Laughing Gas Comedy Club closing for summer but expecting to be open for fall

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – It was a vision that started in 2018 when Jeff Johnson decided to create the Laughing Gas Comedy Club.  

Johnson was working for a comedy club St. Louis when he realized that the city of Cape Girardeau, the place he went to college and holds dear to his heart, needed more for adults.   

“There wasn’t a whole lot to do. You know we have something, yeah, we have a college team that we can follow and we have other venues and things to do but I wanted to I wanted to contribute at a different level,” said Johnson. 

In May of 2019, the Laughing Gas Comedy club opened its doors for its first show, but the club would soon face its first real challenge like many other small businesses when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

“Early March 2020 we were told to shut the doors and we did,” said Johnson. 

Inspired by large crowds at the club pre-pandemic, Johnson worked to keep his vision alive almost a year and a half later. Johnson reopened the comedy club, and things seemed to be on the up. 

“The last week of September of 2021 and so we had a few shows going through started off 2022 everything was going good and here we are,” said Johnson. 

Now once again, the comedy club is facing challenges. Johnson says this summer session is hard for many indoor venues.  

People aren’t coming out like in they did in 2019 and earlier this year because venues like are competing with outdoors like rodeos and festivals.  

Staffing shortages are affecting the club as well.  Johnson says a summer shut down could help save money and give him time to create a new plan of action. 

“And then just is really hard to get right now and even my staff you know they want vacations. They want to go you know. Some of them left because school ended and they went back home and so it it’s hard to run this place just being open three days a week during a season that we’re not typically going to be busy anyway they,” said Johnson. 

Though the comedy club is closing its doors, Johnson wants people to know that the shutdown is only temporary and that he intends to re-open come fall. He believes this comedy club is an important part of the social scene and hopes people continue supporting small businesses like his. 

“If I could say anything it’s just making sure you’re supporting the local businesses,” Johnson said. “The small businesses, the local businesses, they need the people to come out even before the pandemic. If we don’t support the local places if we don’t go out then these places can’t thrive.”

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