While Emory students struggle through midterm season, venues in Atlanta are celebrating local talent. On Sept. 24, the Hell Yea Comedy Show, hosted at Smith’s Olde Bar by stand-up comedian Ashima Franklin, showcased some of Atlanta’s up-and-coming stand-ups of varying experience levels and cultural backgrounds for an engaging show. 

Although they only had around 15 minutes to entertain the tough crowd, the comedians delivered. The energy in the room shifted depending on each comic’s ability to deliver laughs. Some standouts were Lauren Knight, a no-nonsense, sassy and occasionally raunchy female comic; Aaron “Weight Ball” Young, a down-to-earth personality and all-around likable guy with a knack for observational humor; and Cheating Ass Myron, a natural who interacted well with the audience.

Indian American comic Shaunak Godkhindi also made his mark when he fought fire with fire against the hecklers in the second row, asking the loud mouths what medley of drugs they were on that night. He demonstrated that he knew how to deal with restless audience members; he would not back down to them. Myron also entertained the crowd when he improvised a rap performance and followed it up with a shirtless dance for the ladies in the room. At one point, he had a volunteer “make it rain” on him with dollar bills. It was hysterical.

Throughout the evening, atmospheric red and blue lights tinted the room, giving it the appearance of an old jazz club, although most of the attendees were in their mid-20s. A spotlight lit the small stage while a DJ played trap beats in the interim between acts. The audience of about 80 people often interacted with and sometimes heckled the comedians on stage. 

Overall, the Hell Yea Comedy Show provided a satisfying night filled with laughs and drinks. Every comic brought their own vibe to the setlist, and each one excelled in their own way. No one bombed for real. From what I’ve seen, Atlanta’s stand-up scene is coming into its own right now — pop into a few comedy clubs this weekend and see for yourself. You are not going to want to miss out on this.