Laughter: The best medicine

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It was March 1993. A fresh young comedian by the name of Scott Thompson, otherwise known as Carrot Top, had performed to a sold-out crowd at the Comedy Club, then located on Green Springs Highway. He was scheduled to do shows for the rest of the weekend and then go on to New York that following Tuesday to appear on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. And as anyone in the comedy business can attest, appearing on “The Tonight Show” is a major career breakthrough.

But it wasn’t going to happen. The infamous Blizzard of 1993 had rocked Birmingham, which led to a fire that caused the Comedy Club to disintegrate, along with all of the props that Carrot Top had planned to use. After 10 successful years, the Club was gone.

Club owner Bruce Ayers recalls being emotionally numb. He was dealing with out-of-work employees and disappointed fans. But this was the kicker: “I found out that Jay Leno came on and said something like ‘yeah, we were supposed to have this kid Carrot Top on tonight, but he couldn’t make it because all of his props were destroyed in a fire at some rinky-dink comedy club in Alabama,’” Ayers said.

Leno was immediately flooded with phone calls from Ayers’ friends and comedians, singing the praises of the Comedy Club.

To read more about the Comedy Club Stardome, check out the September 2013 issue of H Life. Find your copy here.