What makes a person a “Siouxlebrity?”
Judging by the subjects chosen for Siouxland Comedy’s and Britton Hacke's Siouxlebrity Roasts (semi-regular events in which selected locals opt in for a night of tongue-in-cheek insults and crude jokes made by some of their closest friends), they’re either prominent figures in the local music scene or beloved bar owners.
So why the hell is Mac Dolan the next person on the proverbial chopping block? Sure, he’s a bar owner, but he’s neither a musician nor beloved! So what gives?
We jest, of course. Plus, that diss is fairly tame compared to the barrage of insults Dolan will be subjected to the day of his eponymous roast.
Previous roastee and business partner, Kelly Quinn, nominated Dolan to be the next “guest of honor” in Siouxland Comedy’s Siouxlebrity Roast series. The co-owner of Work & Church, Teasers Gentlemen Club, Marty’s Tap and Crash! Boom! Bang! Whiskey Hole and co-founder of the Sioux City St. Patrick’s Day Parade was, at first, resistant to participating in the roast.
“Supposedly, whoever gets roasted is supposed to pick the next guy,” said Dolan. “Well, Kelly talked to me back in November about doing this and I didn’t want to do it. I don’t want to be picked on, I already know my faults, I already know how I f***ed up.”
However, Quinn didn’t give up so easily. A few months later, he asked Dolan again. This time, the bar owner had a change of heart. Upon learning of Siouxland Comedy’s goals to raise funds for local charities through its roasts, he agreed to volunteer on the one condition that the money earned from the roast will benefit his friend, Dan Mace, and his battle with cancer.
Leading up to the roast, Dolan has been prepping material to lash back at his attackers. After the roasters have concluded their bits, Dolan will get a chance to retaliate.
“That’s taking work,” he said. “I’m reaching out and looking at what I can say about people. Some of the people up there will be fun to rip on.”
Assuming the mantle of “roastmaster” is Dolan’s friend and employee, Josh Ronfeldt. A perfect choice, as Ronfeldt regularly roasts his boss. “Now that I’m doing it in a crowd of people, all Mac can do is just sit there and give me this ‘I’m disgusted’ face,” said Ronfeldt.
Since Ronfeldt is used to playfully dissing his boss, the real joy for him comes from creating material for the panel of roasters. As roastmaster, it is his job to serve as the night’s host and introduce each person before they get a turn at the microphone. This is Ronfeldt’s time to strike.
“I rib them a little bit and give people a bit of background as to who they are and their connection to Mac,” he said. “I’m going to sketch some stuff out, but I think off-the-cuff is probably how I’ll go about it. With the people I know, it’s pretty easy. They kind of write the jokes themselves. But I have to have something to attack every single person.”
The jokes presented at the roast, Ronfeldt said, will most likely walk a fine line between what’s appropriate and not appropriate. In short: it’s going to be vulgar. No way around it.
But, again, why Dolan? Ronfeldt affirmed that Dolan is deserving of his “Siouxlebrity” status. (However, the roast’s guest of honor disagrees and says he “just owns bars.”)
“He’s not a Sioux City celebrity; he’s a Sioux City institution,” said Ronfeldt with a laugh.
In addition to Dolan and Quinn, Siouxland Comedy has held roasts for both Mick Gamet (former owner of The Chesterfield) and Darin Foster (host of the internet radio program, the Lock N’ Load Show). Originally organized by Sioux City comedians John Olson and Britton Hacke, the roasts serve as a way to raise money for charity while also honoring the “Siouxlebrity’s” impact in the community.
As a comedian, Hacke said he enjoys the roasts for its insult humor. “I’m quick to laugh at myself,” he said. “They say I’m hard to roast because I usually laugh harder than anyone else. I got a good sense of humor about stuff and you gotta be able to laugh at yourself and take a joke.”
While a good number of roasters are, in fact, comedians, Hacke said many people on the panel are not accustomed to stand-up. But that doesn’t mean they can’t come up with a good joke or one-liner. In fact, many a non-comedian has garnered positive feedback from previous roasts.
“Mitch Martin killed it at Kelly’s roast,” said Hacke, who produces the Siouxlebrity Roasts. “He was great and so was Alex Widner – although not a comedian, he had come down to the open mic a little bit. He killed it. He’s a great joke writer.”
Although a little nervous about the upcoming roast, Dolan said he’s not one to be offended or take the insults to heart. As far as his “past,” he’s interested to see what people dig up. The fun part, for him, has been finding out embarrassing stories about his panel of roasters. Apparently folks are more than willing to give up a few secrets if they know it’s for comedic effect.
“That has been the fun part.”