In the 90's, Von Daniel went to an improv audition because one of his friends didn't want to go by herself. Comedy wasn't new to Von. In fact, he had performed standup on various stages in New York opening up for comics like Tim Allen and Jim Gaffigan before moving to Dallas for an art career. Like many who take an improv class, Von fell in love with improv was soon later cast and performed with ComedySportz in the Dallas West End. A few years later, ComedySportz was forced to close their doors and they players were told to get their things before they were locked out. As Von and others from the ComedySportz ensemble sat at a bar, mourning their comedy home, it was agreed that none of them wanted to stop performing. So, the comedy troupe Locked OUT Comedy was born. Locked OUT Comedy performed at various stages throughout the metroplex and even had a weekly gig at the Dave & Busters showroom for a while. Following a performance at the Addison Improv on a Wednesday night, an epiphany occurred. There was no reason not to resurrect ComedySportz. It was an international brand, a show people knew of and liked and had values we all could relate to: Collaboration. Inspiration. Gratitude. And fun. And like a phoenix, Von, along with partners Jared Berger and Gary Powers, brought ComedySportz back to DFW.
A few years later, after doing shows at places like the Addison Improv Comedy Club, Alamo Drafthouse and The Factory Theater, it was realized we could do more good in the world to open up our own comedy club that provided something for everyone. A comedy community that provided a creative outlet for comics, artists and performers and where audiences could depend on consistent comedy shows and classes that would leave them feeling transformed for the better. Hence, The Comedy Arena was born.
Just like in an improv show, you're never quite sure what's coming next. But we continue to start from a place of yes and we'll see where the scene takes us. So far, we're pretty happy with all of the people we've had a chance to collaborate with, be inspired by, show our gratitude towards and have fun with.
Who knew one little comedy class could lead to opening up a comedy business designed to provide transformative experiences for all audiences, performers and staff?
Note: Kitchen, Lounge and Bar added in 2021!
The Comedy Arena is happy to call McKinney home.
We are in the business of Comedy. Especially improv comedy where it’s all made up on the spot. We feel if you came in and didn’t have a good time, well then, we didn’t do our job. The Comedy Arena prides itself on producing all types of comedy styles, from sketch, to stand up, but especially improv (short-form, long-form, city style, and even competitive style which has been one of our specialty for years).
The Comedy Arena doesn’t just put on shows, but it’s a venue that teaches students how to become comedic performers and take the stage whether for performance purposes, or just in life.
The Comedy Arena is excited to show off other comedic talents including other Comedy Troupes (a group of people who work together independently of any theater to create their own style and show) or other performers who have a comedic voice and just need a place to display it.
We will offer shows for audience of all ages, but there will be some after dark /later shows (i.e. The Humor Games) where you are going to want to leave the kids at home and even some experimental shows.
The Comedy Arena is in downtown McKinney, TX just a little off the Square at 305 E. Virginia and is one of the few options that is supplying comedic entertainment every weekend of the year. We’re excited to bring live comedy to North Texas. We’re also looking forward to collaborating with our neighboring businesses to add to the thriving city that is McKinney, TX.
The Comedy Arena is available to host your private events as the arena/theater itself can be bought out for a day/night if needed.
We can’t wait to see you, and earn your patron business.
- The Comedy Arena