Laughs are alive at Routes 1 and 202

Not many people would consider the intersection of Routes 1 and 202 to be a laughing matter, unless they were talking theater of the absurd. But there is something to laugh about — professional comedy acts at Reactors Comedy Club at the Wyndham Garden Hotel.

“It’s a great location,” said John Ager, a performer in his own right, and the manager and master of ceremonies at the club that opened on the ground floor of the hotel — a former Ramada Inn — in October.

“This area is ripe because not everyone wants to go to Philadelphia to see comedy. There’s nothing else around,” he said. “People are hungry for real good comedy. And working with Wyndham Garden Hotel, everything fell into place.”

The hotel provides the club with two rooms, a smaller room that seats about 70 people and a larger auditorium for larger capacity crowds. There’s also a bistro at the hotel for food and drink, and the club sets up a bar area outside the performance rooms.

Ager said all the comedians who perform at Reactors are professional and have played all around the country. Some have performed internationally.

“These are good, clean comedians, not necessarily squeaky clean, but clean enough that you don’t hear the ‘F’ bomb,” he added. “There might be an occasional slip, but it’s mostly clean.”

Comedian Larry XL is the scheduled headliner for shows on Dec. 9 and 10, as well as the New Year’s Eve show.

Comedian Larry XL is the scheduled headliner for shows on Dec. 9 and 10, as well as the New Year’s Eve show.

Ager said it’s easy to get people to laugh when the gag is body humor or about body parts, but the key is to make comedy intelligent without spelling out everything.

“That’s one of the things a lot of the comics I know have done. Making it intelligent allows the audience to fill things in, allows them their own mental pictures. You look at them a little crazily and they get it, they catch on,” he said.

Ager said some of the comedians at the club have been on television, but many have not. Going to Reactors, people have a chance to see some great performers who aren’t yet famous.

“You’ll find that a lot of comedians that are absolutely fantastic have not been on TV yet,” he said. “These people are excellent comedians who have worked all over the country, all over the world and they are very, very good. We also have some local comedians that come out of Philadelphia, and they’re excellent. We try to get a good group of guys and girls who can work together.”

And that group of comedians can work in front of an audience of 20-year-olds or of 90-year-olds.

The club has not gone unnoticed by locals during the brief time it's been operating. Birmingham Township resident Dianne Baker said she and her husband learned about the club, ironically, while being stuck in traffic at the intersection of 1 and 202. They saw a small sign on the ground with the phone number.

"So I called while we still in traffic. We went that night, enjoyed it and we've been there three weekends in a row. We really enjoy it," she said.

Shows begin at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and run about an hour and 45 minutes with three performers and an intermission. Ager himself performs as the emcee for about 10 to 15 minutes, then there’s the feature act that does about 30 minutes, followed by the headliner who does 40 to 45 minutes.

Admission is $20 per person, but there are two for one specials and hotel guests get a discount that goes through the hotel. Ager said the club also hosts fundraisers with half the admission price going to the organization. This coming weekend, on Dec. 2, Reactors is having a show to benefit the Upper Chichester Library, according to the website.

Comedian Larry XL will be the headliner on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10 and again on New Year’s Eve. Admission for the New Year’s Eve show is $25, but Ager said that includes champagne, noisemakers and entrance to the bistro for a party after the show.

While walk-ins are welcome, tickets can be purchased in advanced by visiting the club’s website For more information, send an email to or phone John Ager at 215-651-2350.


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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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