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ASU, Second City Alum Opens Comedy Club in Glendale

Published: Friday, October 12, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 16:10

Comedy Club

Adrian Lesoing

Dave Thurston

Rarity is used to describe a lot of things, and in the comedy world it’s rare to see someone really strike gold and make it big much less open his or her own comedy club. But one local comedian who loves improv and the idea of making people laugh on a nightly basis is preparing to open a club in Glendale.

Arizona State University alumnus Dave Thurston has taken the next step up in his onstage career with the opening of an improv comedy club at Glendale’s Renaissance Hotel in the popular Westgate Entertainment District.

Thurston, who has performed comedy for 13 years, never considered improv until he tried it one night at the suggestion of friends.

“It started out as a silly thing,” said Thurston. “I originally said ‘no’ at first, but ever since then I have tried to make my shows funnier, smoother and more suave.”

Thurston took a most unconventional route to where he is today, and instead of being just an improv comedian he also works in promotions at local radio station 93.3 KDKB and teaches improv classes at the Tempe Arts Center. Aside from work, he is also a graduate of The Second City, an esteemed improvisation school in Chicago, studied journalism, history and English at ASU, and also has a business degree from Keller.

“I have been talking about opening up my own show and doing this for 10 years,” Thurston said. “School, work and bills have just always got in the way.”

But the wait and hard work was definitely worth it for Thurston and The Dave Thurston Improvised Comedy Club, which sees its grand opening this weekend.

Through the entirety of shows, which run Fridays and Saturdays, the audience will shout prompts and scenarios that Thurston and his troupe of local and national comedic comrades will act out and characterize.

“Our show is faster paced and more engaging than most improv out there,” said Thurston. “We are different in that you as an audience member will be the only person ever who gets to see it.”

“Stand-up is more prepared, and it can take you two to three years of doing it to get good,” Thurston said. “Improv is the opposite, and people who come to see our 7:30 [p.m.] show will be getting a completely different experience than the people who are lining up and seeing the 9:30 [p.m.] show.”

But no matter which show you attend, the comedy club prides itself on the motto: laughter over anything else.

“Getting a huge laugh out of the audience is so awesome,” said Thurston.

However, Thurston ensures the actors won’t offend anyone in the process of performing laugh-out-loud stuff.

“We are a funnier and much classier improv show than most,” said Thurston. “We focus mostly on good, solid character work and performance.”

The Dave Thurston Improvised Comedy Club, The Renaissance Hotel @ Westgate City Center, 9495 W. Coyotes Boulevard, Glendale, 480.784.7258,, Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $10 

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