We are a small entertainment company based in Albert Lea who is dedicated to bring quality family entertainment to small and midsized cities around Minnesota, Iowa, and soon as we can, everywhere else!
Originally I set out to create a radio brand to offer comedy challenges on local radio stations along with other original programming over time including radio dramas among other things.
A small media company without a lot of money has a hard time getting noticed, so I looked at several options including online radio. The problem was where to start, starting a website is easy but getting people there is not as easy. So I decided I needed to work with local radio stations, and with most stations it is hard to get an unproven show on the air. I decided buying time and selling ads was the way to go and after much searching I found a station willing to give me a shot, that station was KBEW 98.1 FM a Country music station in Blue Earth Minnesota, about 30 miles from Albert Lea.
Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea allowed me use of a space in their mall for the show, but finding people brave enough to enter a radio comedy competition was not easy, nor was finding sponsors.
About 2 weeks prior to the show I knew it was not going to work, I only had 1 sponsor and 2 contestants. I made a call to Minneapolis based comedian Joey ILO who I knew a little through my job at KKMS Radio where he had done a clean comedy event for them and had been interviewed on KKMS Live and other shows on the station.
Joey excepted doing the show and brought some of his comedian friends with, and it was a great show! He not only saved me at the last minute, he also helped guide me to the fact that there is a market for clean comedians and that putting on professional shows and charging a ticket price may be the way to go. AND HE WAS RIGHT!
I again put on a show this time in Mankato a city with double the population of Albert Lea and more of a regional center, but it was not enough to build a bigger audience. So again I looked to how I can build this family entertainment company, so I decided going back to Albert Lea was the best avenue.
I am now planning to do a second show at Northbridge Mall this time around I will charge a $7 ticket price and feature a new comedy troop I am working to form. I want to help build up new talent, and provide an alternative option for family fun in small towns. In time I hope to develop a farm system of family friendly comedians and to promote other quality shows.
As for our name, in 1997 when I created the brand it was to be a radio network offering stand up comedy and other funny shows 24/7 and it was called simply Wisecracking Radio later as it developed into a radio show it was known as the Wisecracking Radio Comedy Challenge. After the February 29th event I changed focus and called the company Wisecracking Entertainment, then Wisecracking Family Entertainment.
Today I have opted for a shorter simpler name to reflect our core mission, hence: