MENU

Inside the Story: New comedy venue in Provo aiming to reach millions

bar 8.jpg

(KUTV) There's a new scene on the streets of Provo. Every weekend when the sun goes down, this new venue brings an alcohol-free, family atmosphere to the limelight.

It's Dry Bar Comedy at 295 West Center Street -- home of VidAngel Studios.

But this new comedy scene is not just about keeping it all right here in "Happy Valley." This is a live taping of a Hollywood-like production with five cameras so that it can be streamed through VidAngel's website for the whole world to see.

Neal Harmon, VidAngel's CEO, believes there is a huge "clean comedy" fan base out there that is not being tapped into.

"VidAngel has an enormous base of people who love family-friendly content," Harmon said. "Some of the most successful content right now on Netflix and HBO is standup comedy and most of those comedy routines are TV-MA. So where does someone go to just laugh until they cry on a weekend and not be worried about the rest of the family participating? That place doesn't exist."

Here's how it works: each Friday and Saturday night, two comedians perform a 40-minute show at the club.

"We are flying in the very best family friendly stand-up comedians from all over the world," said Harmon.

Those shows are taped and edited and then made available for the more than half a million VidAngel users who have the power to filter the performance if desired.

"This creates a vehicle for family-friendly comedians to reach a larger audience that they've ever been able to reach before," Harmon said.

The other unique thing about this is the funnier and the cleaner the comedian, the more money they make. Because when people start filtering their show they lose money.

"Our contract pays them less when you apply the filters and more when you don't and the comedians know this," Harmon explained.

VidAngel started as a family-friendly filtering movie service, allowing users to edit out the language, violence and sexual content from a movie.

But in December it was shut down as a result of a judge's order after movie companies took them to court.

Harmon says that fight is not over.

"A member of Congress will be introducing an amendment to the Family Movie Act that will make it even clearer that streamed filtering is legal," he said.

Meanwhile, they're hoping streaming clean comedy is the answer to growing VidAngel's fan base.

"It's a great date night and you'll laugh till you cry," said Harmon.

To find out more or to buy tickets for a live taping visit drybarcomedy.com.


FOLLOW US ON TWITTER