Rocketship Comedy

The lifeblood of the Indianapolis independent standup comedy scene.

A Year in Review

We haven't posted too much here, but we've been plenty busy putting on all sorts of shows. So much stuff happened in 2015 that we better do a recap before we dive headlong into 2016. Here it goes:


Rocketship Comedy kicked off 2015 straight away with a great show from co-headliners Jono Zalay and Grant Lyon at the Sabbatical Showcase. However, January was also the month Cam O'Connor, the founder of Rocketship Comedy, bid Indianapolis farewell and moved to Cincinnati, OH. On January 22, he headlined his Bye-Bye show at Morty's Comedy Joint. Tim McLaughlin, Conor Delehanty, and other beloved Indy comics performed with him that evening.  At the end of January, Jake Head took the stage at Flat 12 Bierwerks along with an assortment of comedians who brought a packed house down in fits of laughter. 


Indianapolis was treated to yet another Rocketship Comedy show at Flat 12 Bierwerks with radio personality Kenny Zimmlinghaus headlining the brewery in early February. 

The Sabbatical shows were packed with local favorites, beginning with Keith Bergman, followed by Jim Leugers, and ended with Stephen Vincent Giles. Stephen's memorable wrestling joke brought Rocketship audiences to their proverbial knees with an element of physical comedy tough to match.


March saw the departure of two well-loved local comedians to opposite sides of the Continental US. On the first Sunday of the month, Indianapolis said goodbye to Matt Bachus, who moved to New York City. The following weekend, Melinda Kashner closed out the Showcase after a retinue of Bloomington comedians before she moved away to Los Angeles. 

We were privileged to add in a special show at VIBES Music on Saint Patrick's Day and the very next night, The Best Buds of Comedy put on an amazing show over at Flat 12 Bierwerks. Rocketship Comedy would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Best Bud Sally Brooks on her pregnancy!

The comedy didn't end there, either. The following Sabbatical Showcases were both headlined by out-of-town acts: Louisville's Eric Sorgel on the 22nd,  followed by Knoxville's JC Ratliff on the 29th. 


Austin Reel started off April by headlining the Sunday Showcase. Bloomington comedian David Britton performed the following weekend to the delight of Indianapolis comedians and audience members alike. Locals Wille Bostic and Cale Forbes co-headlined the third Sunday of April.

Geoff Tate returned to the stage at Flat 12 with a moving performance that was part introspective reflection and part balls-out hilarity. 

Miguel Dalmau closed out the Sunday Showcase at the end of April. Rocketship Comedy would also like to congratulate Miguel on recently becoming a Hoosier and a father!


May proved to be another packed month of comedy. Dave Waite closed out the Sunday Showcase at Sabbatical on May 3rd. Rocketship Comedy's own Joe Fitzpatrick headlined the following Sunday. 

Tim Northern performed at Flat 12 Bierwerks at the end of May in front of a completely packed house. At a certain point in his set, Tim had Rocketship Comedy photographer and wordplay-appreciator Pauline doubled over with laughter,  tears streaming down her cheeks. 


Indianapolis local, Bob and Tom frequenter, and beloved misanthrope Jeff Oskay headlined the Showcase on the first Sunday of June. Raaanan Hershberg performed his one-man show the following weekend. The Cute Guys Large Fries Tour featuring Max Fine and Michael Rowland came through town and the show was chronicled by Rocketship photographer Pauline with a special lens that weekend. You can find those photos here: link.

For the show at Flat 12 Bierwerks, Jeff Scheen brought with him a group of hilarious Chicago-based comedians, including Indianapolis-native Tim McLaughlin. 


On the first Sunday of July, Rocketship Comedy held the Blast-off show, a celebratory showcase in honor of our time spent at Sabbatical in Indianapolis. You can read more about that show here: link. Our move to the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room would not be for another week, so Bryan Cook headlined the final show at Sabbatical. 

Comedy duo and examples of marital goals, Mary Mack and Tim Harmston performed the inaugural show at the Alley Cat Front Room, launching our new home to a promising future. They were joined by Rocketship favorite Stephen Vincent Giles, who gave a performance so uplifting, Mary Mack said, "I hope he's okay." Headlining Flat 12 Bierwerks was one of Rocketship's favorites, Laura Sanders. Christening the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room's second Sunday of comedy was the very funny Katie Hannigan, who visited us all the way from NYC.


August at the Alley Cat Front Room began with a bang as we were joined by Cincinatti's own Chris Siemer. Cam O'Connor also managed to con his way onto the show.

Jim Leugers, creator of An Evening with the Authors, was the first local to headline the Alley Cat. The Boobs on Parade tour pulled in the next Sunday, featuring David Britton, Josh Cocks, and Rocketship's own Jordan Mather-Licht followed. Vincent Holiday regaled us with tales of nerddom. Our first full month was capped off by the hilarious Gabe Kea from Cincinatti.

Despite enduring a car accident earlier in the week, Dave Stone put on a great show at Flat 12 Bierwerks.

August also saw the birth of a show for Rocketship Comedy: The Monday Show! We have our monthly shows over at Flat 12, our Showcases at the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room, and now we have an open mic. The Monday Show at the Shoefly Public House has already been featured among Do317's things to do in Indy and has quickly become a popular fixture among comedians and locals.


Rocketship Comedy put on an extra-special show at Flat 12 Bierwerks in September. With the support of the brewery and Girls Pint Out: Indiana, the entire set list consisted of some of the funniest women in the Midwest. Local comic Elise Whitaker hosted the night that was headlined by Chicago-based comedian Kristen Toomey, who had audience members either in tears of laughter or shouts of camaraderie. The response to each and every comedian was uproarious. 

Every Sunday was booked with amazing out-of-town acts. Wayne Memmott started the month off, Patrick Keane entertained us from the porch, and Sumukh Torgalkar rounded out our mid-September.

On the last weekend of September, David Heti sat down with Rocketship Comedy person Pauline for a conversation about comedy before taking the stage. A series of unfortunate events derailed the the publication of that interview, but look out for it in the new year! David then went on to both stun the crowd by subverting any established notions of comedy at the Alley Cat Front Room, stealing the show from the Blood Moon. 

Tyler Jackson and Danny Maupin of Late Late Breakfast entertained us thoroughly on a special Sunday show despite stiff competition from the Colts' opening game.


October started off with a bang as LA comedian Chris Thayer headlined a special show at Shoefly Public House while Carlos Valencia and Jono Zalay headlined the first two Alley Cat shows of October.

In Mid-October, nearly all of the Rocketship commanders were partaking in the Crossroads Comedy Festival. Cam O'Connor came back from Cincinnati to perform his stand-up act. Joe Fitzpatrick and Leslie Dinsmore both actively participated in the festival; performing stand-up, improvised comedy, seminars, and coordinating events for the festival. Sam Griswold and Pauline Shypula revisited their characters from An Evening with the Authors* on the Comedy Sportz stage. The festival concluded on a Sunday, leaving room for a secret show over at the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room.

Finishing up the month, we were happy to have a healthy Mo Alexander return to headline our Sunday show once again.


As fall set in Indianapolis, audience members came to the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room every Sunday to get their weekly helping of comedy. A few familiar faces returned to the Rocketship stage. Monica Nevi, who performed with Mitch Burrow at Flat 12 last year, co-headlined with Mike Colette. Local comedian and performer at the White Rabbit Cabaret Isaac Landfert treated us to a night of stand-up. Joe Pettis came in the Sunday after Thanksgiving to prove that some times its not the size of the audience that matters, but the sound of their laughter. Pettis, along with with feature Devon Golinge, made for a great night of comedy and maybe facilitated a break up, but we'll never know.


And finally, we come to December. At the beginning of the month, we unveiled our new website! Even as our web presence got a facelift, the shows didn't stop. Jeff Schouela started things off with a hilarious set. The next weekend, Cody Melcher came to town, bringing Kaitlyn Grissom as his feature. Former Hoosiers turned New Yorkers came back to Indy for the holiday season and onto the Rocketship Stages. Dwight Simmons, who recorded his first album, entitled Pacifist Aggressive, at Morty's Comedy Joint this past October, headlined the show on December 20. The Sunday after Christmas saw the return of Kevin Lee and Matt Bachus, who co-headlined the show. Extra special guests that night included Brendan Eyre, Luke Thayer, and Megan Gailey!


Ben Moore will be helping us ring in the new year over at the Alley Cat Lounge Front Room on the first Sunday in January! Be sure to nurse your hangovers by then!


Background image by Pauline Shypula.