Before Bailey Saul became the new marketing and general manager of Catch a Rising Star, the comedy club at the Hyatt Regency Princeton, he had his own little spot in the limelight — as a cabaret performer and delivering singing telegrams for Eastern Onion (a takeoff of Western Union) in Washington, DC. Before launching a 15-year career in computer sales and marketing, Saul used to go to people’s offices and, well, embarrass them.
“I would arrive at people’s offices with a mechanical monkey, often with a belly dancer or stripper, too,” says Saul. “The typical reaction of the recipient was to look around and locate the person who they believed had set them up and swear vengeance on their children.”
After working with companies such as Entre Computers in Princeton and Computer Hardware Maintenance Corporation, Saul worked on his own in computer sales and consulting. Due to personal circumstances and the changes in the computer field, Saul has made a career switch that makes perfect sense for someone who studied theater in college (he attended Case Western Reserve in Cleveland).
Saul has hit the ground running and already has plans in the making for several changes at the club, which presents comedy headliner Danny Bevins on New Year’s Eve. For $155/person (includes tax and gratuities), the New Year’s Eve package includes a four-course dinner with seatings between 7:30 and 8 p.m., the comedy show at 10:30 p.m., four drink tickets, party favors, a midnight champagne toast in the club (while you watch the ball drop), then a DJ and dancing after the show until 1:30 a.m.
Headliner Danny Bevins has opened for Andrew Dice Clay, been a guest on “The Leeza Show,” and had a part on MTV’s “Jenny McCarthy Show.” He has performed at several comedy festivals and competitions including the prestigious U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen and recently won the San Francisco International Comedy Competition.
Since Wednesday night is smoke-free night at the club, New Year’s Eve will also be smoke-free. Saul hopes to institute another smoke-free night on Fridays, either for the early show or the whole evening. “The number of smokers at the club are the vast minority,” says Saul. He also plans to expand the Thursday Ladies Night, with no cover for unaccompanied ladies, to include all ladies.
New Year’s Eve revelers will also enjoy the renovated and repainted club’s new appearance — and new chairs.
In addition to more proactive marketing of the club through area publications and radio stations with live remotes, Saul also plans to market the club to businesses for team-building seminars. He even plans to market the comedy for its health benefits. He cites Norman Cousins, the longtime Saturday Review editor and author of the seminal work “Anatomy of an Illness,” who bucked a life-threatening disease 40 years ago by walking out of the hospital and instituting his own therapy — watching old comedy movies, in addition to nutritional and traditional treatments. “Comedy is something people need to do on a regular basis just for themselves,” says Saul. “Norman Cousins called it ‘internal jogging.’”