The need to add some new entertainment to downtown Santa Barbara is no joke, but for one group - maybe it is.
They've been laughing and joking around in off beat places, back rooms and restaurants for several years. The owner of the Comedy Hideaway Andrey Belikov is now nervously laughing about their next big move.
Legendary British comedian and actor John Cleese saw a show recently, had a chat and struck a deal to open up somewhere in downtown Santa Barbara.
Cleese is well known for his day with Monty Python and the Fawlty Towers series to go with several movie appearances.
"He has 150 credits," said Belekov to a recent audience when making the announcement with co-producer Maximilion Robert Lockwood.
Not really knowing how to express the thrill, in an interview Belekov said in a fairly stiff pose, "I know I look very excited about it. This is a Ukrainian jumping for joy!"
Cleese heard about this group from his daughter Camilla, who is also a standup comic.
She performs regularly on the Hermosa Beach Comedy and Magic Club.
"She likes all the people that run Hideaway so she really was the one to steer him (John Cleese) this way to put this all together and she is hilarious as well," said Belikov.
He said, "the town needs a comedy club. He (Cleese) sees it as not only a no brainer and a place where he can do interviews with celebrities that he knows and a Netflix pilot - that is a whole other thing"
The show is currently at the High Sierra - Flightline restaurant at the Santa Barbara Airport.
Local and Hollywood - style comics come through regularly.
Belikov who's had network TV and many Laugh Factory appearances in the last few years, converts a meeting room into a comedy club with black curtains, his signature sign and low cost, high beam custom made spotlights.
He likes this hideaway feel and has moved around to the back of restaurants and other off beat places for years.
Belikov said it was "kind of a prohibition era feel. You have to know someone and know where it is and find it but that wasn't really the intention at the time but people like discovering it."
Having a "flag ship main location," he said "is long over due. There's a lot of it right now comedy is not only booming here it is booming everywhere."