Comedians leave Rico laughing
Posted Sept. 14, 2007
Wei Huang
Rico Coffee, a popular coffee bar, is located at the corner of White Avenue and Foothill Boulevard. A number of musicians and comedians are scheduled to perform on weekends. On Saturday night, Chris Kostolefsky, one of the most popular comedians, performed for an audience of 20. Kostolefsky is scheduled to appear again.

Three nights a month Rico Coffee House in La Verne hosts evenings of Fresh Roasted Comedy.

The latest took place Saturday, where comedians Matt Iseman, from “Clean House” on the Style Network, Carl and Buzz and five other stand-up comedians performed
Lisa Sullivan, comedy director at Rico Coffee, says, “Comedians who perform here are looking for a place to try out new jokes.”

Sullivan added that Rico Coffee loves giving new comedians a chance to grow and veteran comedians a place to have fun.

This was demonstrated in the variety of comedians that performed.

The night began with the ladies: stand-up comics Jung Park, Elaine Van Beek and Gayla Johnson performed.

Park describes her jokes as coming from her life and her crazy dad.

Park steamed up the crowd with her jokes that ranged from helping her Korean father with the 98-cent store they owned in Calexico to recently getting married.

Van Beek, the next performer, does comedy only as a hobby.

She works for Toshiba medical assistance. Van Beek encourages people to come to Rico Coffee to have “good clean fun.”

The third woman of the night was Johnson.

She has performed for years as an L.A.-based comedian.

She has performed in places like the Comic Store, Ice House, Irvine Improv and the Ontario Improv.

She is also currently a member of “The Girl Next Door Comedy Tour.” Johnson describes comedy as “therapeutic” for both herself and the audience.

Then it was time for the guys to take the stage.

The first men up were the comedy duo, Carl and Buzz.

Carl Bradley is a former television network executive who has worked in shows such as “The Young and the Restless” and “Married…With Children.”

Buzz Belmondo has won an Emmy for his comedy writing.

He has also starred in TV shows such as “Out of This World” and “Baywatch.”

Carl and Buzz are veteran comedians who joined together to make “something different” says Bradley.

They use music, body language and acting as a basis to their comedy.
Following the famous duo was another TV personality, Matt Iseman.

Iseman is a licensed doctor who quit his job to become a stand-up comedian, a job he calls “the greatest job in the world.”

Iseman works for the Style Network on “Clean House.” He has also worked on “Comics Unleashed” and “General Hospital.”

“The difference between a regular person and a comedian is that we remember [what happens during the day] and try to make it funny,” Iseman said to describe how he gets his inspiration from life to make stand-up comedy.

Bone Hampton was the last comedian of the night.

He has worked on shows like “My Name is Earl,” “Medium” and “Less than Perfect.” Currently Hampton is releasing his movie “Thou Shalt Laugh, Pt. II” on Oct. 23.

Audience member Angel Gonzalez described the event as the perfect night out.

“It is not often that you get live entertainment close and personal,” he said.

Gonzalez added that the good coffee and food are a bonus.

Chris Kostolefsky is the producer of Fresh Roasted Comedy and with the help of Sullivan, great comedy is brought to La Verne.

It is important to note that the comedians do their shows for free at Rico Coffee and all shows are free to audience members–a great incentive for

ULV students whose funds are limited to attend frequently.

Sullivan said Rico Coffee is willing to give new comedians a chance as long as their comedy is clean.

Rico’s also features open mike nights twice a month.

To contact Rico Coffee for show days and times or booking information, visit or call (909) 392-1999.

Maria J. Velasco can be reached at

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