New Jersey’s first ever drive-in comedy show premieres in AC
It was comedians on cars telling jokes last Saturday night in Atlantic City as comedy promoters AC Jokes put on the first-ever drive-in comedy show.
The stage was a rented flatbed U-HAUL truck. The live audio feed was sent over a transmitter so that people could keep their car windows closed while hearing the comedians directly on their car radio AM dials. Instead of laughter, host/co-owner Matt Bridgestone asked guests to honk their horns when they thought something was funny. It was fun just seeing it happen!
The cars weren't the only ones laughing. Some people came out of their buildings to watch from the rooftops. Bridgestone told me:
"It was an emotionally powerful night. It was the first time in a long time where people got to have a common human experience. There's a lot of online comedy shows now, but nothing compares to the energy of a live show. I saw a lot of people laughing, but also saw people crying tears of joy."
What's also impressive is the determination of the AC Jokes team to get the show together in the first place.
While New Jersey still remains in a state of emergency, owner Ray Vazquez's fiancé Natalia Christine suggested a drive-in comedy show. At first, they were told by the ACPD that the show was illegal. However, this decision was challenged by AC Jokes and overturned with approval from Gov. Phil Murphy.
The team immediately secured a parking lot that can hold up to 75 cars. With one week's notice, they produced the show and tickets sold out in two days. Tennessee Beer Hall and The Bourre teamed up to provide guests with food delivery right to their cars.
"Our team is like a big dysfunctional family but we really love each other and the crowd was able to feed off seeing that," Bridgestone said. "I've been on some amazing shows in my life, but this was by far the most special. I will always remember the night that 75 cars full of really sad pulled into a parking lot in Atlantic City looking to have a few laughs and left feeling like they had hope again."
There will be more drive-in comedy shows this weekend at the John King Memorial parking lot at 146 South Tennessee Ave. in Atlantic City, with Reverend Bob Levy performing this Saturday night. For more info click here.
More from Rock 104: