So, tonight, July 3, some friends and I went to this place, the Main Street Comedy Pub (formerly The Joke Factory), in Evansville, Indiana. Part of the night was open mic, and one of my friends was going to go up. We were there to support her, and as we waited for her to go onstage, we sat down and watched the comedian before her.
TW RAPE, THREATS, VIOLENCE, ASSAULT, MISOGYNY, HARASSMENT
One of the first jokes we heard was about lesbians. The comedian—this man, named Corey Keough Martin, was being generally gross and not too creative in his ‘comedy.’ I thought it was all pretty routine, but then he made a joke about date rape, so I called him out on it (loudly). He said something to the effect of, “Oh, you’re one of those feminists.” (He was not very funny, or intelligent, so this is, again, pretty well what I expected.)
Anyway, this man went on to make a string of rape ‘jokes’—(as well as a joke about murdering women and/or babies), actually said he committed rape frequently and then threatened to rape me, calling me and my friends ‘cunts’. I got up then to walk out, and as I left, he addressed the audience (about 100 people), saying he was going to slash my tires after the show. He laughed and said that if he did slash my tires, I might get raped, adding, “Wouldn’t that be a good time for her?”
After this threat of rape by the comedian as well as his advocating my rape by members of the audience, my friends and I decided to leave, feeling the place was unsafe. As we were outside waiting on our other friend, the manager on duty of the comedy club—this man, Mark Bryan—came out and asked for me, saying my name. I told him who I was and he asked if I was okay. At first I thought he was on my side, but when I and my friends responded that we felt threatened and personally attacked, he became extremely defensive and told us it was all a joke, and not to come to comedy clubs if we were easily offended. I responded that the man wasn’t telling jokes—he was threatening rape and encouraging others to do so. My girlfriend and my friends were also telling him this—emphasizing how we felt as women in his establishment.
Mark Bryan repeatedly told us it was all just a joke, and not to come out again if we couldn’t “take a joke.” Our attempts to get him to understand our feelings in the situation missed their target completely, and we drove away after getting his name.
So here’s where I need your help. I don’t always feel enthusiastic about my city, but I do know it’s been a place I’ve felt safe for some time and would like to continue to do so. I can’t believe a place in my city would give a platform to a man like that, and I know my friends and I feel shaken after tonight. Please share this with your followers and spread the message. This is unacceptable. I don’t want harassment aimed at the comedy club or its owners, but I would like them to get the message that rape is never funny.
Their Facebook page is The Main Street Comedy Club.
Their Twitter is here.
Their phone number is (812) 453-7636.
The comedian, Corey Keough Martin: