On the road of life, it’s important to keep your sense of humor. That’s easy on the Funny Bus — a new entertainment experience that’s part sightseeing tour and part comedy show. This red retrofitted school bus seats up to 34 people and travels through Cleveland neighborhoods with a comedian tour guide. Riders can bring beer or wine to sip while enjoying adult-friendly jokes and unique local history. “I can guarantee that anyone who gets off the Funny Bus will have a smile on their face,” says Dean Schnurr, who co-owns the Funny Bus with his wife, Sarah. We talked with Schnurr about bringing the Funny Bus to Cleveland, the local comedy scene and more.
Q. What was your inspiration for the Funny Bus?
A. My sister and brother-in-law started the Funny Bus business about six years ago in Charlotte, North Carolina. She and her husband have done an outstanding job there and encouraged me to try this business in Cleveland. We actually planned to open in May of 2020, but COVID had different plans for us. We’re excited that we do have the opportunity to open this year and really provide an entertaining experience for the community.
Q. How did you find comedians?A. We have such a great environment for comedy in Cleveland. Every night of the week, there are comedy shows going on somewhere in town. And we went to a lot of them. I think I compiled a list of over 100 comedians that I saw right here in the Cleveland area. That’s really a compliment to the rich environment we have here for comedy.
Q. What can people expect while riding the Funny Bus?
A. It’s a fun trip that involves comedy, games, quizzes and music. We want to get the audience involved. They’re not just going to be sitting there listening to someone — they’re going to become part of the show. It’s very interactive. Our comedians are also becoming versed in the history of Cleveland. We say that our trip is all about laughing and learning.
Q. Why do you think this concept will work in Cleveland?
A. Cleveland is a city with its arrow pointed up. Look at the large national events that we’ve been bringing to the city — like the NFL Draft or political conventions. Many people coming here will be looking for things to do while they’re in town. We think we have an opportunity to show off Cleveland on the Funny Bus. Add to that people who currently live here looking for weekend entertainment. There’s lots to do in Cleveland, but there’s nothing exactly like the Funny Bus. It’s a unique experience.