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Published February 14th, 2024
Bay Area comics bring free laughs to the Roundup Saloon
Entertainer Ryan Rodriguez Photos Sharon K. Sobotta

Ryan Rodriguez has been an entertainer of sorts. But it wasn't until he sustained an injury that took him out of his gig as a professional wrestler that he found his way to the comedy scene.
"(In 2016) my friend signed me up out of the blue at an open mic event and I ended up cutting a promo by roasting the audience for three minutes straight," Rodriguez said. "They told me to go back and write some material and keep coming back. I did and I was able to build my own set to what it is now."
Rodriguez, along with Guile Mosher and Jonny Rios wove their love for comedy into Bay Area Comics and are on a mission to get people across the Bay - including Lamorindans - laughing. To do this, they're hosting a free comedy show the last Tuesday of every month at the Roundup Saloon in downtown Lafayette. The monthly tradition kicked off in January and the next free live open mic event is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.
The 26-year-old Rios performed a set during the Roundup's first comedy night. While on stage, he pulled the audience in with self-deprecating relatable jokes about everything from his immigrant childhood to his relationships.
"I don't go for the lowest hanging fruit. Even if the audience doesn't have my same exact story, they can relate to having a mother or another aspect of the jokes I tell, and laugh."
"Comedy works. I don't ever remember being sad while I was laughing," Rios says.
"Comedy was my favorite pastime. And my roommate told me to try out an open mic and I did," Rios recalls. "When I was on stage getting laughter, and even after, I completely forgot all of my problems. It felt like there was a new connection in my brain. It felt nice to be able to make other people feel better and I felt better in return."
Sami Al-Asfour lives and works in Moraga and was thrilled to come to Lafayette for the Roundup's first comedy show.
"I thought the five comedians were good. After long stressful days at work, it's important to find the time to laugh and not take it seriously," Al-Asfour says. "I'll go to another comedy show and invite my co-workers."

Jonny Rios Photos provided

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