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Funny and new jokes at Old World Village

Rico's Revival Comedy Show at the German village-themed shopping center happens every Wednesday with an eclectic lineup of comedians.

August 01, 2012|By Michael Miller
  • Daniel "Rico" Fisher the host of Old World Village's new standup comedy series on Monday, July 30. (Scott Smeltzer)
Daniel "Rico" Fisher the host of Old World… (SCOTT SMELTZER )

You don't have to keep it clean at Daniel "Rico" Fisher's comedy shows at Old World Village.

You can drop theF-bomb. You can go on a spiel about your misadventures in bed. You can chide occupations, the genders and just about everything else about the people seated in the audience.

There's just one rule, though: Don't get too dark. Or you may get the light flashed at you.

Fisher, who has produced and hosted the Rico's Revival Comedy Show series for a year and a half at the Old World German Restaurant, keeps his iPhone handy in case he needs to send a signal to the comic onstage.

Namely, if they start in on a topic a little too hairy for humor — rape, Penn State, the Holocaust — he'll cue the light on the phone as a signal to lighten up a bit.

If the performers persist, Fisher will physically come onstage and ask them to leave. But he's only had to do that a couple of times.

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"You get some comics who want to be real cute and say, 'Hey, I've got a cool Nazi joke,'" said Fisher, whose venue in a shopping center designed like an old German village has inspired that subject matter more than once.

What Fisher — who, for performing purposes, always goes by Rico — seeks at the weekly Wednesday night show is a cozy vibe. Before the show, he'll chat with audience members, both to make them feel at home and also to get improv ideas.

And unlike some comedy clubs, the performance room at Old World German Restaurant doesn't have a blinding light pointing onstage, which means the performer can always see his or her audience.

Given the venue's location in a corner of Old World Village, tucked away from the street without a marquee, Fisher was dubious at first that there would be much of an audience at all.

The veteran stand-up comic, who lives in Lakewood and works as an auctioneer and special-events promoter, visited Old World on a friend's recommendation and struggled to imagine a packed room.

"I thought, 'Wow, a German restaurant on a side street off Bella Terra,'" Fisher said.

He opted to try it as an experiment, though, and word of mouth soon caught on — both among audiences and performers, some of whom came back for repeated gigs despite getting no payment beyond a free drink and hors d'oeuvres. (Fisher is quick to note that he too doesn't make any money off the shows.)

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