The best comedians will get as much stage time as possible. But for comedians Bruce Leroy Williams, Brandon Riddley, and Pierre Douglas, there just weren’t a ton of options. So they made their own stage.
Recognizing that the traditional comedy clubs and open mics in the Twin Cities didn’t spotlight very many black and urban comedians, the trio, all of whom have been working to build their own comedy reputations as individuals, opened Baddies Comedy Co. in St. Paul in February of last year.
According to Douglas, the goal of the club was to offer an alternative to comedy fans while developing new performers who may not have felt other clubs catered to their brand of comedy. Since the opening, the trio have brought in a mix of local and national headliners, and have quickly grown the Baddies brand into a known player in Twin Cities comedy. Such a player, in fact, that one of comedy’s biggest stars paid them a visit last summer.
Kevin Hart was preparing to tape season two of his Comedy Central show, “Hart of the City,” and was looking for a filming location in the Twin Cities. Based on the hard work of the Baddies crew in building their reputation as the must-see comedy spot for urban comedians, Hart made the decision to shoot the episode in their club, which just aired in December.
Aside from building their physical location, the Baddies guys have been busy promoting shows in other rooms and clubs in town, packing houses everywhere they go from churches to strip clubs.
As performers, all three have grown and improved over the past 12 months, with more bookings, television appearances, and even a full-blown comedy DVD release for Douglas.
While they undoubtedly want to continue growing as comics, their goals for 2018 are more about continuing to blaze a trail for the next generation of urban comics.
“We want to keep building the Baddies brand and grooming new Twin Cities comedians,” says Douglas. “Hopefully we can start mentoring youth comedy programs, and take this Twin Cities comedy scene to the next level.”
Trailblazers are the people, ideas, businesses, and organizations doing necessary, important, and groundbreaking work in the realms of food, drink, and culture. See the rest of The Growler’s 2017 Trailblazers here.