Cloverdale, Redwood Valley comedy shows fulfill producer’s lifelong dream

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IF YOU GO

What: Jackie Evans’ comedy show featuring San Francisco International Comedy Competition finalist Dan St. Paul, special guest Josh Argyle and host Vincent Chuang.

When: Sept. 28

Where: Railroad Station Bar and Grill, 236 S. Cloverdale Blvd., 707-894-4779

Tickets: $20, available in advance at the venue. Shows tend to sell out, so day-of tickets are not generally available.

More information: Search “Jackie’s Comedy Page” on Facebook.

Other shows: Evans books regularly at Railroad Station and McCarty’s Bar & Grill, 6951 East Road, Redwood Valley, 707-485-5108

At an age when most people are looking forward to retirement, 59-year old Cloverdale native Jackie Evans is realizing his lifelong dream of successfully producing stand-up comedy.

Most of the shows have been in Cloverdale at the Railroad Station Bar and Grill, with others in Redwood Valley at McCarty’s Bar & Grill.

Despite Evans’ ongoing fear that no one will show up, all of them have sold out so far.

His dream percolated for more than 30 years, but he only started approaching businesses with his idea about six years ago.

“I just needed someone who was willing to take a chance,” he says. “When you’re new at producing comedy shows, it takes a lot of work and some luck. In comedy, you hear the word ‘timing’ a lot. It’s all about the timing.”

In August 2018, Evans sent a text to Railroad Station owner Jangbu “JB” Sherpa to see if he might be interested in having comedy shows there.

This time, the timing was right.

“When we met, I suggested the first show be free and people would have to purchase dinner. I asked if he could cover the cost of the show for the first time and he agreed.”

Larry “Bubbles” Brown was the headliner for the first show last November, along with special guest Chad Opitz and host Liz Stone. Evans’ hard work paid off and his efforts were rewarded with a full house and rave reviews.

Buoyed by his success, he booked an April show for three-time American Comedy Award nominee Bob Zany, known for performing with his trademark cigar on stage. Tickets sold out in three days. As luck would have it, Evans learned comedy legend and TV icon Jimmy “JJ” Walker was going to be in the area that same weekend. Walker is probably best remembered as the rubber-faced comedian who made famous the catchphrase “Dyn-o-mite!” on the popular 1970s sitcom “Good Times.”

Not wanting to miss an opportunity, Evans was able to book him to perform the night before Zany’s show, along with Todd Link, a 25-year veteran of stand-up comedy. Tickets sold out almost before the ink was dry on their contracts.

In June, he brought Mark Pitta to Cloverdale, together with Mary Carouba, host Cody Smit and DJ Rob Cervantes.

A comedy fundraiser Evans produced for the Cloverdale Senior Center at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, with headliner Dennis Gaxiola, special guest Juan Carlos and host “Uncle” Charlie Adams, was also a sellout. According to the Center’s Executive Director Rebecca Ennis, “It was not only a great show, it was our best money maker to date.”

Evans’ regular jobs since 1977 have mostly been detailing cars and operating a small commercial cleaning business. He has produced a few other events over the years, but none has been on the scale of his recent productions.

He keeps his shows suitable for all ages by only bringing in comedians who do clean comedy.

“Comedy doesn’t have to be dirty to be fun,” Evans said. At the end of each show, he and his wife, Jolene, circulate among the crowd and personally thank people for coming.

To round out the year and celebrate his and Sherpa’s birthdays, the show at Railroad Station on Dec. 14 will feature Dave Nihill, winner of the 43rd annual San Francisco International Comedy Competition. Tickets will go on sale in early November.

After successfully bringing a rock music show with The Pulsators to McCarty’s in August, Evans will return Sept. 21 with Native American comedian Marc Yaffee, whose diverse career has landed him in 43 states and 11 countries spanning four continents. Tickets are available at the venue.

The next big comedy show in Cloverdale, slated for Sept. 28, will star San Francisco International Comedy Competition finalist Dan St. Paul, along with special guest Josh Argyle and host Vincent Chuang. Tickets are $20 and now on sale at Railroad Station.

Evans says his goal next year is to expand to Sonoma, Petaluma and Fairfield — and hopefully even the Citrus Fair.

“I’ve found something I really enjoy and I’m good at it. It makes me happy and it makes other people happy. I don’t think I could ask for more than that.”

IF YOU GO

What: Jackie Evans’ comedy show featuring San Francisco International Comedy Competition finalist Dan St. Paul, special guest Josh Argyle and host Vincent Chuang.

When: Sept. 28

Where: Railroad Station Bar and Grill, 236 S. Cloverdale Blvd., 707-894-4779

Tickets: $20, available in advance at the venue. Shows tend to sell out, so day-of tickets are not generally available.

More information: Search “Jackie’s Comedy Page” on Facebook.

Other shows: Evans books regularly at Railroad Station and McCarty’s Bar & Grill, 6951 East Road, Redwood Valley, 707-485-5108

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