Marshall Chiles | Founder, Dudeman
Laughing Skull Lounge
Q: Why did you start your business?
A: I started the Laughing Skull Lounge because the city of Atlanta needed an 'alternative' comedy club. When I found the space, I knew it had to be for comedy and I worked night and day for close to two years before it became self-sustaining.
Q: What are some key factors or decisions that contributed to the success of your business?
A: We love comedy and comedians and treat both with great respect. We also practice Kaizen--the betterment of our business through small, continual improvements.
Q: What are some challenging aspects of your business?
A: One challenging aspect is making the club work with only 80 seats... but then we use that to our advantage as well.
The greatest challenge was the first year--getting it off the ground. I borrowed, begged & stole because I KNEW this club would be successful and great!
Q: Do you feel you made any serious mistakes as you were starting or growing your business? Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?
A: Nothing. I went for it and made it happen by sheer willpower and force.
Q: What other advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
A: Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Do not let fear stop you from what you want. The bigger question is, “is this really what you want?” Your WHY has to be bigger than the obstacles that WILL come on your path.
About Laughing Skull Lounge
The Laughing Skull Lounge is the smallest full-time comedy club in the world. With only 80 seats, the Laughing Skull is one of the best experiences for enjoying live stand-up comedy: it is like going to your friend's living room to be entertained by their college buddies.
"I started the Laughing Skull Lounge because the city of Atlanta needed an 'alternative' comedy club."—Marshall Chiles