Mission Viejo coffee shop hosts comedy nights

Half & Laugh Comedy Show is the only comedy show in Mission Viejo (Diana Tomseth/Lariat)

Nick Patrillo, pictured, performs at It’s a Grind’s “Half & Laugh Comedy Show” on Sept. 8., alongside four other performers. The next comedy event occurs Sept. 22. (Diana Tomseth/Lariat)

Comedians get personal and lighten the mood in a cozy coffee house setting

Comedians entertained customers at It’s A Grind Coffee House on opening night last Friday. Half & Laugh Comedy Show is the only comedy show in Mission Viejo, and will be open to the public every other Friday each month for free.

Owner Hassan Fahimi, 51, of It’s A Grind Coffee House has owned the shop for two and half years. The former IT professional bought the coffee house as a hobby, eventually turning it into a full time job.  It’s A Grind Coffee House customers contribute their talents to the shop with their photography, paintings and decorations that adorn the walls. Working with local artists and the community is a top priority to Fahimi.         

“So, for example, Tom Goss lives around here and is one of our customers and comes here all of the time,” Fahimi said. “He told me about having a comedy night. So, I worked with them.”

Comedian Tom Goss performs at It's A Grind Coffee House for comedy nights. (Diana Tomseth/Lariat)

Comedian Tom Goss performs at It’s A Grind Coffee House for comedy nights. (Diana Tomseth/Lariat)

Half & Laugh Comedy Show includes performers Tom Goss, Kelly Ryan, Jordan Conley, Alfonso Ochoa and Nick Petrillo. They are a group of Southern Californian comedians who perform in Orange County together. Manager of Half and Laugh Comedy Show Tom Goss saw a need for a comedy show in South Orange County.        

“So, the whole goal with this is to kind of create something to do in Mission Viejo, besides maybe partying or there’s a lack of things to do at night for all ages, so hopefully people that are interested in this enjoy comedy,” Goss said. “I try bringing the best guys I can to put on a good show.”

The comedians use an interpersonal style of comedy to try and better connect with their audience. Often drawing from difficult topics such as race, sexuality, gender, mental health, body image and socio-economic status. The comedians talk frankly and laugh through taboo topics. 

“I think if you can take something relatively dark and talk about it and make people forget that it’s a dark topic and they can laugh about it too, it’s healing for people in the audience who have been through similar stuff,” comedian Kelly Ryan said. “It’s healing for me, you know, it’s good for everybody.”

Over a dozen adults filled the coffee shop to hear the comedians perform. Saddleback College pre-med student and employee of It’s A Grind Coffee House Livia Petras, 18, enjoys the comedy shows when she is off work.

“I think everyone had their own personality and I really liked that,” Petras said. “I liked that each person had their own background stories and experiences that they had. I thought it was fun.” 

It’s A Grind Coffee House is located at 25522 Marguerite Parkway Mission Viejo, CA 92692. “Half & Laugh” Comedy Show issues an adult humor warning. The comedy show runs on certain Fridays from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Other entertainment at the coffee house will include Jazz band concerts. For more information call (949) 768-2633 or visit @itsagrindmissionviejo on Facebook.           

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