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Comedians of a feather "Flock" together

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Photos by Lindsey Anderson
Photos by Lindsey Anderson

Capitol Hill's Queerest comedy showcase returned to Olmstead Thursday, August 11, with a stellar line-up of talented and witty local comedians. Produced by Bobby Higley, Juno Men, and Zahnae Aquino, "Flock" is a collection of Seattle's stand-up comedy scene's best LGBTQ+ performers.

The show began with a great set by the night's host, AJ Norris, who warmed the crowd up with his hilarious observations on gender, divorce, and pets. Norris commanded the stage with a cool presence that never wavered, no matter how chaotic the laughter from the crowd got.

Up-and-coming comedians
Following AJ to the stage was the first performer of the night, Ash Reed. After watching their performance, nobody would have guessed that Reed is a newcomer to the comedy scene. From their first joke, they had the audience in stitches. Reed riffed about everything, from the ways white people love Afros and how gender ruins everything, to the most hilarious details of their sex life. All conversations stopped as Reed got going, and for good reason. Those in the room Thursday night likely saw one of the early performances of a future comedy legend.

Next on stage was Emma Schmuckler, who immediately informed the crowd that she is bald by choice. For the next five minutes, she took the audience on a journey through her adventures in nannying rich toddlers in Seattle and provided very good arguments in favor of occasionally drop-kicking a child in the park. Schmuckler wasn't afraid to get controversial, bringing up Brock Turner (convicted of sexual assault in a high-profile case). She quickly turned the crowd's groans into giggles with her sharp punchlines.

After Schmuckler, the incredibly talented Joe Yan took to the mic. Yan covered a myriad of topics, rapidly firing off punch line after punch line. His humor was relatable to many in the crowd as he vented about turning 30, being short, dating, and raising a dog in this day and age. His dry tone sharpened the impact of his clever jokes, often catching the crowd off guard with delightful twists and turns in his set.

Finishing up the first half of the night, Tambre Massman brought the house down as she unpacked the magic of Disney villains, the word "unfuckable," and the disaster that is sex with cis-het men. As her set went on, fans exchanged knowing looks with their friends and partners as they doubled over in laughter. Massman's performance put words to the thoughts everyone has but doesn't know how to say.

Second half
The second half of the show got underway after a brief intermission, this time with fewer comedians and longer sets. The performances started with local legend Stephanie Nam, who delighted the room with her dry banter and awkward stage persona. She continued with relatable material about the advantages of having ADHD, some of her awkward therapy encounters, texts from her parents, and a special inside joke just for her cat. Nam elevated the show, bringing a new twist to classic stand-up.

Following Nam was one of the night's producers, Zahnae Aquino, who brought lively energy and unapologetic sass to the stage. Her observational humor covered the pitfalls of dating men and even played on some improvisation and a mystical prop. Aquino got the crowd involved in her set and played off the banter and warm spirits of those in the room.

The final performance came from fellow producer Juno Men. Men exuded kindness on stage, making those in the audience feel special, as though she were talking just to them. Despite her gentle nature, her comedy held nothing back, as she dove into the topics of coming out to family, experiencing racism as a child, and secretly hoping for all her coupled friends to break up.

The night was full of fun, validation for Queer comedy fans in the audience, gut-busting laughs, and plenty of discoveries.

"Flock" is a comedy showcase held at Olmstead, 314 Broadway E., every second Thursday of the month. Tickets for the next event are available to buy online or at the door if they haven't all sold out.