At the end of June 2010, I took a business trip to explore comedy outside the comedy club scene. My research lead me to Pigeon Forge, TN, which doesn’t have a “traditional” stand-up comedy club, but incorporates comedy in a number of shows there.
For those who don’t know, Pigeon Forge is the home of Dollywood — Dolly Parton’s theme park. But I didn’t go there for amusement rides. I went there specifically to explore shows known for or recognized by their inclusion of comedy in their shows.
All shows that I went to in Pigeon Forge offered a family friendly presentation. So, don’t expect to see any kind of spicy or edgy comedy there.
The first show I went to was at the Comedy Barn. But this is not a stand-up club — it’s a comedy variety show that incorporates aspects of stand-up comedy, music and variety performances as well as audience participation segments.
Well, the show was hilarious and very well done. Certainly not your typical stand-up comedy club fair. And the place was packed.
Side Note: The Comedy Barn provided 10% discount coupons for the Happy Days Diner right next door — fantastic burgers and friendly staff!
The next show I reviewed was the Dixie Stampede, which is not billed as a comedy show at all. But reviews I read said that the show had some great comedy and sure enough it did!
Most of the comedy in the Dixie Stampede show was instigated by the “arena manger” named Skeeter, in between the trick horse riding and competition type events. Some of the comedy was simple and could be considered corny by some.
Still, I was amazed at the effective use of comedy to keep that show moving at a rapid pace.
The last show I reviewed was delivered by Sean Paul at Magic Beyond Belief. Again, not a dedicated comedy show, but…
Sean Paul skillfully used comedy throughout the magic show (which was exceptional). Of particular interest was an audience interactive routine involving 5-8 year old boys and a snake which was gut busting hilarious!
I was only in the area for 3 days and did not get to review every show that incorporated comedy to their shows. But from the shows I did review, I have to say that comedy is prevalent and well executed in many of the shows available in Pigeon Forge — where there is no “traditional” comedy club.