FAIRFIELD — Guests at the Circle Hotel on 417 Post Road peeked through a black curtain that splits the foreroom from a 110-person venue room.

And while not all could see, they could certainly hear the hearty laughter emanating from behind the curtains.

“Hello everyone and welcome to the Fairfield Comedy Club,” Joe Gerics, a co-founder of the comedy club, announced to a crowd both young and old on Feb. 23.

“For those who are new, welcome, for those who were here last week, apologies — you may hear some old jokes,” Gerics said with a smile.

Gerics, a comedian himself, was only warming up the crowd for the upcoming performers: Carmen Lynch and Maria Heinegg, who came from New York.

More Information

To learn more about the Fairfield Comedy Club, visit: https://www.fairfieldcomedyclub.com/

To learn more about the upcoming Connecticut Comedy Festival, visit: https://www.connecticutcomedyfestival.com/

The sounds of popped corks, hands rummaging through ice in coolers and beer cans being opened spread across the room — it was a Bring Your Own Booze (BYOB) event and alcohol was not in short supply.

Gerics, a comedy fan since his Georgetown University days, is co-founder of the Fairfield Comedy Club along with fellow Fairfield Prep alumni Beecher Taylor and Emilio Savone. Scott Lindner and Jim Panels are also co-founders.

“I always wanted to do comedy but never figured out how and then a few years ago, I met another comic who was a friend of a friend and I began stand-up,” Gerics said. “When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped a it.”

The Circle Hotel has been the performance home of the comedy club since April 2017, a venue that gets packed on weekend showings. Recognized names like Ronny Chieng of “The Daily Show” and Pete Davidson of “Saturday Night Live” have come to the Fairfield locale.

Being used to the New York comedy scene, Savone had some doubts when the Fairfield Comedy Club began, but that changed after seeing sold-out crowds on their first weekend-only showings.

“It was wild, (Fairfield Comedy Club) became this novelty thing and now we’re nearing our two-year anniversary, expanding our brand and starting the inaugural Connecticut Comedy Festival,” Savone said.

The Connecticut Comedy Festival will be held in various venues throughout the southern part of the state, including breweries, theaters and the Circle Inn, from April 25-27.

The lineup, which will host national and local names in comedy, will be announced in the coming weeks and tickets go on pre-sale this weekend.

“It’s a different type of experience and we want to keep growing it,” Savone said. “It’s a celebration of the flourishing comedy scene in Connecticut and an effort to establish Connecticut as a premier community for comedy and audiences.”

humberto.juarez@hearstmediact.com