UPPER MARLBORO — Laugh House, a venue for stand-up comics in Prince George’s County, is the brainstorm of Monique Hunter.
Hunter said that she always liked comedy, viewing it as the “Reader’s Digest” used to say “the best medicine in world.” Her love of comedy often took her to Baltimore to see shows.
“A friend and I would always go to Baltimore to see stand-up comics,” Hunter said. “I then thought, ‘Why go to Baltimore? Why not have a comedy club here?’”
It was then that she came upon the idea of starting Laugh House so residents would not have to drive to Baltimore and farther for comedy, which should be convenient and accessible to all.
The inaugural shows of Laugh House will take place at the Paradigm Lounge at 5010 Brown Station Road, Upper Marlboro on August 18, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Gerald Kelly, an actor and comedian who has starred in “Def Comedy Jam,” “Comic View” and “Last Comic Standing,” will be headlining the show. The first act will be Ryheem Johnson, actor and comedian, who has appeared in “For My Man” and “House of Cards.” Comedian and Washington, D.C. native Terrance Hawkins will serve as host.
Hunter plans to start this venture slowly, then increase the number of Friday and Saturday shows and expand from Thursday through Saturday. Her goal is eventually to own her own building for Laugh House.
With an interesting background with many ties to our region, Hunter is originally from the Bronx in New York, she grew up in Montgomery County and is a long-time Prince George’s County resident. She now serves as a special education teacher in Charles County. Yet this twenty-year veteran educator is no stranger to business and organizing new ventures. She started a women’s collegiate summer league for basketball long before professional woman’s basketball became popular.
Hunter is an entrepreneur who is always planning. “I will be able to have more than just stand-up once I have my own building,” she said.
Laugh House will eventually include other forms of comedy. She noted that this will be a “woman-owned black business dealing in a male-dominated industry,” and she is keen to focus on giving female comediennes a platform to perform. She is an idealist as well as a realist.
“I am new to the game,” Hunter said. “The game may not know me, but it will know me.”