Could Manteca become a destination for comedy?
If Chris Teicheira gets his way it will.
The local farmer and comedian is currently scouting locations within Manteca’s city limits with an eye on The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley to open a comedy club that would cater not only to his established crew of comics, but also serve as a destination for Bay Area and Sacramento comics who are looking for new audiences and places to test material.
He has already lined up backers.
With a working title of “The Deaf Puppy Club” – named after the crew of Central Valley comedians that have helped raise the profile of the 209 when it comes to comedy throughout Northern California and beyond – the club would be designed to cater to weekend audiences as well as certain weekday events while possibly providing a theater-style facility for community groups that wish to utilize it on off nights.
“I am out currently looking for financing to make this dream a reality, but right now I’m limiting my search to people who share my last name,” Teicheira said jokingly. “On one hand they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, but then again I can’t default on a loan to my family – so there is that.
“I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about the Central Valley doesn’t have anything like this, and I think it could serve a wide range of people and becomes something that this city can appreciate and enjoy. Everybody always says there’s nothing to do here in the valley – well, we’re trying to bring something to you.”
And it won’t just be Teicheira’s unique brand of humor on display.
The crew, which take their name after his actual deaf puppy – first as a joke, but then adopting the moniker as it began to become identifiable – are making waves both locally and throughout the area as funny and at times irreverent and willing to go anywhere, anytime, for just about any crowd.
There’s Anthony Krayenhagen – known professionally as Anthony K – that has racked up finalist honors at the Big Sky Comedy Competition as well as being named a semi-finalist the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. He also notched a victory at the first ever Modesto Clean Comedy Competition last year.
He also happens to be Teicheira’s roommate.
And then there’s Saul Trujillo, a 32-year-old Stockton native that can often be found in Teicheira’s living room, who just last weekend won the San Jose Improve Comedy Competition – one of the most prestigious competitions for stand-up comics in Northern California.
While he’s no stranger to driving to the Bay Area or to Sacramento to perform in a show, Trujillo believes that if Teicheira is successful, he’ll be able to draw comics from both places who would love the opportunity to appeal to a completely new – and event-starved – audience.
“It would be so excellent as a comic and beneficial to the people of Manteca,” Trujillo said. “We’re right in the middle of San Francisco and Sacramento and there are so many people that pass through here that would love to stop in and do a set.
“I have no doubt he’d pack that place every weekend because this is something that Manteca and the Central Valley needs.”
So far Teicheira has the support of Laughs Unlimited Sacramento owner Jennifer Canfield who told him specifically that there’s no reason why the Central Valley doesn’t already have a dedicated place for comics both within the 209 and beyond.
Given his ever-growing list of contacts within that industry, Teicheira – who has already brought nationally-recognized comedians to Manteca for shows throughout the city over the last several years – thinks that he’d be able to offer something fun, inexpensive and unique for a community that always claims that there isn’t anything to do.
“This is an idea that I’ve been kicking around for a while and we’d love to be able to get a spot near Bass Pro where people can come out and grab some dinner and then take in a show,” he said. “It’s still early in the process, but it’s definitely something that I want to make happen for the people of Manteca and for the comics within the Central Valley.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.