Bradley Rigler has been a performer his entire life. He got his start in high school theater, then dabbled in politics by serving on a school board in Pennsylvania. He then worked for a radio station and became an actor.
Now, Rigler likes to center his performances around the comedy scene. He serves as the host of a free comedy event the second Wednesday of every month at Village Station Pub in Zionsville.
Rigler considers himself a personable guy who enjoys constantly being onstage. Hosting gives him the opportunity, and it also allows him to introduce the comics performing in Zionsville.
“You’d be surprised how many comics are not personable in one-on-one. They’re performers, so they’re great writers and performers, but at the same time, being a host, I feel more natural and comfortable talking to people,” Rigler said. “I’ll get up without a script, talk to the group and get everybody going. (Comics) get up and perform their set and they’re really good at it. I feel like my strength is in hosting.”
Through performing at comedy venues in an around Indianapolis, Rigler discovers up-and-coming comics. He brings them to the Zionsville stage, where they perform a short set.
“We do have a hot comedy scene here and Zionsville is growing up,” Rigler said. “The people here want to be able to enjoy culture, and part of it is going out and being able to see comics for free.”
Rigler said Indianapolis is one of the hottest comedy scenes in the nation, and he said he wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one Indianapolis comedian step onto the national stage in the next few years.
“I would love the opportunity to share that in Zionsville,” Rigler said. “I get to see some of the best comics that are out there. I’m friends with them, we go to each others’ shows and I select a new group of comics (for the Zionsville performance each month). I want to get different varieties of people and styles of humor, so that way everybody in Zionsville can get an Entenmann’s box of chocolates of comedy.”
Each set at Rigler’s shows are approximately 10 minutes, and usually six comics perform. The event is free, but it is for ages 18 and older.
Fishers resident Elle Kizick is one of the up-and-coming comics scheduled to perform at Rigler’s next show at 8 p.m. May 8 at Village Station Pub, 10615 Zionsville Rd. The pub will remain open during construction on Zionsville Road.
Kizick recently began pursuing comedy full time after she got fired from her job for a reason that might only happen to a comic.
“I didn’t start taking it very seriously until I got fired for telling a joke a month ago,” she said. “That has brought me to pursuing comedy full time. The community here is excellent. It’s very active. I’m just really lucky to be able to be welcomed into the community as I have been.”
For Rigler, comedy is special because it pulls from reality.
“I love the local comedy scene more than anything, and I feel the people going out to see these guys, they’re going to feel the same way,” Rigler said. “Fiction is out of date. There’s nothing you can make up that’s more interesting than what’s actually happening for real. The great comics draw on their lives and their own perspective. That’s what I love about comedy. We aren’t talking about some fantasy world. Our world is almost too unbelievable to believe, and these comics are able to get up and put their own spin on it that everyone can relate to, and the reality is what makes is so hilarious.
“When I got to Indianapolis, I really discovered the scene here. It’s really vibrant, really bubbling over, really starting to erupt on being one of the best stand-up scenes in the country.”
Attend the show
What: Vick’s Vapor Rub Comedy Night (the last show was named after Big League Chew: “I want there to be a big corporate sponsor of every show whether they know it or not,” Rigler said, laughing).
When: 8 p.m., May 8
Where: Village Station Pub, 10615 Zionsville Rd.
Meet Bradley Rigler
Family: Wife, Vanessa. Children Charlie, 3, and Reagan, 5.
Morning person or night owl: Night owl.
Favorite comedians: Adam Sandler, Anthony Jeselnik, Bill Burr
Education: Journalism degree from Shenandoah University
Where to see him perform: 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday except for the second Wednesday of the month at 1949 Tavern, 614 Main St. Beech Grove; 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday at Crackers Comedy Club, 207 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis; 8:30 p.m. every Monday at Jokers Comedy Club, 247 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis.
Zionsville resident since: August 2018