Chris Distefano performs 2 ‘Souled’ Out Shows
SoulJoel’s Comedy Club & Lounge in Royersford, Pennsylvania recently celebrated it’s one year anniversary and at the same time put the attention on accomplishments the independent venue has been able to successfully pull off while operating the majority of last year during a pandemic. From a short stint inside the actual club space before the pandemic to adapting to socially distanced outdoor comedy through the summer and now in a custom designed heated tent; SoulJoel’s has shown that their dedication to the success of the business is no laughing matter.
The transformation of SoulJoel’s Covid-19 safe outdoor comedy space from it’s summer configuration to the current winter set up was very impressive. The stage remained in place where it had been for the suburban beach set up from summer but the space was now sheltered from the elements as a massive, custom white dome was constructed. If you missed out on experiencing the great comedians SoulJoel’s brought to Royersford in the summer and fall be sure to check out our article about TJ Miller’s sold out shows back in October and see for yourself what the set up was like.
Through out this newly constructed dome shelter numerous propane powered heat lamps could be found, all of which provided much needed warmth to the crowd on a relatively cold night in January. It didn’t take long for the dome to fill up as fans safely set up their to the socially distanced seats for the first sold out show’s of the dome as Chris Distefano came to Royersford for a weekend of comedy. (SoulJoel’s operates on a BYO set up – meaning chairs, blankets, food, and even alcohol is able to be brought with you for the shows though they now have some local restaurant partners providing food and alcohol as well some chairs available on location as well.)
The show was kicked off by Soul Joel himself as he welcomed the crowd before James Mattern returned once again as host and opening act to get the night kicked off with a solid 30 minutes of comedy.
Hailing from just up the highway in New York, Chris DiStefano is no stranger to the comedy scene and has been steadily growing in popularity since the release of his first hour standup special Chris Distefano: Size 38 Waist premiered on Comedy Central in 2019. Outside of this recent special Distefano has a few other performances available as well as appearances on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman, and AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live (he also co-hosts the popular weekly history podcast History Hyenas).
Factoring in everything Distefano has going for him right now in the comedy world it came as no surprise that he became the first sold out or ‘souled’ out performer to hit the heated comedy dome at SoulJoel’s this winter season. Distefano had the crowd laughing from the minute he walked out on stage until the very end of his near hour set as was expected based of his stellar standup reputation.
Some of the highlights of the set were quick comedic hits about Royersford, the “Handmaid’s Tale” hat shape of the dome, the amount of propane in the tent being likely a fire hazard of some sort, a woman named Heaven in the front row, and a well timed train that came through were all mixed in with other original prepared material. There was even a woman who tripped over his merchandise and somehow ended up with a free t-shirt in the process but not before hilarity ensued around the whole situation.
SoulJoel’s new adaptation to keep live comedy alive may be its best yet as a crowd of laughter hasn’t felt so alive in almost a year now. Two sold out shows on a Saturday would be an impressive weekend for both Chris Distefano and SoulJoel’s under normal circumstances but it somehow felt bigger given the current state of the world. Don’t sleep on SoulJoel’s because they are poised to be bigger than ever by the end of the pandemic as their reputation just continues to grow and attract the biggest names in comedy.