Women-Centric ‘You Should Smile More’ Comedy Club Triumphs with Sold-Out Show in Cary

‘You Should Smile More,’ a new comedy club owned by Cary woman Hannah Johns, sold out their first show at RBF last week.

In a groundbreaking move for the local comedy scene, Hannah Johns, a talented and driven performer, has taken center stage with her woman-owned and women-centric comedy organization, “You Should Smile More.” The recent success of their first-ever show at RBF in Cary has sent waves of laughter and empowerment through the community.

Hannah’s comedic journey began with a passion for the stage as a professional child actor, which later evolved into an affinity for improv and sketch comedy during her college years.

“When I graduated college in 2019, I wasn’t sure what my next life as a performer would be. When an improv teacher told me that I should try taking a stand up comedy class, it sounds cliche, but it really was like a light bulb turned on and I’ve been doing stand up for 3 years now,” Hannah explained.

Hannah Johns

“You Should Smile More” Comedy Club emerged from Hannah’s desire to create a brave space for female and non-male identifying comics. Under this umbrella production company, she and her friends are fostering a supportive platform for creative expression.

The inaugural show at RBF bar was nothing short of a triumph. Tiffany Welton, the bar’s owner, eagerly embraced the opportunity to host this inclusive event, providing an intimate and empowering atmosphere for female comedians to shine.

“When I first asked if she would be interested I honestly never expected her to say yes, but she did immediately. It was like it was a no brainer to her,” Hannah wrote, highlighting Tiffany Welton’s enthusiasm for the show. “After getting to know her better it makes sense because giving women space is in her nature and that is reflected in her business.”

The success of “You Should Smile More” Comedy Club also owes much to the stellar lineup of talented comics who graced the stage that evening.

Hannah invited 5 of her favorite female comics to perform at the show, and to her surprise, they all said yes.

“That might be a theme of my own self doubt, expecting people to tell me no, but not only did they say yes, their performances were all amazing,” Hannah explained.

The comics made the audience at RBF constantly laugh throughout the show. They were:

  • Devon Roberts (@devroberts)
  • Lauren Polli (@laurenpolli)
  • Gabrielle Jarrell (@kahootscomedy)
  • Victoria Quiett (@victoria.queteapie)
  • Victoria Niemeyer (@vniemeyer, @RaleighReal)
  • And of course, Hannah Johns (@youshouldsmilemorecomedy, @hannahdavisjohns)

Devon Roberts believes that having more women in comedy makes perfect sense.

“If you walk into almost any comedy show you’ll very easily see the audience is at least half women,” expressed Devon. “If the audience is half women then having women on the lineup is a no-brainer.”

Devon is, of course, correct. Despite women making up half of the audience, according to Zippia, 73% of comedians are male. There is clearly a hole in the market for women comedians, and groups like You Should Smile More are helping to change that.

“I think when it comes to comedy it’s all about truth, living in your truth, accepting your truth, and laughing at the truth. When you think about a male-dominated industry..You’re talking about over 50% of the population whose truths really aren’t being told at all,” explained Gabrielle Jarrell. “So much of the feminine experience is rooted in a place of embarrassment or shame, we were told to hide our bodies, their functions and uniqueness. Getting to own, share and laugh at parts of the feminine experience helps us to accept ourselves.”

Victoria Niemeyer also talked about speaking their truth.

“What women have to endure is not a joke, but if we’re making light of the heaviness & speaking our truths… it lightens the load for all women. To see others & feel less alone & laugh at things we weren’t ‘supposed’ to even speak about until recently in history.” Niemeyer expresses. “I’m proud to stand with men & up to men & support other women (especially moms) speaking their truths. It really lights me up.”

Lauren agrees that it is important for women to have a voice on these platforms.

“I love seeing women in comedy! Comedy is very similar to the business world-it can be quite patriarchal. Objectively, society doesn’t see women as being as funny as men (although I obviously disagree),” shares Lauren Polli. “Women oftentimes get overlooked when shows are being book. We have to work twice as hard for the same laughs men get. It’s important to have women in these male dominated scenes to change that! We bring a different perspective to the stage.”

The overwhelming support from the Cary community further solidifies the club’s potential for growth and continued success. As the local arts scene continues to flourish, “You Should Smile More” Comedy Club is primed to become a significant player in the region’s comedic landscape.

“Our very first production sold out, so if that is any indicator, I think Cary is going to be more than welcoming,” Hannah said, exuding confidence in the club’s future.

Hannah Johns’ ambition, paired with the town’s encouraging environment for the arts and local businesses, has set the stage for a bright and laughter-filled future for “You Should Smile More.” Cary residents and comedy enthusiasts can eagerly anticipate upcoming shows and join in supporting this empowering venture.

As Hannah Johns continues to make waves in the comedy world, her dedication to empowering women and promoting diverse voices is not only transforming the local comedy scene in Cary, but it also serves as an inspiration for comedians and audiences alike, heralding a new era of laughter and inclusivity.

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