and the owners, Durant is hopeful.

“We make jokes about it now,” Durant said. “I would turn to the camera and say, ‘Please donate so this guy doesn’t come running up to you in the store and try to tell you jokes, give him a safe place to do his craft’.”

To donate, visit their GoFundMe at http://www.gofundme.com/f/save-savage-henry.

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