Cornelius Peter loves comedy. The Highland Park resident has been performing in clubs and independent venues for fifteen years, and often attends shows simply to sit in the crowd and enjoy the art form.
"I'm not a famous comedian, I don't do it for money, I just love comedy so much that I can't stop doing it," he said. "I went last night and watched a show in Silverlake. I wasn't on the show, I wasn't trying to get on this how, it's just something I like to do with my time."
Since May, Peter has been working to bring his passion to the neighborhood with the monthly Highland Park Comedy Show at Café de Leche on York Boulevard.
"What I really wanted to do was bring comedy to this neighborhood and to make sure it was free--something people from the neighborhood could come to and enjoy and not worry about a two drink minimum or cover charge."
So far, Peter has accomplished that goal, hosting one show every month since May, while booking comedians of all styles and level of prominence.
"It's a mix of new people, younger people and local people. Some are untested, some people have been doing it for years. There are some headliners, some acts you might see at the Icehouse or the Improv," he said. "It makes for a fun show."
This next Highland Park Show--which will be held at Café de Leche on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.--will feature Matt Kirshen, who was named by L.A. Weekly as a "comedy act to watch" and Chris Garcia, who has appeared on Marc Maron's popular WTF Podcast.
Peter, who recently appeared on an episode of CBS' How I Met Your Mother, will also perform a set.
"The show is a fun way to pick people I think are really funny and bring them to my neighborhood," he said.
However, Peter is also hoping he may be able to bring some talent that already lives in the neighborhood, like Maron and Maria Bamford, to the Highland Park Show as well.
"I started comedy as a bouncer and I've known Maria and Marc for a long time, getting them on the show was a goal from the start," he said.