AC Jokes Cares Act

April Fools: AC Jokes Care Act

BY: Mike Merk

11 pm Thursday, March 18th

AC Jokes team members Matt Bridgestone, Mike Merk, Petey Rancel, and Gary Garcia are all gathered in Gary’s Atlantic City apartment after another sold-out show. They are accompanied by road comic Terry McNeely who stopped by for a guest appearance.


While most people in Atlantic City that night would be sleeping or maybe even partying, the crew is engaged in a heated debate over seating arrangements at the show. One side arguing that seats need to be more comfortable and the other side arguing over the expense of high-end chairs. Terry has heard enough, he begins to share war stories from the road with Petey in the kitchen as they heat a frozen pizza.


Meanwhile, Gary Garcia firmly holds his ground arguing every detail makes their show better, even chairs. AC Jokes is a comedy club ran by the comedians themselves so debates like these occur often. Eventually, it’s decided that the money would be better spent somewhere else.

“And another thing!” says Gary. “Our weekend shows are too expensive.”

“Unfortunately, it has to be that way for us to stay open with limited capacity,” replies Mike Merk.

Although $30 a ticket with no drink minimum for a weekend show in AC is not a terrible price the group acknowledges that it’s not the most affordable price for people who were hit the hardest during this pandemic. A new debate begins. How can they give the gift of laughter to those who can’t afford it?


Team leader Matt Bridgestone suggests an April fools prank where the team would put up fake eviction notices on people’s doors telling them to vacate to an ACJokes show with two free tickets which would be attached to the notice. Though great in theory, the crew decides it might be “too real” in these trying times. Instead, the team came up with the official AC Jokes Cares Act. For April fools AC Jokes will be mailing 1000 lucky homes in the Atlantic City area an AC Jokes Comedy Stimulus Check. Each check can be redeemed for two free admissions for any show Sunday through Thursday. “There are no catches, no hidden fees, and no drink minimums,” said Matt Bridgestone. “Just come out and enjoy a laugh.”


They immediately sprung into action. With the help of their marketing coordinator Brian Licata, a check was designed and printed. The checks are arrived Thursday, April 1st, 2021 to unsuspecting households all over the Atlantic City area.

“It’s funny how it all works. If it wasn’t for the constant hard work and an argument over chairs with Gary Garcia this might never have happened,” added Mike Merk. “It’s a true honor to work with caring and like-minded individuals. They never let you forget why we do this.”

April Fools History:

In 2018, the comedy group known as AC Jokes, began a tradition of pulling an April Fools prank on people in the Atlantic City area.  The first year, motorists woke up the morning of April 1st to find what looked like real parking tickets on their cars.  As they investigated closer, they realized that they were actually tickets to a comedy show.  In 2019, they ordered 100 wallets, stuffed them with more free tickets and fake dollar bills featuring Donald Trumps’ face.  They then spread them all over town for people to find.  Unfortunately, there was no prank in 2020, but now in 2021 one thousand lucky people will be recipients of their most creative prank yet.  The AC Jokes Cares Act!!!  Post cards, designed to look like stimulus checks, will allow people to redeem 2 free tickets to an AC JOKES show at the Tropicana Casino.  AC Jokes originally planned to put fake eviction notices on people’s doors telling people they must leave their houses to come laugh.  Team member, Mike Merk, suggested that fake stimulus checks would have a more positive feel, and so the AC Jokes Cares Act was put into motion.

Mike Merk was born and raised in New York City and has been writing and performing comedy since he was 16 years old. He has performed in clubs all over New York City and is currently a regular at Caesar’s and Tropicana in Atlantic City.

Mike Merk’s constant battle with addiction has influenced a real, raw and honest point of view which shines through in his act. Mike’s credits include Sirius XM Radio, TMZ and his couch in queens where he watches a lot of Netflix.