Omar Copeland, who performs under the stage name Omar Terrell, wants you to laugh. Don't chuckle. No giggles. Full-bellied, knee-slapping laughs.
Copeland, 27, is a Baltimore native who has been living in York on an on-and-off basis for about three years, and feels the area lacks a great comedy following.
The proposed series, "Omar Terrell Presents Absurdity Entertainment," (Copeland's working title) is not your college RA's open mic night, but instead an opportunity to bring rising comedians to the area.
"I would start off with comedians on the brink – paid, touring, professional comedians who haven’t been on television yet or had box office hits. If I can gauge the support, I can bring in different, incredible national acts," Copeland said during a phone call. "I really need to get some support from the community, so I’d start with people who are guaranteed to bring a good time."
Performers Copeland plans to bring to the area include Baltimore's Sonny Fuller, Derek Gaines from Bill Bellamy's 'Who's Got Jokes,' Lamar Todd and Lancaster's own Rubi Nicholas.
"I plan to do the first show in March [if all goes well]. I want to kick it off with a national act. I’m going to be the host. Every month there will be a guest slot of one or two slots given to a local artist to give them exposure followed by featured acts and closed out with the headliner. I’m going to make sure all my headliners have national credits, whether it’s a television show or a comedy scene," Copeland said.
However, much of this is contingent on the venue Copeland secures, which is still in the talks. Interested parties include the Strand-Capitol, The Depot and Johnny's Burgers & Malts.
"I wouldn't take away from the college scene -- if I could get a notable younger comedian for that audience, The Depot would be ideal," Copeland said. But for the monthly comedy series, Copeland hopes to bring in an older crowd who might be seeking more sophisticated humor, he said.
Copeland's previous efforts to bring comedy to the area include a five month stint at Bistro 19 (now Otto's), as well as his current involvement with performers in the area. You can catch Copeland perform with a slew of other comedians from 7 to 9 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 16, at The Rooted, 101 Newberry St., York. Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased at the door; this event is BYOB. Copeland will also perform at Magooby's Joke House in Timonium, Md. on Jan. 28, which you can find more information about here.
Copeland, who said he is open to bringing the idea to neighboring areas in Central Pennsylvania, such as Hanover, added that anyone who would like to be involved in developing the comedy series should reach out to him via the Omar Terrell Facebook page.