Phil Griffiths has brought a unique entertainment option to the Coastside.
For the past six years, under the roof of Hop Dogma Brewing Co., Griffiths has hosted Comedy Sharks, a semimonthly free stand-up comedy show that has consistently delivered high-quality content and gained a substantial following. The shows have turned the already popular brewing company into a hotbed for stand-up comedy enthusiasts, consistently featuring diverse comics and a packed house.
Each month, Griffiths, a Coastside resident, brings in five to six comedians for 20 to 30 minutes of material. Some are regulars at comedy clubs around the Bay Area, including Punch Line, Cobbs Comedy Club, San Jose Improv, and Rooster T. Feathers. Sometimes they’re from other comedy hubs like Los Angeles or New York.
Either way, they come for a night full of good cheer and raunchy humor. To celebrate the show’s sixth consecutive year, Griffiths is hosting a special anniversary show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hop Dogma. The headliner will be Kevin Camia, who tours with comedian Ali Wong and was a recent guest on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
“I’m kinda plucking the best of the best from the people I know and have seen out there,” Griffiths said. “And I’m lucky that people outside the Bay Area have recommended it as one of the better shows.”
Griffiths is a regular himself at comedy clubs across the Bay Area. He is grateful for the turnout Comedy Sharks gets, as it enables him to keep booking comics. He’d been doing comedy full time for about a year before he decided to pursue the Coastside show.
Hosting from a venue like the brew pub is a common practical move in the comedy business; it helps comics get a feel for the flow of a show and the community. For Griffiths, Hop Dogma’s vibe and reputation as a neighborhood establishment makes it perfect. When he approached owners Dan Littlefield and Ethan Martini in 2013 with his pitch, they were on board from the start.
Those initial shows at Hop Dogma’s old location in El Granada were in a much smaller venue. It was a packed house, with the audience standing shoulder to shoulder. When the brewery moved to the harbor in early 2018, Comedy Sharks moved seamlessly along with it.
“It just worked out with Dan, and for me. It’s nice to have it right in your backyard,” Griffiths said. “My friends and family are all on the coast, and it’s nice to have a spot where they can come, and then we can share it with the community.”