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Jake Kornely Embarks on a Landmark Event

Off The Cuff with Jake Kornely

Feb. 11, 2014
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Since moving from Manitowoc to Milwaukee, comedian Jake Kornely wasted little time exploring the city's creative possibilities and establishing his niche within the comedy scene. With jovial ambition, Kornely's dedication extends from hosting open mic nights at Bremen Cafe to arranging local events such as the upcoming stand-up comedy show at Landmark Lanes on Saturday, Feb. 15. Kornely took a break from brainstorming jokes (and how to transform a karaoke bar into an intimate comedy club) to discuss the show.


Which aspect of living in Milwaukee do you most appreciate?

What initially pulled me to Milwaukee was the music scene. It's very open and creative, and when I started doing comedy, I found the comedy scene to be the same way. People are playing music and doing comedy specifically because they love it.


Have more performances of “The Goodnight Milwaukee Show” been planned?

We actually have our third show booked for Friday, February 28, at the Arcade Theater in the Plankington Building of the Grand Avenue Mall on Wisconsin Avenue. It's a live late-night talk show that I co-host with fellow stand-up comedian, Tyler Menz. The first two shows were some of the most fun shows I've ever been a part of.


Which funny story best represents your sense of humor?

I was so awkward when I was single. One time I was at a bar talking to a girl and out of nowhere she said, "You should try online dating," which is a weird thing to say to a guy that's trying to buy you a drink. I asked her if she wanted to see a movie with me and she said she couldn't because she "had to move a couch." I was like, “Have you ever seen a movie before? Because even the terrible ones are still better than moving furniture.” I had to explain that to her and for some reason the date never happened.


Regarding the highs and lows of comedy, what goes through your mind during an excellent set? What goes through your mind when you're having an arduous night onstage?

If I'm having an excellent set, the only thing that's going through my mind is, "I hope they're laughing at me and not because there's somebody behind me being funnier." If I'm doing a terrible set, the only thing that's going through my mind is, "I hope I have another free-drink ticket left. I've earned it."


The show at Landmark Lanes features you as the opener and host, with other local comedians to follow. Who are these comedians and why are you excited about sharing the stage with them?

For me, hosting this show feels like hosting a party. I control the atmosphere and the mood of the show, and I break the ice by performing first. This show will feature comedians Alex Anderson and Allison Dunne, who are both relatively new to the local comedy scene, but I have seen them both working hard at open mics and I'm excited to have them on. It will also feature Greg Bach. His stand-up focuses on stories from his personal life and his observations. Also he has a pretty impressive beard.

What can the audience expect at the Landmark Lanes show on Feb. 15? How can people get tickets?

The show is a snapshot of what the underground stand-up comedy scene is like in Milwaukee. There will be a variety of comedians with different backgrounds and styles, so the show should have something for everyone. The seating fills up fast at Landmark Lanes, so you should buy your tickets online, which will guarantee that you will have a seat. Tickets are $6 online and can be purchased at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/571528. Tickets are also available at the door for $6.


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