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Sudden Change

Bret Ernst answers a surprise call, headlines revamped lineup that had sold-out Tin Roof roaring on a Monday night.

by Chuck king

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – With Monday’s sold-out monthly Tin Roof comedy show in danger of cancellation because of an unexpected issue with the announced headliner, Bret Ernst eagerly and uproariously saved the day.

“I thought it was awesome man,” Tin Roof manager Anthony Terzo said. “He really came through at the last minute – a true professional. He was someone I knew that 100 percent wouldn’t just go and do a good job but would leave people wanting more and wanting to come back for another show. I thought he was perfect.”

Promoters/Comedians Nadeem Awad and David “Sadman” Sadaka were given only a few hours notice that their headlining comic wouldn’t make the night’s performance.

Awad and Terzo quickly thought of Ernst. But would a national comic boasting several television specials, a staring role in Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show and a supporting actor role in the current Netflix series Cobra Kai even be interested in such a short-notice gig?

Within an hour, Ernst told Terzo he’d be there.

“I need the stage time,” Ernst reasoned. “I’m not in L. A. I’m not working at the Comedy Store right now. Terzo is a good friend. Dave’s a good friend. Nadeem’s a good friend. Listen, during COVID, to even get on stage is a blessing.”

Even with the attention of customers sitting in the outdoor portion of the venue splitting their focus between the comics and Monday Night Football, Ernst kept Tin Roof’s indoor patrons roaring by mixing new bits and crowd work with old staples – including his friend stealing an ambulance and his struggles as a waiter.

“It was great,” Ernst said. “Fucking Great. The way it’s set up? Fucking great.”

By the time Ernst took the stage, a strong cast of supporting comics already had the crowd energized.

Zach McGovern, a veteran of the New York scene, made a surprise appearance on the bill. A Chicago native, McGovern is making a strong first impression on the Palm Beach County comedy scene.

After entertaining the crowd with stories about cheap airline flights, drinking in airports and his unique take on online dating, McGovern accepted an invitation to join Sadman Productions for a couple more shows later in the week.

Sadman opened the night and served as the show’s host – a role at which he excels. Charly Esturilho discussed his rough childhood growing up in nearby Boca Raton. Those familiar with the city immediately understood the premise’s inherent humor.


Dan Caso’s reserved delivery kept the crowd involved during his seven minutes. Awad, a local favorite who’s beginning to garner national attention, didn’t show any ill effects from the chaotic events that occurred prior to the show.

Jen Hellman, a veteran 10-year comic who also has an acting credit for her appearance in the original John Waters’ version of Cry-Baby, rounded out the under card with a strong set of her own (you’ll never look at midwest porn the same way again) before turning the stage over to Ernst.

“When you sell out inside like that now the next thing you need is for everyone to do a good job, put on a good product,” Terzo said. “I thought everyone did it from beginning to end.”

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