The SAK Comedy Club never stops growing. With two venue changes and nearly 30 years of experience, the SAK Comedy Lab thrives in the heart of downtown Orlando at its beautiful 250-seat theater. Since its inception in 1991, the “Lab” has grown to become one of the largest theaters and training centers for improvisation in the Southeast. It currently serves over 50,000 patrons a year as well as major Central Florida organizations such as the Orlando Magic, Advent Health and Darden Restaurants with its team training and corporate comedy shows.
SAK Theatre enjoyed its humble beginnings in Buffalo, Minnesota when a troupe of four individuals with a background in evangelical street theater began performing at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in 1977. After a few years, opportunities arose for SAK to perform at multiple festivals simultaneously. The original troupe trained additional performers and SAK grew from four to twelve. In 1982, while performing at a festival in Largo Florida, entertainment scouts from the Walt Disney Company came looking for entertainment acts to populate the World Showcase at the newly opening EPCOT Center. For seven years, SAK produced, performed and managed live audience participatory comedy shows for Walt Disney World in the U.K. and Italy pavilions, and countless other shows performed in and around the parks. In 1991 after the Disney contract ended, SAK Theatre Company opened the SAK Comedy Lab on Church Street in downtown Orlando. This first venue was a 99-seat comedy theater dedicated to performing original comedy plays (many developed through improvisation) and improv shows. Below is a short excerpt from one of their shows.
The SAK Comedy Club has had many famous alumni who have gone onto stardom. SAK was a starting place for the careers of Wayne Brady as well as writers, actors, and producers for “Mad TV”, “Saturday Night Live”, and sitcoms such as “Scrubs”, “The Office” and “30 Rock”. In Wayne Brady's own words, "I'll always owe SAK for getting me started in improv and sketch." But Brady is not the only one; other stars include Brendan Jennings, Paula Pell, Paul Vogt, Jonathan Mangum, and Aaron Shure.
Nowhere else in Florida will you find a place like SAK Comedy Lab. Since 1991, their professional ensemble of improv actors has entertained audiences with their unique brand of live improvised comedy. They take audience suggestions and make up characters, scenes, and songs on the spot. The comedy is fun and edgy for adults, but also widely enjoyed by younger fans. SAK is experiencing unprecedented breakaway growth and looks forward to entertaining Orlando audiences for another three decades and beyond.
Cover photo provided by SAK Comedy Lab. Information provided courtesy of SAK Comedy Lab.