Some of the prizes include books, candy, sunglasses, hats and office supplies.
“At first the crowd thinks it’s kind of silly, but then midway through the show, people are trying to win the prizes,” Maclay said. “People end up bringing stuff to the show that they want to get rid of in their house."
Maclay said The Cave is an intimate space where the public can engage with the comedians.
“Michelle has a real knack for picking comedians for the shows that are actually good and really funny,” Swingle said. “I’m laughing now just thinking about some of the shows that I’ve seen that were great. I might’ve come in a bad mood, but when it was all over, I had laughed my way out of a bad mood. That’s what life’s all about.”
Amy Mora, a recurring comic at The Cave, said she enjoys performing at The Cave for its local crowd, tight-knit community and welcoming environment.
“After the first time I performed there and came back a second time, several of the people in the audience knew my name and were saying hello to me,” Mora said.
Comedians at The Cave have ranged from high school teens to middle-aged adults, but Maclay said she would love to have more college students perform at Comedy in a Cave.
The shows are a safe place and offer fun, positivity and a laid-back environment, Maclay said.
“Particularly now, with the climate, with things going on in the world, every chance to laugh needs to be taken advantage of,” Maclay said. “It relieves stress, it opens your mind up to learning, it gives you an opportunity to step back and look at your life and not take yourself so seriously, which I think we all need.”
There is a $5 suggested donation to attend the show, but no cover charge. The show will take place on Friday, Jan. 24, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at The Cave in Chapel Hill.
“The drinks are good, the beer is cold, our staff is friendly,” Swingle said. “You’re going to walk into a welcoming atmosphere where you’re going to be able to have a good time.”