Saturday, April 04, 2015

April Fool's Comedy at Origins

On a day befitting comedic episodes, The Origins Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held an April Fool's Comedy Show on Wednesday April 1st that featured comics Matt Serniak, Dan Hoppel, and Zack Hammond. I arrived early to discover the venue filled with chairs and couches that were lined up before the comfortably small stage upon which a microphone and speakers were being set up. It was soon after my arrival did the comedians show up to prepared themselves for the night they would enhance with their humor. It was some time afterwards did an audience begin to trickle in until almost all of the seats made available to them were filled.

The show began with some welcoming words given by the gallery's Assistant Director, Ashley C. Fontones, which included news of future events and endeavors of the venue. She then gave the stage over to Carlton Farnbaugh (aka The Carlton) who shared his welcoming remarks before introducing the comedians who would perform in turn. An anticipation of sharing an evening of laughter began to build among the audience members as the first comedian made his way to the stage.

Matt Serniak shared a variety of topics which amused the audience through his unique perceptions of the realities he discovered. These ranged from developing shark tanks comprising of armored vehicles (Tanks) that would be able to shoot actual sharks from their barrows to half way houses for those who want to get back on drugs after finding a life of sobriety disappointing. The former proposal of the new form of weaponry was presented as a remedy to address the criminal organization known as ISIS as the sight of sharks being shot at them would render them paralyzed with shock and surprise. The later proposal reflected the feeling many recovering addicts have that living life without drugs isn't what it's cracked (no pun intended. Well, maybe a little bit.) up to be. After Mr. Serniak had completed his set, a brief show of appreciation was given by The Carlton as he introduced the next comedian.

Dan Hoppel filled the stage with his presence as he inspired laughter from the audience through his humorous insights primarily focusing on relationships and the self serving nature of sex. His mastery of the comedic art form was demonstrated as a member of the audience shared a comment and Mr. Hoppel responded in a spontaneous way that made the moment all the more funnier. This left the perpetrator in a state of chagrined embarrassment, but it was funny.

During the completion of his set, The Carlton came upon stage to offer Mr. Hoppel a gift of a cupcake that was contained in a baker's box. After learning it would enhance his ability to become a diabetic, Mr. Hoppel slapped the box to the floor inspiring some laughter from the audience. The Carlton then picked up the box, opened it while speculating how deformed the contents would be after its impact, and began (in Warholian Cinematic Style) eating the cupcake. An anticipatory silence filled the room as each morsel of the food was consumed and digested. It was then time for the final of the three comedians to take the stage.

After a brief introduction, Zack Hammond began his tour de force comedy which flowed from one topic to another with every observational and perceptive pause given throughout his routine inspired both thoughtful and uproarious laughter. The topics ranged from Magic to Finances and from Employment to Marriage. There were hardly a subject explored by Mr. Hammond that the majority of the audience couldn't relate to and his insight into the essence of these human matters gave the crowd a more defined insight to the nature of their own experiences.

It was after Mr. Hammond performance did Ms. Fontones take the stage to share the numbers upon the tickets of those corresponding with the door prizes that were offered that evening. Digits and excitement filled the room as each winner of the prized eagerly claimed their award. After all the prizes were claimed, The Carlton and Ms. Fontones expressed their appreciation to the comedians and those who attended the event along with wishing everyone a fond adieu.

A great deal of conversation followed these sentiments that took place between the audience members who also lingered in the gallery to view the work and to chat with the comedians who performed. It was a great evening filled with fun and camaraderie and it is hoped that there will be more like it in the future. You can view photographs taken during the event at The April Fool's Comedy Show at Origins 04-01-15 Gallery at You can also view photos taken of the event's comedians and other performances given in various locations at our Performing Arts 2015 Archive at In addition to this, you'll be able to view photographs taken at other venues throughout the area in Our Pocono Arts District 2015 Archive at

The Origins Gallery is located on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store which can be found at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA. The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery within the newly formed Pocono Art District having one of the highest and fastest sales records in the Stroudsburg area, provides a space to those who teach the arts to those who would like to learn from them, and continues to do everything with the local community in mind. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery by exploring their Facebook Page at or their website at

The Origins Gallery is currently presenting their “A Voice For The Earth” exhibit which will be on display until April 26th. Their next event will be the “Cover to Cover” competition/exhibition presented by The Forwardian Arts Society to determine what images will appear on the front and back cover of the upcoming 10th issue of their literary and arts magazine titled, “Forwardian.” The Artists' Reception is scheduled for Friday May 1st beginning at 6pm with the work continuing to be on display until May 10th. More information about The Forwardian Arts Society, its literary and arts magazine, and how to participate in the competition can be gained by exploring their website at I hope to see you then.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul

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