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The Long, Funny Haul

Nathan Wallace's rocking performance at Delray Beach's Turtle Tavern showed why national producers think he's special.

by Chuck king

DELRAY BEACH – With an eye on remaining a relevant member of the comedy scene for the long run, Nathan Wallace doesn’t concern himself so much with events of the here and now.

He wants his jokes to stand the test of time.

“If you watch a lot of political comedians, you watch them 10 years later, a lot of times it doesn’t hold up. You don’t even know what they are talking about,” Wallace said. “I like something that one day somebody’s going to look back on and say, Hey, that’s still funny right now.”

Avoiding current event humor – politics in particular – is more of a guideline than a rule for Wallace. Like most comics, he found COVID so universal that pandemic jokes and observations played a significant role in his set.

He’s increasingly leaving those jokes behind now, and Wednesday’s headlining set at the Turtle Tavern in Delray Beach offered nary a mention of the virus people can’t wait to forget.

“I think people are just tired of hearing about it,” Wallace said. “They’re wanting to get over it. They are wanting it to be done.”

Wallace’s performances are receiving greater recognition as they evolve.

A recent set at Zanies Comedy Club in Nashville will be part of a broadcast aired on primarily country music network Circle TV. He’ll also be recording a a full Open Bar special – think Dry Bar, but without limits on subject matter or language – on Saturday at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre in Sarasota.

“I love making people laugh,” Wallace said. “It’s my favorite thing.”

APPLAUSE BREAK-DOWN – Turtle Tavern, June 19, 2022

Nathan Wallace (Headliner)
Jim Fredrick
David Sadman
Matt Z (Guest)
Nick Simmons (Guest)
Nadeem Awad (Host)

Nick Simmons is new to South Florida, but comedy isn’t new to Simmons. The New Yorker recently moved to Florida after a stint in Southern California – yet another gain for the South Florida comedy community. If Wednesday’s quick guest set at the Turtle is any indication, Simmons could quickly become a fixture as part of some of the area’s biggest shows.

Delray’s Turtle Tavern once again proved why it might be South Florida’s most underrated comedy venue. Sadman Comedy Productions packed the strip-mall bar with a mostly well-behaved crowd eager to laugh.


It will be difficult to forget Wallace’s vision of a potential Fort Myers romance between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, complete with a bone-vibrating act out.

On most Sadman Comedy Productions nights David Sadman serves as host while Nadeem Awad performs as a featured comic. On this night they flipped duties. Awad struggled early as he tried to revive some old, yet still unfinished, bits, but closed strong. He created an engaged audience for performers who followed. …It turns out that sequined jackets aren’t simply a gimmick worn by Sadman when he hosts. Sadman sported the wearable disco ball Wednesday for his co-feature performance. Even his shiny attire couldn’t distract from audience cringes during Sadman’s Supreme Court abortion ruling bit. Maybe Dorito V. Wade needs to dip. …Simmons’ bit about dirty talk gone awry – leading all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue – is epic. It might have elicited the loudest laughs of the night. …Matt Z emerged from comedy seclusion to explain, humorously, why it’s not a good idea for liquor stores to treat some patrons as family. …Fredrick spent a good portion of his set explaining how theme parks should react to Florida’s recently passed Parental Rights in Education Bill.

South Florida comic Steve Lamm braved the heat to take in the show. Danny Fineman joined him.

Sadman and Awad will appear at the Biergarten in Boca Raton tonight – another Sadman Comedy Productions show. Lisa Corrao headlines. …Wallace will be at McCurdy’s all weekend working on his special. …Simmons will feature for John Heffron at the Palm Beach Improv this weekend.

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