Over the course of nearly a century, the Alex Theatre has played host to countless artists and entertainers from the worlds of vaudeville, music, dance, comedy, drama and film. On Tuesday night, it will present what is likely its largest talent lineup ever, when 103 standup comedians take the stage telling one-liner jokes in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Most Comedians in a Single Show during the “92 Jokes” comedy showcase.
The event is the brainchild of Richy Leis, the Glendale-based co-founder and creative director of Comic Cure, which has produced more than 60 stand-up comedy fundraisers across the Los Angeles area since its August 2016 launch.
Featuring dozens of national-headliner comics including long-time “Conan” writers Laurie Kilmartin and Brian Kiley and “Tonight Show” veteran Adam Hunter, the show is part of the theater’s month-long 92nd birthday celebration. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Glendale Arts, the nonprofit that manages the Alex Theatre.
“We were trying to think of a couple different ways to help the Alex celebrate in style and we thought of getting comedians who are 92 years old, but that’s not feasible since the only one I know of is Dick Van Dyke,” says Leis. “Then we thought of the concept ’90-Tuesday,’ with 92 comics each doing their best one-liner on a Tuesday, but learned the world record for one show is 102 comedians and decided to beat that.”
Audience members will be seated cabaret-style onstage, with their backs to the theater’s usual seats. That approach worked successfully for three nights last January, when the Alex was one of the main locations for the Comic Cure-produced Glendale Comedy Festival.
To spare the complication of having a host emerge to announce each performer, the talent list will be printed on the back of comment cards. An on-stage digital counter will count down the comics as they emerge from the wings in rapid-fire succession.
Among the other performers are Nick Cobb (“Last Comic Standing”), Michael Gelbart (Comedy Central), Jann Karam (“Seinfeld”) and Chris Franjola (“Chelsea Lately”). The goal is to have the comics finish in about a minute apiece.
“Anytime we told someone we were going to do it, they said ‘You’re crazy, it’s going to take so much to put that together,’ and I said ‘Yeah, you’re right,’” says Leis, laughing. “It’s hard enough putting together a five-act show, but Glendale Arts is a great group in the community I live in and I’m happy to support them as much as they have supported us.”
“92 Laughs” will be performed at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19.25 in advance or $25.19 at the door, with a two-item food or drink minimum purchase required. Visit GlendaleLaughs.com. For more information on Comic Cure shows, visit comiccure.com.