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Joke Joint 

Comedy club resurfaces with new name and familiar faces.

Local comedy vet Mike Wypasek handles the hosting honors tonight for What's the Deal Wednesday at the Borderline. The showcase is designed to help re-establish the venue as a venerable comedy club, after ex-tenant Bassa Vita fell into disrepair last summer and shuttered its doors. Promoter Jeremy Sheer salvaged the place in November for aspiring joke-crackers in need of a microphone. "Good local comics won't become great without stage time," he says. "Comics can be edgier, maybe a little darker. They don't worry if a joke will sell tickets or scare people."The club's menu of shows also boasts weekend bookings of regional and national acts like ex-Clevelander Bill Squire and Mike Polk's Last Call Cleveland sketch-comedy troupe. And open-mic nights on Mondays are reserved for Northeast Ohio's burgeoning comedy colony, whose members include Jim Tews, Micheal Ivy, and Ryan Dalton. "These guys perform in mainstream comedy clubs across the country," says Sheer. "They have tried-and-true stuff, but we give them the opportunity to take more chances." What's the Deal Wednesday starts at 9 tonight at the Borderline Comedy Club, 1572 West 117th Street in Lakewood. Admission is $5. Call 216-472-3449 or visit
Wednesdays, 9 p.m., 2008

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