Even if you didn't find 1990 that amusing, what with all that talk of recession and war, you can still wind up the year with a smile on your face. There are, in fact, three comedy shows on the agenda in Salt Lake City on New Year's Eve, plus shows this weekend.
The stand-up acts include a former Utahn, a juggling combo that holds three Guinness world records, and a group of female impersonators.The rundown includes:
- The Comedy Circuit, 10 N. Main St. in Midvale: The Passing Zone - 1989 International Comedy Juggling champions - and former Utah comedian Janine Gardner. Two shows New Year's Eve, 8:30 ($44.95 per couple) and 10:30 p.m. ($49.95 per couple)
- The Comedy Oasis, in Bentley's at the Marriott, 75 S. West Temple: comedian Carrie Snow. Two shows, 7 and 10 p.m. (second show already sold out). The show is only $15 per person; dinner and show $30 per person (dinner begins at 6 p.m.).
- The Riverboat, 4393 S. Riverboat Rd. in Murray: a reprise of Comix Comedy Club, featuring John Donovan and Paul Brown. Shows at 7 p.m. ($10) and 10 p.m. ($35).
- If you prefer your comedy even less predictable and you can't wait till New Year's Eve, there's also improvisational comedy with Head Games, plus a group of female impersonators called Slip-Ups, at Our Place, 259 W. 400 South, tonight and Saturday, Dec. 29. Tickets are $5.
Salt Lake comedy club veterans will remember Janine Gardner as the winner of the 1985 amateur Laff-Off sponsored by Cartoons, Salt Lake's first and now-defunct comedy club. That was way back when Gardner still had a day job, handling consumer complaints about sewage treatment, and had not yet gone into comedy full time.
These days, Gardner tours the country doing comedy from Detroit to Vegas and hundreds of big and little venues in between. She has appeared on "Comic Strip Live" and says an appearance on an HBO women's comedy special may be in the wings. Last August she finally disconnected her Salt Lake answering machine and moved to Los Angeles, where she hopes she will be discovered in a big way.
The Comedy Oasis's headliner, Carrie Snow, also is on the brink of big-time success. Actually, says Snow, she's already a success as far as she's concerned: "I don't have real estate," she explains, "but I have really nice sweaters."
Snow, former winner of the San Francisco Council on Entertainment's Comedienne of the Year award, has headlined at Catch a Rising Star and Caroline's in New York City and at Caesars in Lake Tahoe.
She describes her act as clean but "bawdy."