By DJ Dave Hoffenberg
If laughter is the best medicine, you can cure whatever ails you with a great stand-up comedy show at the Woolen Mill Comedy Club in Bridgewater this Saturday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. Local resident Hickory, the Drunk and Underwhelming, will host the show, which is New York meets Vermont. It features Vermont comics GW Foley, club owner Collen Doyle, Julia Colasanti and New York comics Matt Vita, Boris Khaykin and MC Leitsy. I had the pleasure of speaking with both Collen and Hickory.
I’ve seen GW, Collen and Hickory all perform at the Mill before. I haven’t seen the others but every show I’ve seen there has featured hilarious acts, so I can highly recommend going. Plus seeing a show at the Woolen Mill is a unique experience.
I discovered GW and Collen at the Snowplow Comedy Competition in Killington that Collen won in 2017. That’s not running anymore so it’s great to have Collen’s club in Bridgewater to see top comedy acts. I’ve seen Hickory’s show, which is comedy magic. I’ve always been intrigued by magic and his is top notch. The fact he mixes it with comedy makes it unique but really fun. Collen and Hickory have been performing together for seven years.
Collen said, “Over the years his show has evolved from the stand-up to the magic to the online hosting show. It’s a really cool thing.”
Hickory talked about the show and said, “I’m looking forward to a fun night with awesome comics getting together. Not having the host be a comic is kind of cool. Hosts are generally comics but to have a magician to cut the mood in between sets is good. That’s what I try to do when I host, lighten it up, have some fun with the crowd and get everyone hyped for an awesome night.”
Hickory has been writing jokes since he was in high school but his first creative juncture was playing in a band. After some friends moved away, he turned to comedy.
He said, “I needed a creative outlet. I can’t draw and writing takes too much time, like I couldn’t write a novel. I like songs and jokes because they’re short little bits that you can rework and rework until it’s perfect. I wrote some jokes that I always wished I’d seen a comic tell that I’ve never seen tell. A lot of it was pretty raunchy. Collen then started the comedy club and told me I should come down. A couple months passed and I decided to memorize a few jokes, throw it out there and see how it goes. I had a great time and I never really had that push back where I had any doubt I could do it.”
He did it two or three times but knew he always loved comedy magic like The Amazing Jonathan and Penn & Teller. He said, “There were all these really great magicians that did really amazing magic but also provide that amazing comedy. I reached out to a few friends like Steve Finer who’s a great magician. One of his bits of advice was to stay clean. I told him that wasn’t going to happen. He said corporate gigs are where it’s at but I didn’t want to do corporate gigs. I wanted to be a magician who exclusively does 21+ shows. I want to say what I want to say, be raunchy and bring up props that are very raunchy in nature.”
After seeing his show, I can confidently say: mission accomplished.
Hickory has been performing his comedy magic for about four years now. Collen has seen it from the beginning and has enjoyed Hickory’s progression.
She said, “He showed me a couple tricks and what he’d been working on and shared with me how he’s doing it. It’s cool to see it from the other side and how he’s developing the show. It was a cool process to see and seeing how the audience receives it. It’s unlike comedy. It has a different element and is a different thing where you’re laughing and entertained but it also has the shock effect where you wonder how he did that? The audience will be laughing, having a good time and then they’re sincerely surprised and bewildered. It’s really cool to see.”
Collen said Hickory has garnered the attention from people in New York that want to see him perform there. “I think that’s really cool.”
Collen encourages people to come see Hickory perform because it’s a well crafted show and to see it live on stage is a really fun experience. They do an online show every Wednesday at 8 p.m. that you can see live on the Woolen Mill Comedy Club’s Facebook page. It’s currently in its second season and this week is episode 38. It stars Hickory, Collen and GW with special guests each week. It’s called “The Drunk & Under Quarantine Show.”
Collen said Hickory was the mastermind behind it and created the show after the club had to close due to the pandemic. Hickory interjected and said it was his wife’s idea. Collen added, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” Hickory developed it all and especially helped with all the tech stuff like figuring out the streams.
The Woolen Mill does monthly shows and will be doing a Valentine’s one on Feb. 12 with comedy, a hypnotist and burlesque. You can get more information on their Facebook page or by emailing them at [email protected] There will be a featured article on that show next month in this publication. Collen is excited for the 2022 season. They’ve done some upgrades to the club and have new programming.
You can find Hickory on Facebook at Hickory The Drunk & Underwhelming (@RealHickoryTDAU). It’s all about the “Real” — don’t fall for the foreign gaming video creator page of the same name because that is the hacked Hickory. He has a YouTube channel under the same name, where he just surpassed 1,600 subscribers. You can also see the Wednesday show live there. On Instagram it’s hickorytdau and his website hickorymagic.com.