About 270 people flocked to the Colusa County Fairgrounds last Saturday for the Colusa Rural Firefighters Inc. Comedy Night, and organizers couldn’t be happier with the results of the annual fundraiser.
In particular, they said they were thrilled with this year’s trio of comedians: Vince Royale, Patrick McSpadden, and Paul “Smokey” Deese.
“I thought they were the best ever,” said Colusa Rural Firefighter Heath Krug. “They were definitely our best we’ve had in a long, long time. What I liked about them, from my point of view, they just seemed funny and didn’t lose the crowd. It can definitely be a tough crowd, and we just don’t have the money to get a big-name comedian in here, so it comes down to how well they fit in with the crowd.”
Royale, the master of ceremonies for the event for the past few years, has brought a new lineup of comedians with him each year. This year, according to volunteer firefighter John Ascencion, they hit it off well with the Colusa County crowd.
“My job with the event was to coordinate the lights and sound, and to help get the comedians,” Ascencion said. “I think they knocked it out of the park, and the crowd enjoyed themselves.”
Ascencion, also a deputy at the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, was the one who first put the Colusa County Rural Firefighters Inc. in contact with Royale. Ascencion saw Royale broken down on the side of the road near Arbuckle a few years ago and stopped to help him out. Ascencion found out he was a comedian, and put him in contact with the firefighters.
“Vince is the one that sends me YouTube clips of a number of comedians, and I suggested a couple. We decided these guys were really good, and that’s the way we went. They just seemed to be able to read the crowd, based on what I saw in their videos. It’s a gut feeling, mostly,” Ascencion said. “Over the years, this event has changed. Our crowd has gotten younger, and it’s becoming more of an actual show, now that we’ve set up stage lighting and the backdrop. We manage to dress it up and make it look like an actual comedy venue.”
CCRFI President Joey Pfyl was also impressed by the line-up of comedians. More importantly, he said that the fundraising aspect was a success.
“The auction went very well this year. The show was good this year too. The second guy (McSpadden) was probably my favorite, because he was able to play off the crowd, and everybody loves it when they do that,” Pfyl said. “Really, everything went great this year, thanks to everybody that came, and all the sponsors that helped us get that thing done.”■