Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala

Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala Hilarious comedy shows the first Fri & Sat of each month! It was an extremely demanding business. The answer came unexpectedly a year later.

Bonkerz History begins way, way back in 1984, when Joe Sanfelippo, along with his brother John and “other brother” George Maltezos were running a 15,000 square foot live music venue and dance club called Papagaio, in their home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Between 10 am band load-ins and 4 am closings on every Friday and Saturday, they had to turn their office into virtual dorm room with pullout

couches and a full bathroom just to get a few hours of sleep between shows. Add into the mix, the normal operation of a 6 night per week nightclub and it was a commitment that took all three of them to keep. Wanting to expand their business, Joe, John and George were looking for ways to grow without hurting the good thing they already had going. A friend who was a rock promoter came in with an off-the- wall-idea. There was this substitute host on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson who was an up-and-coming comedy star. You could book him and get plugged on Carson, which would assure a huge crowd for the show. We agreed to the date, got the plug and sold out 4 shows in advance the next day. As a live music promoter I was used to advancing shows and setting up a load-in time. When I called to advance this show I was asked if I had a mic and a light. “Of Course”, I responded. “Is that it?” When the answer came back “YES”, I turned to John and George and said, “We are going to become a freaking comedy club, this is awesome!” There were no comedy clubs within 100 miles of Milwaukee back then, so needless to say it was an immediate success. Now we needed a name for Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s first professional comedy club. We decided after we closed for the night, that we would order in pizza and brain storm in the office for however many hours it would take to find the right name. As soon as we took a few bites I started the long and arduous meeting that lay ahead. With the Yellow Pages being a major factor in advertising back then I had the following requirements in mind. It had to be a one word name, starting with one of the first letters of the alphabet so it would show up right away and make you think of something that really makes you laugh. It had to make you want to go BONKERZ. Three minutes later the name was established and we finished eating our pizza before it got cold. Fast forward to 1987 and we were presented with an opportunity to move our business to sunny Orlando, Florida. With our lease running out and a growing dislike of snow and ice, we decided to go for it. We opened in a small room that looked like a circus tent in the back of Orlando’s then biggest nightclub, Park Avenue. Hard work and good luck combined to make this club a huge success. With Universal Studios coming to town, some of today’s biggest comedy stars moved to Orlando in hopes that starting their careers near a major studio would help launch their careers. There were so many comics moving to Orlando that we needed two open mic nights a week just to accommodate them. Among the scores of regular comics getting started were Dan Whitney, who became Larry the Cable Guy, Scott Thompson better known today as Carrot Top, Darrell Hammond who has been on SNL for 20 years, and a 17-year-old kid named Billy Gardell who went on to be the star of CBS’ hit sitcom Mike and Molly. The Bonkerz Comedy Club comics in those days included Jerry Seinfeld, Drew Carey, Kevin James, and Andrew Dice Clay. Two years down the road our good friend Rick Messina, who went on to manage the careers of Drew Carey and Tim Allen, presented us with a great opportunity. Showtime Networks was launching a new product called The Showtime Comedy Club Network. Rick got them to pick Bonkerz as a filming location. Within weeks of the first airing, our office phone was ringing off the hook with opportunities to open Bonkerz locations around the USA. We had to quickly determine how to be in more than one place at the same time and came up with the licensing agreement business model that we still use a version of today. Interestingly enough, those Bonkerz/Showtime segments were picked up by Comedy Central and ran for about 10 years. In the late 1990’s Joe, John and George had compiled so many other businesses that they came to the decision to restructure with Joe being the person who would run and keep Bonkerz. John and George currently run a group of 5 entertainment venues in Florida and a real estate/contracting business. Casino entertainment became the new focus of Bonkerz. With so many states authorizing casinos there were a lot of new opportunities to explore. Starting with Bally’s Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, Bonkerz began an ongoing journey of branding with casinos and casino chains. Around the same time Joe met his wife Margaret. In addition to being the love of his life, Margaret was extremely adept at finance and related matters. As a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Business School (Cum Laude) Margaret was (and is) able to concentrate on the business side of the company, freeing Joe to spend more time on sales and creative. Together Joe and Margaret continue to build Bonkerz into a multi-faceted Comedy Production Company. The turn of the century has seen Bonkerz continue to expand its horizons. On-going growth on the casino side necessitated the opening of a second office in Las Vegas in 2009. We started producing shows in Las Vegas at the Palace Station Casino. Shortly thereafter, our dear friend, Louie Anderson, asked us to produce a new Las Vegas show for him, and more opportunities started pouring in. Bonkerz has accomplished many new projects since coming to Las Vegas. Bonkerz has helped to produce Billy Gardell’s Road Dogs of Comedy filmed on location here in Las Vegas for Showtime (talk about full circle). Joe continues to consult with multiple TV shows including NBC’s America’s Got Talent, where he has placed over a dozen comics on the show including Grand Finalist, Grandma Lee. Bonkerz currently produces shows for approximately 2 dozen venues including several locations throughout the Las Vegas area and all across the USA. In Florida alone, we have clubs in Cocoa Village, Orlando, Daytona Beach, Deltona, Ocala, Oviedo, the Villages, St Petersburg and various other comedy series around the state. Bonkerz also has locations in Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, and Nevada. Today is the day we want to make you GO BONKERZ!

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!
11/23/2023

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

As we spend today enjoying the long weekend, let's take a moment to remember the true meaning of this day. Today, we hon...
05/29/2023

As we spend today enjoying the long weekend, let's take a moment to remember the true meaning of this day. Today, we honor and remember those who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." - Joseph Campbell

05/11/2023
OCALA: If you missed Matt McClowry's show last night then have no fear! He'll be performing TODAY at Bonkerz Comedy Club...
01/07/2023

OCALA: If you missed Matt McClowry's show last night then have no fear! He'll be performing TODAY at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala located at The Lodge Ocala! 🤣🤩🤩

Voted the "best local comic" in Detroit, McClowry has been seen on “Gotham Comedy Live," FOX's series "Laugh," and so much more!
Get your tickets for today's show HERE :https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/event/matt-mcclowry-bonkerz-ocala-sat/

01/05/2023

OCALA: Come join us for some side splitting laughter at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala at The Lodge Ocala! Matt McClowry will be headlining this special show! 🥳🤩

Voted the "best local comic" in Detroit, McClowry has been seen on “Gotham Comedy Live," FOX's series "Laugh," and so much more!
Get your tickets HERE: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

Come join us for some side splitting laugher at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala at The Lodge Ocala ! Matt McClowry will be hea...
01/02/2023

Come join us for some side splitting laugher at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala at The Lodge Ocala ! Matt McClowry will be headlining!

Voted the "best local comic" in Detroit, McClowry has been seen on “Gotham Comedy Live," FOX's series "Laugh," and so much more! 🥳🤩

Get your tickets HERE: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/event/matt-mcclowry-bonkerz-ocala-fri/

Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
01/01/2023

Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

12/30/2022
12/25/2022

Happy Holidays to you from us at Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala!🎄

We hope your holiday season is filled with merry wishes and happy tidings for the New Year! Thank you for laughing with us throughout 2022. ✨🥰

12/08/2022

Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala will be giving you a weekend of pure laughs, fun and great food inside The Lodge Ocala!🥳🥳

🔥 Matt McClowry will be headlining this weekend of funny. McClowry, originally a Detroit native, doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of a stand-up comic. But after a few moments of watching him on stage, it’s clear he’s a natural; with a tact yet still *faintly* annoyed delivery. 🔥

He has appeared on the AXS TV series “Gotham Comedy Live”, was a member of the primary cast of the FOX series “Laughs”, and his album, “Uncomfortable” can be heard on Pandora, Spotify, and SiriusXM. 😮

Get your tickets today: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

12/02/2022

Norm Stulz is coming to Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala at The Lodge Ocala for amazing shows this Friday AND Saturday!

🎉🎉 You’ve seen him seen on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime Networks, NBC and ABC. Now see him LIVE!

Norm’s comedy material can be heard on The Bob and Tom Show, Johnny Burke and the Morning Crew, and SiriusXM! Absar A. Siddiqui will also be joining this night of funny!

🥂🥂 Get your tickets and enjoy a night out THIS FRIDAY or Saturday: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

11/30/2022

📌OCALA: Norm Stultz is coming to Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala at The Lodge Ocala for an amazing show this Friday AND Saturday!

🎉🎉 You’ve seen him seen on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, NBC and ABC. Norm’s comedy material can be heard on The Bob and Tom Show, Johnny Burke and the Morning Crew, and XM Comedy radio! Absar A. Siddiqui will also be joining this night of funny!

🥂🥂 Get your tickets and enjoy a night out THIS FRIDAY or Saturday: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

📌OCALA: Norm Stultz is coming to Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala at The Lodge Ocala for amazing shows this Friday AND Saturday...
11/28/2022

📌OCALA: Norm Stultz is coming to Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala at The Lodge Ocala for amazing shows this Friday AND Saturday!

🎉🎉 You’ve seen him seen on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, NBC and ABC. Norm’s comedy material can be heard on The Bob and Tom Show, Johnny Burke and the Morning Crew, and XM Comedy radio! Absar A. Siddiqui will also be joining this weekend of funny!

🥂🥂 Get your tickets and enjoy a night out THIS Friday or Saturday: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

11/24/2022

Happy Thanksgiving to you from us -- your family at Bonkerz Comedy Clubs! 🦃

🍂 Thank you for laughing with us throughout this year. Your laughter is needed more than ever, and we're thankful for YOU! We hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving! What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

11/09/2022

Let’s enjoy some laughs at Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala with Norm Stulz! 🤣🤣

✨ Stulz will be headlining at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala. Truth is always funnier than fiction and no one can tell the truth more humorously than Norm Stulz. He takes the events of his life and transforms them into hilarious pieces which are timeless. It is these stories which make Stulz’s brand of humor so special and have delighted audiences nationally and internationally. He has been seen on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, NBC and ABC. 🔥🔥

Come on in, sit down, and hang on for this fast-paced show!💥

Get your tickets now!
https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

📌 OCALA, FLORIDA: Mark Evans is performing TODAY at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala, so get ready for a night filled with laug...
11/05/2022

📌 OCALA, FLORIDA: Mark Evans is performing TODAY at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala, so get ready for a night filled with laugher! 🌴🌴

Evans will be headlining at Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala in The Lodge Ocala. He’s the star of his own Dry Bar Comedy Special, has been seen on Comedy Central, and his national tour Mark Evans | Southern Not Stupid has been a major hit in comedy clubs across the country! 🤣🤣

🔥🔥 Don’t miss this weekend’s hottest and funniest comedy show in Ocala! Tickets are available for purchase HERE: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

11/04/2022

📌 OCALA, FLORIDA: Let’s laugh TODAY AND TOMORROW at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala with Mark Evans! 🌴🌴

Evans will be headlining at Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala in The Lodge Ocala. He’s the star of his own Dry Bar Comedy Special, has been seen on Comedy Central, and his national tour Mark Evans | Southern Not Stupid has been a major hit in comedy clubs across the country! 🤣🤣

🔥🔥 Don’t miss this weekend’s hottest and funniest comedy show in Ocala! Tickets are available HERE: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

11/02/2022

📌 OCALA, FLORIDA: Let’s laugh today and tomorrow at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala with Mark Evans! 🌴🌴

Evans will be headlining at Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala in The Lodge Ocala. He’s the star of his own Dry Bar Comedy Special, has been seen on Comedy Central, and his national tour Mark Evans | Southern Not Stupid has been a major hit in comedy clubs across the country! 🤣🤣

🔥🔥 Don’t miss this weekend’s hottest and funniest comedy show in Ocala! Discounted tickets are available for advanced purchase HERE: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

📌 OCALA, FLORIDA: Let’s laugh his weekend at Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala with Mark Evans | Southern Not Stupid! 🌴🌴Evans ...
10/31/2022

📌 OCALA, FLORIDA: Let’s laugh his weekend at Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala with Mark Evans | Southern Not Stupid! 🌴🌴

Evans will be headlining at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala. He has his own Dry Bar Comedy special, has appeared on Comedy Central, and his national tour “Southern. . . Not Stupid,” has been a major hit in comedy clubs across the country! 🤣🤣

🔥🔥 Don’t miss this weekend’s hottest and funniest comedy show in Ocala! Discounted tickets are available for advanced purchase HERE: https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

📣 Make plans to join us for next month's   Bonkerz Comedy shows!  We will be back on November 4 & 5 with the side splitt...
10/09/2022

📣 Make plans to join us for next month's Bonkerz Comedy shows!

We will be back on November 4 & 5 with the side splitting comedy of Mark Evans | Southern Not Stupid, star of his own Dry Bar Comedy special and more, and the always entertaining Lori Northcutt Evans at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala❗

➡️ https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ for 🎫 info!

🔥Friday and Saturday Night! 🔥  'til your sides hurt with the   of Mike Rivera, The View's Most Hilarious Teacher, and se...
10/07/2022

🔥Friday and Saturday Night! 🔥

'til your sides hurt with the of Mike Rivera, The View's Most Hilarious Teacher, and seen on HBO, Showtime Networks and more, the always entertaining ComicDoc, and Bonkerz favorite Wasalu Gus at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala! 💯
➡️ https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ to get your tickets 🎫!

10/05/2022

Enjoy a weekend filled with at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala ❗❗
The Mike Rivera, The View's Most Hilarious Teacher, seen on HBO, Showtime Networks and more, the always ComicDoc, and Bonkerz favorite Wasalu Gus will be bringing the ! 🔥🔥
https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ for tickets 🎫!

10/04/2022

Enjoy a sneak peek of the comedic stylings of Mike Rivera, winner of The Most Hilarious Teacher Contest! 😀🤣

See him LIVE this Friday and Saturday Night at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala!

👇Get your tickets 🎫 now! https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

09/09/2022
📣 Make plans to join us for next month's   Bonkerz Comedy shows!  We will be back on October 7 & 8 with the side splitti...
09/07/2022

📣 Make plans to join us for next month's Bonkerz Comedy shows!

We will be back on October 7 & 8 with the side splitting comedy of Mike Rivera and more, and the always entertaining ComicDoc at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala❗
➡️ https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ to get your tickets 🎫!

📣TONIGHT & Tomorrow! Join this weekend for the side splitting comedy of Nathan Wallace from NBC, Peacock TV and more, an...
09/02/2022

📣TONIGHT & Tomorrow!

Join this weekend for the side splitting comedy of Nathan Wallace from NBC, Peacock TV and more, and the always entertaining Sheena Reagan Comedy at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala ❗
➡️ https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ to get your tickets 🎫!

08/30/2022

Enjoy a weekend filled with at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala ❗❗
The Nathan Wallace from NBC, Peacock TV and more, and the always Sheena Reagan Comedy will be bringing the ! 🔥🔥
https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ for tickets 🎫!

📣 Make plans to join us for next month's   Bonkerz Comedy shows!  We will be back on September 2 & 3 with the side split...
08/09/2022

📣 Make plans to join us for next month's Bonkerz Comedy shows!

We will be back on September 2 & 3 with the side splitting comedy of Nathan Wallace, from NBC, Peacock TV and more, and the always entertaining Sheena Reagan Comedy at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala ❗
➡️ https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ to get your tickets 🎫!

Last Night's Bonkerz Comedy Show inside The Lodge Ocala was so much FUN!  We'll be back tonight at 8pm for more laughs! ...
08/06/2022

Last Night's Bonkerz Comedy Show inside The Lodge Ocala was so much FUN! We'll be back tonight at 8pm for more laughs! 😀🤣
The Myke Herlihy, host of Real Laughs on Real Radio 104.1, the always David Noboa and Joshua Silvers will be bringing the ! 💯
➡️ https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ for tickets!

Fire Wallet Promo

🔥TONIGHT & TOMORROW Night! 🔥  'til your sides hurt with the   of Myke Herlihy from Real Laughs on Real Radio 104.1, CBS ...
08/05/2022

🔥TONIGHT & TOMORROW Night! 🔥

'til your sides hurt with the of Myke Herlihy from Real Laughs on Real Radio 104.1, CBS and more, the always entertaining David Noboa, and Bonkerz favorite Joshua Silvers at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala! 💯
➡️ https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ to get your tickets 🎫!

📣Friday & Saturday Night❗❗Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala is proud to present the   comedy of Myke Herl...
08/04/2022

📣Friday & Saturday Night❗❗

Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala is proud to present the comedy of Myke Herlihy❗

🔥 Get your tickets now 🔥
https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/

Myke Herlihy performing at The Comedy Zone Sharing the 1st time he got high and how he almost got away with it.

08/03/2022

Enjoy a weekend filled with at Bonkerz Comedy Club Ocala inside The Lodge Ocala ❗❗
The Myke Herlihy from Real Laughs on Real Radio 104.1, CBS and more, Bonkerz favorite David Noboa and the always Joshua Silvers will be bringing the ! 🔥🔥
https://bonkerzcomedyproductions.com/locations/the-lodge/ for tickets 🎫!

Address

36 S Magnolia Avenue
Ocala, FL
34471

Opening Hours

Friday 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Saturday 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Telephone

+14076292665

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The History of Bonkerz Comedy Clubs

Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala is the premier comedy club in North Florida. Enjoy the nation's funniest comedians from TV and the movies every Saturday evening at 8 pm. Seating, food and drink service begins at 6:30 pm. (Please be sure to visit this site for any exceptions). Admission is only $10.

Directions: Bonkerz Ocala is located in the 2-story, grandstand building on the grounds of the Ocala Breeders' Sales property. We're directly across the street from the Airport. If heading North on SW 60th Ave, turn right at the first gate and head toward the back parking lot. If heading south on SW 60th Ave, turn left at the the third entrance.

Bonkerz History begins way, way back in 1984, when Joe Sanfelippo, along with his brother John and “other brother” George Maltezos were running a 15,000 square foot live music venue and dance club called Papagaio, in their home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was an extremely demanding business. Between 10 am band load-ins and 4 am closings on every Friday and Saturday, they had to turn their office into virtual dorm room with pullout couches and a full bathroom just to get a few hours of sleep between shows. Add into the mix, the normal operation of a 6 night per week nightclub and it was a commitment that took all three of them to keep.

Wanting to expand their business, Joe, John and George were looking for ways to grow without hurting the good thing they already had going. The answer came unexpectedly a year later. A friend who was a rock promoter came in with an off-the- wall-idea. There was this substitute host on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson who was an up-and-coming comedy star. You could book him and get plugged on Carson, which would assure a huge crowd for the show. We agreed to the date, got the plug and sold out 4 shows in advance the next day. As a live music promoter I was used to advancing shows and setting up a load-in time. When I called to advance this show I was asked if I had a mic and a light. “Of Course”, I responded. “Is that it?” When the answer came back “YES”, I turned to John and George and said, “We are going to become a freaking comedy club, this is awesome!”


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