What has eight legs, eight eyes, and weaves miraculous webs around Omaha?

If you were thinking a spider – well, that’s true. Spiders do possess those exact characteristics.  But you’re wrong. You have never been more wrong.

The correct answer in this case is Dusty Stehl, Zach Reinert, Stephen Smith and Jack Comstock, the minds behind Collaboration Comedy, Omaha’s newest stand-up comedy force. They wear pants and shirts like the rest of us, but they are kings of comedy and a welcome addition to Omaha’s comedy scene, working in tandem with OK Party Comedy and improvisation groups around town.

You can catch these robber barons (I don’t know) every Wednesday at the Barley Street Tavern, hosting one of the city’s most inviting, most comfortable comedy open mics – and there’s also a substantially long cat that’s totally into petting.

Each night up to 20 comedians grace the Barley Street’s compact stage, offering a glimpse into their unique takes on everything from the mundane to the fantastic. If you’re looking for comedy that spans the spectrum between crass and clean, between Bigfoot jokes and rape jokes, between anecdotes and platonically perfect one-liners, this is the place for you.

The group formed last January, as a practical way to get on stage in a packed comedy scene that can be impenetrable for beginning comics. Stehl, Reinert and Smith (Comstock came along later during the group’s formation – Stehl: “we were like ‘that dude’s funny, he’s kinda weird, but he’s funny’”) met at various open mics throughout Omaha and found they shared a similar frustration with the exclusivity of the Omaha’s comedy community.

“Basically the scene was like ‘oh, you want to do shows, you want to get on stage? Well, you got two avenues: you can get work at the Funny Bone as a host or you can try to get on shows that OK Party puts on,’” said Stehl, the red-haired comic mastermind at the helm of Collaboration Comedy. “They have a long, long list of people to get on shows, so we were just like, ‘okay, well, why don’t we just do our own shows?’”

The group took their name from an inside joke. Whenever one would help the other with a new bit, they would sing – in unison – “comedy collaboration.” No joke, Stehl has golden pipes. To hear him sing is to hear a choir of angels.

“We thought it was kind of a hokey name, but it works, and it’s an inviting name,” Stehl said. “We want to be inclusive, which is good for the comedy scene.”

And the group’s open mics are incredibly inviting. No matter someone’s credentials, they’re welcome on stage, which they’ll share with a table (that’s important). The open environment relaxes comedians, allowing them to feel free to bring a notebook on stage or check notes on their phones as they perform.

“We want it to be welcoming,” Stehl said. “ The crowd has always been great here. No one’s ever been heckled. It doesn’t happen here, which I like. “

The open mics started late October 2012 and were sparsely attended at first, but as word got around, more and more comedians and spectators have come through the doors each week.

The group’s put on six open mics so far this year, Stehl said, each of them with a great showing.

Experienced comedian J.C. Morgan, winner of Los Angeles’ Funniest Comedian Award in 2011, says he loves the open mic’s atmosphere.

“I call this the best all comedy open mic in Omaha, hands down,” Morgan said. “They present a good show, they’re professional, they keep it going, and they’re not lazy.”

In addition to open mics, Collaboration Comedy has put on a number of shows throughout Omaha, each successive one drawing in more bodies, and always delivering golden comedy.

“Collaboration Comedy,” Stehl said. “We take pride in doing shows that are funny.”

The Collaboration Comedy open mic takes place 10 p.m. every Wednesday at the Barley Street Tavern in Benson . Performers can sign up at the bar at 9:30 p.m. or sign up at the group’s Facebook page.




first installment of a monthly series of parties.

this time is a locals show. featuring djs: zach tiller, cicio, and tres johnson. the three of them will be tag team djing throughout the night lifting the vibe. you can expect to hear classic, deep, vocal, and tech house music.

help us build a house music community in this area, by coming out to get down with us!

working on a bringing a very special guest for next month. a legend from san francisco. so stay tuned for more house music in the omaha metro area!

house djs, if you want to be booked you have to support.

more info: