I had one experience at the Dew Drop Inn and I have to admit: I’ll never forget it as long as I live. It was a bar in South Bend on the extremely, extremely sketchy Southern edge of downtown (on the opposite side of what’s closer to Notre Dame, that is), and held a comedy open mic once a week — I think it was Tuesdays. I stopped in for one installment of it one time. Around that period, I was kind of entertaining the thought of getting into comedy, although I’d usually think of jokes and then forget them soon after. Anyway, I sat through the entire program that night, which I’m pretty sure was in July of 2015. One girl made a joke that she wanted to date an epileptic because “The sex would be incredible.” There was a man of 55 or so who related a false story of there being a gay bar opened up in the spot where his high school used to be, adding the anecdote that “It was great because all my old teachers were still there.” One guy went on an extremely psychotic rant about Caitlyn Jenner, which is kind of cool to think about — people were still going on psychotic rants back then which means, perhaps, they cared about things, to an increased extent.
And, boy, was everybody else gross. The rhetoric was so filled with disgusting jokes that it changed my personality for a couple of weeks, I think. And then I went back to my old personality and decided I hated the Drop and was probably never going back.
But I have to admit: the experience stuck with me. Maybe the truth is that we all have dirty minds and getting too close to the core facets of man is unbearable, like trying to stare at the sun.
I suppose that in this way, if this is the case, I shouldn’t hate the Dew Drop Inn, although, I have to admit, I’m pretty much glad to see it closed. Well, for one thing, it IS set one block east of the county jail and two blocks north of the homeless shelter. It’s hardly a strip ideal for housing a place of business other than maybe a mortuary or mausoleum.
Anyway, the club’s termination made me consider, for a second, whether comedy might be on the wane, as an art form, in general. Then I remembered that it’s been around since ancient times, as I understand it, when it took the form of the Greek “satyr” plays, one of which would typically follow three tragedies, at the staging.
It’s also true, I think, that life is getting harder for everyone. This, I suppose, could also be construed into a good or bad, at least to the extent that struggle imbues humility, rather than the ambition to mock or deride. But insofar as comedy IS an art form, I suppose, ultimately, that it’s sad to see this bastion in South Bend meet its demise, a club that did indeed house out-of-state acts, including many from Chicago and one time even Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on Saved by the Bell. Maybe it’s possible that, one day, all of our art forms will die off. Hey, why do you think I call my site “Dolby Disaster”?
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