A local New Year’s Eve tradition returns to downtown Jacksonville this weekend in a new venue, but some of the same old jokes. The Ken Bradbury New Year’s Eve Joke Show returns this Saturday after a hiatus thanks to the Covid pandemic.
Keith Bradbury says several years ago, his late brother Ken decided it would be a good thing to start off the new year with a laugh, and the Ken Bradbury Joke Show was born.
Keith says the show returns this year at a new location however, whether the old jokes are the spoken word, or the comedian who is speaking them, is up for the audience to determine.
“Well now, to call them comedians is a bit of a stretch, but when you give anybody good material they’re going to be good. We’ve got everybody’s favorite Jodi Heitbrink, and nobody’s favorite Bruce Surratt is going to be with us.
We have Tammy Guthrie, Katie McDannald, Zach Pickens…Zach’s a riot, Bob Large, a standard in our community in theater for years, and myself. We’ve also added some music to the show. Stephanie Soltermann is going to help us with that. She will keep the pace going with music throughout the evening.”
Keith says after working its way around the square over the years, this year’s show has landed at The Warehouse 200 event hall just off the square. He says the show will be short on time, but not on laughs.
“This is just an hour [long] show. It starts at 4:00 with a cocktail hour and then at 5:00 the show will start. They’ll have the bar set up for anyone that wants some libations or non-libation. The show starts at 5:00 and it will be done, I promise, by 6:00. That will give people time to get out and get to their dinner reservations or parties or go home and watch Gunsmoke.”
The cost is $10.00 per ticket for the hour-long show plus the cocktail hour. Bradbury says the proceeds will go towards an entity near and dear to both his and Ken’s hearts. “These proceeds are going to the Ken Bradbury Foundation. The foundation was established many years ago as a way to help Ken put on community productions.
He was doing all of this stuff out of his own pocket and the foundation decided it was worthy to start a foundation. It has a board of directors and they use those funds to promote primarily theaters. We’re trying to help Triopia get back on their feet again. In the past, we did some things for Mt. Sterling when they revamped their theater.
The general focus is on theater, but the foundation tries to help out whoever it can, and they’ve been helping out so much that the funds are getting low. So we’re seeing if we can’t help give those funds a little boost.”
The Ken Bradbury New Year’s Eve Joke Show is this Saturday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm at The Warehouse 200 is located at 200 East Douglas Avenue in Jacksonville. Doors open at 4:00 for cocktail hour. For tickets, call Mary Jane Bradbury at 217-473-4735 and place a reservation.
Seating is limited to between 100 and 110 so Keith says if you make reservations and find you can’t come, please call back so the seats can be used. More information can be found on the Ken Bradbury Foundation Facebook Page.