With only three and a half weeks until finals, midterms and the holidays coming up, life can seem pretty stressful. A good old laugh may just be the cure. Stress relief and laughter may be found in tomatoes, or, more specifically, the Sally Tomatoes Comedy Showcase in Rohnert Park.
“I’m actually kinda nervous tonight, this is the most white people I’ve been in front of since I went to court recently,” said Victor Pacheco.
On Tuesday, Sally Tomatoes had a group of comedians come to the Rohnert Park restaurant to perform their best material. The comics had lots of jokes, and pin pointed some of them on the audience. It was enough to make a first date couple blush, but it kept the audience on their toes.
“Are you courageous enough to hop on board the Hispanic Titanic?” said Pacheco, asking a woman who was on a first date.
The Laughing Tomatoes Comedy Showcase is a reoccurring event that happens every first and third Tuesday of each month.
“While in [San Francisco] there was a bus with huge letters, S.F. giants, three rings five years, reminds me of my aunt’s life,” said Juan Carlos.
The comedy shows are held in an event room in Sally Tomatoes. Each room has many tables and chairs and the lighting created a professional comedy atmosphere. The shows goes from 8-10 p.m., are always free and all ages are welcome. Sally Tomatoes has waiters and waitresses circling the room available to take orders at all times. Sally Tomatoes has beer and wine, as well as, a fully-stocked bar. The restaurant also has a variety of lunch and dinner options. For those not interested in the shows, a pool table and a few dart boards are also available.
“The cool thing is you could ride your bike or walk from SSU,” said Casey Williams, the restaurant’s director of celebration. “We have food and a full bar. It’s something to get you off campus, and if you’re old enough you can get a drink. If not you can get food.”
Williams was at the event to welcome guests, and introduce the host of the evening Tony Sparks. Sparks started off with jokes directed at audience members. He pinpointed a family in the front row, joking that by the end of the show their teenage son would need therapy.
“It’s free, wonderful [and] cheap entertainment and you get to see people on the rise [to fame.] The women I am bringing in two weeks are on the verge of being very successful and [on Television] having specials,” said Sparks.
Sparks also hosts a comedy show in San Francisco on Thursday nights called Brain Wash. The comedy show is live and is located in a cafe and laundry matte in San Francisco.
“I really enjoyed the second performer, and the host. Almost wish the host had his own segment,” said audience member Stephanie Lynn O’Dell, a 23 year old Sonoma County resident.
Chey Bell, the only female comedian, rocked the room with laughter as she joked about being homeless in Los Angeles. Her particular description of being homeless was sleeping on friend’s couches and floors. She explained the worst part of the situation was the debate on which one of her friends had a more comfortable fluffy carpet.
Bell stayed late for questions and comments, and made it clear that no matter where someone is from, performers can relate to the audience, and the audience can receive the jokes coming from any background.
“It’s important for people to come see comedy and are open to diversity. I am the only African American comic and they were dialed in and got it,” said Bell.
The last and final comedian, Carlos, a Sonoma County resident, was wearing a Sonoma State University T-shirt, something he received for preforming a fund-raiser for the women’s softball team.
“There’s not a lot… to do, and [going out to Sally Tomatoes] is a cool thing to do. It’s free, they have a full bar and you’re always going to see good comics. They bring a diverse set of comics, from all over,” said comic KC Chandara.
To find out more information on the events Sally Tomatoes has, go to their website sallytomatoes.com.
“I’m just trying to make people have a fun time no matter where I am,” said Pacheco, comic from Oakland. “The white people here in Rohnert Park are a class act who make me feel like I belong.”