Lately there is a lot of buzz around something called The American Comedy Co. Why? Mostly because of the man in the above photo, Justin Hollister, creator and brains behind The American Comedy Co.. Formerly the manager and “Off Night” booker for the SJ Improv, Hollister was the driving force to the success of the Improvs Wednesday shows. He singlehandedlly made San Jose a hot bed for comedy as well as seeing the potential in comics and concepts that others did not.
Hollister started out a fan of comedy. He also was involved w/ a weekly local TV comedy show that was touted as the Bay Areas version of SNL, “Stand Up It’s Thursday Night”, which aired on KRON & UPN. Comics like John Hoogasian, Jeff Applebaum, Ryan Stout, Sandy Stec, Dan Gabriel and Kevin Avery to name a few. From there he came to the Improv as a box office person and then moved his way up to Ast. Manager.
At a time when Doug Stanhope was doing alternative venues due to his disdain for corporate comedy clubs, 2 drink minimums and baccalaureate paties, Hollister managed to wrangle Stanhope to perform at the SJ Improv. When MAD TV was in it’s last days, Hollister convinced Michael McDonald to try stand-up. He got Jason Downs to feature and now the two of them tour around the country. Hollister had a nose for comedy and started headlining comics that no one thought could headline. He helped light a fire underneath the careers of Anjelah Johnson, Slanted Comedy, “The Chicano Comedy” movement, The Nor Cal Comedy Tour and many more. Many of his Off Night shows have gone on to feature at many clubs around the West.
Why do I care? Because this man made me who I am. Yes! Blame him I suppose. Four years ago, JCH asked me to put together a show to replace one of their canceled shows w/ less than 4 days advance. With nothing more than the desire to perform and come through for this man, I got together some comics and rallied an audience. The day of the show more than 100 people came out to the very first “Big Al’s Big Ass Comedy Show”. Now our show has been featured at The Hollywood Improv, SF & SAC Punch Line, as well as Stockton.
Hollister’s American Comedy Co. has teamed up w/ Arson House, Minority Brand Comedy, Slanted Comedy, and Set Up, Punch! He has the support of dozens of the best comics in the scene today and is offering his services in booking, management, and tours. And is looking into opening up an alternative comedy venue in the South Bay. If you haven’t met Hollister, add him through your facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Comedy-Company/135792276431122
CONTACT JUSTIN CHARLES HOLLISTER AT