Funnier By The Lake


Comedy Flight Takes Off At Cellar Gate In Highwood

Peter-John Byrnes at Cellar Gate in Highwood


You might not think that fine wine and stand-up comedy go together, but they made for the perfect pairing as “The Comedy Flight” debuted on Thursday night, January 11, to a packed room at Cellar Gate in Highwood, Illinois.

Owned by Kayla Steffens, a retired elementary teacher with a passion for travel, meeting people, sharing stories and sipping wine, Cellar Gate Wine Market and Bistro opened in the fall of 2008, offering a variety of wines gathered from small production vineyards around the world. This rustic and intimate venue also offers wine tastings, live acoustic music and game nights. It is also available for private parties and special events. However, Cellar Gate never had hosted live, stand-up comedy.

Larry Bloom, founder of Funnier By The Lake Comedy, based in Highland Park, was looking to “serve something funny” to a new location on the North Shore. He and Ricky March, founder of Best Corporate Comedy, scout out different suburban venues where “dinner and a show” comedy packages can help attract new patrons and increase business on slow nights. Bloom approached Steffens about trying out the idea at Cellar Gate. She was game.

“I just had a feeling that comedy would work here,” said Bloom. “I first performed stand-up comedy in Highwood and was happy to find a new local venue. I like to bring comedy to spaces that have not considered it before. As soon as I walked in to Cellar Gate, I knew it was a good fit.”

“The Comedy Flight” debuted that Thursday evening to a sold-out crowd filled with laughter. Hosted by Bloom, the show featured professional stand-up comedians from the Chicago area: Shannon Noll; Mona Aburmishan, founder of the Comedy Bowl in Chicago; special guest Ricky March; and headliner Peter-John Byrnes.

The inaugural show was very successful and garnered positive feedback from the crowd, not just for the comedians, but also for the sophisticated venue, the great food and of course, the wine!

A second Comedy Flight at Cellar Gate, tentatively planned for Valentine’s Day, is in the works.

For more information about future Comedy Flight shows, the venue and producers:

Cellar Gate

Funnier by the Lake

Best Corporate Comedy

About Larry Bloom

Funnier By The Lake Comedy founder, Larry Bloom, has been writing jokes and making people laugh his entire life. Growing up, north of Chicago, in Wilmette, Illinois, what interest—and talent—Larry lacked in sports, he made up for with a passion for the stand up comedians, and characters from movies and television, of the 60s, 70s and 80s. While most kids wanted to knock a baseball out of the park, Larry dreamed of performing biting observational humor, like George Carlin, or the uninhibited physical comedy of Steve Martin, and sitting down with a dry martini and effortlessly cracking wise like Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H. Larry was a remarkably horrible high school and college student, and he often says that if those years were a book, it would be titled, Fear and Loathing on Campus. In school, he excelled at distracting himself and others from the tasks at hand, like studying, with humor, while amazingly earning a degree in Sociology and Fine Art. As an entrepreneur and speaker, Larry’s ability to integrate humor with business has always been an advantage, creating memorable experiences for clients and business groups. Larry’s stand-up comedy springs from a lifetime of experiences and a view of the world seen through a comedian’s filter, in which humor can be found in everything and nothing is off-limits—unless it’s not funny. He can be seen performing on stages at venues and special events throughout the Chicago area. Read full bio at: http://funnierbythelake.com/about-larry-bloom/

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