VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — "I felt that we all really needed the laugh, and we did, everybody laughed and I knew we were all gonna be OK."
Rick Bruner the general manager of the Funny Bone in Virginia Beach, is talking about the first show at the venue since their long pandemic-related layoff. Doors re-opened on Christmas Day, with a full slate of January shows to follow.
The decision to re-open comes with staff, the comedy community, and the City of Virginia Beach in mind.
"Comics need it, employees need it, Town Center needs it, we need something normal," says Bruner.
The venue will look a little different, allowing 150 patrons instead of 300, instituting dividers between sections, and temperature screening customers at the door.
There's more than just revenue that has gone into this decision.
"Comedy is the cheapest form of therapy. When it's taken away, it doesn't just take away your income, it takes away your release," says Tim Loulies, a local comic and frequenter of the Funny Bone.
Loulies will find that release once again, with the Funny Bone open for business.