Editor’s Note: Welcome to The Last Show, a new Vanyaland series where we talk to performers about their last traditional live appearance before the pandemic hit. As we slowly make our way out of this mess, and a return to stages appears to be coming (eventually), here are the stories of bands, artists, comedians and others who performed their last live gig in front of an audience around this time last year. These are their shows, their stories, their memories.
Jenkins: I was hosting Dana Cairns, Andrew Mayer, Napoleon Emil, Janet McNamara, Tooky Kavanagh, J. Smitty, and Brian Kiley. Two shows, usually sold out. First show was less than half, second show was less than half of that. Something was up.
What was notable about the show?[Editor’s Note: Jenkins brought in McNamara and Kiley for additional comment.]
“It was a very intimate show,” says Kiley. “The comics and the crowd felt a camaraderie. We were going through something together. I did think it might be the last for a few days or weeks, [but] not a year or more.”
Adds McNamara: “No one wore masks, they were discouraged by the CDC at the time. I didn’t realize that being in the green room was a bad idea.”
What do you remember the most about the show?
“The chairs were wicked spread out and there were only about 20 people,” says McNamara.
If someone told you live comedy would be going away for at least the next year, what would you have thought?
Jenkins: No way! All you need for standup is lights, microphone and audience. [I] forgot that you also need government permits.
If someone told you live comedy would be going away for at least the next year, what would you have done differently?
“I would have savored it a little more,” says McNamara, “maybe [done] something weird and taken a risk from doing my regular set.”
What do you have coming up or coming out?
Jenkins: Keeping busy with weekly, online open mic, storytelling, and showcase shows and classes. [Also] putting together a business plan so we’ll be able to open when we can open!