Before beginning a hiatus, the local standup comedian fills Alive in on some of her favorite things

Local comedian Nickey Winkelman has been doing standup for more than 15 years. Though she is taking a hiatus from the comedy stage, you can still find her co-hosting a monthly trivia game show called The Quiz Box. She's also helping produce the Cbus Comedy Festival, which will debut in Columbus this May. Her final standup show as Winks of Mak & Winks is on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Up Front at Shadowbox Live. Here are a few of her favorite things.


As a mom, I’m always looking for fun things to do with my son, and COSI is the best. I can take him there every weekend without it getting old, and having a membership makes it affordable. The Kidspace is perfect for my toddler to run around and get his energy out while still allowing him to be creative and learn things hands-on.

Electric Six

If I’m listening to music (not chosen by my toddler), I’m probably listening to Detroit rock band Electric Six. I love the combination of disco beats with tongue-in-cheek humor and the charisma of frontman Dick Valentine. The band's 2003 debut, Fire, is just that, but all 14 of its studio albums have songs that I love.


That is, jumpsuits and rompers. I love single-piece outfits because I only have to pick out one thing, and I can dress them up or down. I wore jumpsuits to the last two weddings I attended, and I always wear one when co-hosting The Quiz Box.

Sobriety challenges

“Sober October.” “Dry January.” 30-day sobriety challenges have become trendy, and I am here for it. For true addicts, getting sober comes with many struggles, and peer pressure and stigma make it even harder. Casual and occasional dabbling in sobriety for the Everyman has made sobriety “cool,” and I believe helps open up the conversation in a positive way. Some people may do a 30-day challenge as a way to get healthier, “cleanse,” or even just lighten their spending. Others still may try a sobriety challenge, realize that it feels impossible, and decide to get some help. In all scenarios, I’m happy to see people indulging in not indulging, and I hope this trend sticks around.

Local comedy

Columbus is rich with comedy. Maybe it’s cheating to put a list within in a list (sort of like wishing for more wishes), but here are some of my favorite shows to watch: Hashtag Comedy produces "TBD the Musical," an all-improvised musical. It’s wild, hilarious, and impressive. "An Evening with the Burkeys," hosted by Dave and Natalie Burkey, consistently puts up great lineups in a fun and cozy atmosphere. "Stand Up For Choice" combines great comedy with a great cause; Pat Deering and Amber Falter use this quarterly showcase to raise money for women’s health organizations. Of course I’m most looking forward to the Cbus Comedy Festival, the city's newest addition to the festival season, debuting May 28-31.