Comedy Night at Crush

By Beacon Staff

It just takes a brief chat with comedian Bobby Slayton to know that some of the descriptors often used for his style – “rapid fire,” “motor mouth” and “goes for the jugular” – are apt.

In an interview last week with the Beacon, Slayton wasn’t shy in describing how excited he was to visit Whitefish for his performance on Jan. 25. He wasn’t shy about anything.

Slayton is known as “the Pitbull of Comedy,” and his routines are full of quick jabs and verbal takedowns of anyone and anything to catch his attention. He’s been on multiple late-night talk shows, voiced characters for the cartoon “Family Guy,” and had his own one-hour special on Showtime called “Born to be Bobby.”

He’s honed his craft over a 35-year career and he’s confident Whitefish can handle his attitude.

“I think it’s not like anything in Portland; everyone’s so politically correct in their Birkenstocks,” Slayton said. “I think up there (in Montana) you have more explorers and more survivors. Survivors and drinkers. People who don’t want to live with other people.”

Slayton will perform at Crush Wine Bar in Whitefish on Jan. 25 as part of the bar’s relatively new transformation. Megan Grunow, who took over as general manager at Crush after the previous manager left last August, said the addition of monthly comedy shows is part of the wine bar’s attempt to create its own niche in Whitefish.

When she began as manager, Grunow renovated the space, knocking down walls and adding touches such as new lighting, a projector screen for black and white movies and a new wine list. She even brought in someone to cleanse the bar’s energy with sage.

“It’s just a different vibe all together,” Grunow said.

The aim is to make Crush into the type of place Grunow, an architect by trade, visited in her 20s in larger, metropolitan cities.

“My goal for this place is to walk in the front doors and feel like you’re in SoHo or London,” she said. “We’re not trying to sell Montana here. This is like stepping outside of Whitefish. You have the best of everything, the mountain, the lake and a little cosmopolitan population of people.”

Restyling the bar’s vibe has made it into more of a convertible space, she said, allowing for a variety of events. For example, private parties can rent out the entire space, like Whitefish High School did for its senior prom. (There will be no access to alcohol at that event, Grunow stressed.)

The staff has also gone through more training on wine and can now offer a wine concierge service to help people choose pairings for dinners, she said, and the bar will likely offer food and wine events in the future.

The previous comedy nights at Crush were sit-down affairs, Grunow said, with white linen tablecloths and antipasto platters in an atmosphere reminiscent of the 1960s comedy clubs.

Slayton is one of the first big-name comedy acts Grunow has brought in, and depending on how his show goes, there may be more well-known names there in the future.

For his part, Slayton said he’s excited to see what Whitefish is all about. When he’s done cracking jokes about living in Los Angeles or using several words that cannot be printed in the Beacon, Slayton sounds genuinely interested in Montana.

“I went online and looked at Whitefish; what a sweet little place. It just looks so cool,” Slayton said. “There’s nothing that I wouldn’t like about living up there.”

For more information on Bobby Slayton’s upcoming show, contact Crush at 406-730-1030. Tickets are $44. For more information on Bobby Slayton, visit www.bobbyslayton.com.