Column, Rockin' The Region

Rockin’ the Region with comedian Kendall Farrell

By DJ Dave Hoffenberg

If you want to bring humor into your Thanksgiving weekend, don’t miss the comedy show at the Woolen Mill Comedy Club in Bridgewater on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. The show stars Kendall Farrell as he preps for his biggest show to date, a headlining spot at Carolines on Broadway Dec. 7.

I had a fun time interviewing Farrell and comedian Collen Doyle, who runs the Woolen Mill.

Comedian Kendall Farrell

They both grew up in Vermont and won prestigious comedy awards in Vermont. Farrell was named Vermont’s Funniest Comedian in 2015, at a competition in Burlington. Doyle won the 2017 Snowplow Comedy Competition in Killington.

Farrell was named a “Comic To Watch” at the 2019 New York Comedy Festival. Carolines on Broadway is proud to present the Breakout Artist Comedy Series, which puts the spotlight on the very best and brightest emerging stand-up comedians in their own headlining show. Doyle praised Carolines and said, “In my opinion, it’s the most prestigious club. It’s a really great accolade and rite of passage.” This show was supposed to happen in March 2020.

Farrell said, “Every year, Lewis, the manager at Carolines, picks comedians he’s seen perform and gives them an hour headlining show.”

Doyle added, “It’s a large club that has top-tier comedy.”

Farrell started doing comedy in 2014 when he was 21 and met Doyle that year when they would do some shows together.

Farrell just dropped out of college and didn’t know what he wanted to do in life. He said, “I was living in Boston and doing a video-marketing internship. Nothing was really happening for me. I started doing open-mics and fell in love with stand-up right away and was doing it practically every night.”

He moved back to Vermont to attend UVM, which he said was a short stint. He added, “I got my tuition reimbursed and started doing comedy in Burlington. It happened at a lucky time because the VT Comedy Club where I got my start was just starting to fund- raise.”

At that same time, Doyle was asked to do comedy down here. He said, “There were no comedy clubs in Vermont. I was on the fence because I wasn’t sure I could produce.”

Doyle was doing a show at Nectar’s that Farrell was on. Doyle added, “I remember seeing him and being like damn, there’s some really good talent in Vermont now. That gave me the confidence to open the club and we brought a lot of people down from Burlington for the first few years.”

Farrell remembers his first time there and said, “I have some pictures of a very fresh faced, young Farrell at the Woolen Mill.” December 18th will the the 7th anniversary of the Woolen Mill with a comedy, jazz and burlesque show.

Farrell recalls moving back to Vermont and said it was a very exciting time for comedy in the state with both the Comedy Club in Burlington and the Woolen Mill in Bridgewater, getting their start. He said, “There were a lot of shows and a lot happening in the scene. I loved it. It was a really great place to start doing comedy in Burlington and Vermont in general was a good incubator. Early on, there were many opportunities for me to do stand-up at Nectar’s, breweries, the Skinny Pancake. One of my earliest comedy opportunities was hosting a show at Franny O’s in South Burlington. Franny O’s was one of the premiere bars there within walking distance of a K-Mart.”

Farrell hosted that prestigious open-mic for almost three years but now that dive bar is, sadly, closed. Farrell’s show is a mix about his family, sexual orientation in politics, stuff on TV and just silly stuff in general. He said, “There’s a lot of time on ‘True Crime’ that I do. It’s a lot about Vermont and what it was like to grow up here but mostly it’s stories about my family. Oh, and of course there’s a lot of sex stuff, always a lot of sex stuff.”

Farrell grew up watching Whoopi Goldberg in “Sister Act,” Roseanne on TV, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer and Rachel Feinstein. Farrell said, “I would single out Rachel because she’s someone I saw on ‘Last Comic Standing’ when I was pretty young and now I open for her when she tours and it’s super fun.”

You can find Farrell on Instagram (@kendallfarrell) and Twitter (@kendall_farrell). He posts jokes, pictures and where he’ll be performing. If you can’t experience his Carolines show in NYC on Dec. 7, make sure not to miss his show at the Woolen Mill on Nov. 27. It will be a preview of that show and a unique opportunity.

Doyle said, “It’s cool to see NYC comics use the Mill for that. It’s nice to see the scene continue to grow.”

Farrell said, “It’s really cool because the Woolen Mill is becoming a stop for many comics.”

Doyle added, “We’ve been offering a lot of different programming so it’s nice to come back to a true headlining show. This is Carolines on Bridgewater.”

Farrell ended with saying, “I grew up in Vermont and love coming back. New York is close enough that I can come back often. Vermont audiences are some of my favorites in the whole country. It’s my home. I’m glad I get to run my Carolines set in my home state.”

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