- In 1984, Joe Sanfelippo along with his brother John and best friend George Maltezos were operating Papa Gaio nightclub in Milwaukee, WI, a two floor venue that combined a high energy dance format and live music. The trio accidentally stumbled on the idea of live comedy after booking a one-time comedy event for the club and realizing that it took about 8 hours a day less to produce than live music. Nothing could make a trio of fun loving 20-somethings happier than working 16 hours less a week!
- BONKERZ was the first comedy club in the state of Wisconsin and 26 years later, we still has a location in Milwaukee inside of Potawatomi casino.
- In 1987, BONKERZ moved its headquarters to its location in Orlando, Fl and began its journey as a national comedy production company.
- BONKERZ' first open mic night included then Orlando residents, Billy Gardell (of CBS's Mike and Molly), Daryl Hammond, Larry the Cable Guy, and Carrot Top.
- Over the years BONKERZ has formed lasting relationships with many of today's most famous comedians and has expanded to over 2 dozen locations nationwide including Las Vegas where Bonkerz currently produces the Louie Anderson show.
- BONKERZ continues the tradition of seeking out and developing today's hottest upcoming comedians in locations around the country..