Comedy’s Dead! Yeah, I heard that from some young comedian the other day.
Well don’t tell that to Al Martin, owner of the New York Comedy Club and The Broadway Comedy Club, who’s now opening his third comedy club, in New York called the Greenwich Village Comedy Club. It’ll be opening this July in, you guessed itâ€”Greenwich Village.
But wait, that’s not all!
Co-owners Patrick Milligan, David Kimowitz, and brothers Cris and Paul Italia, (yes the same ones who are partners in the company “Cringe Humor,” that has spent ten years managing and producing projects for comedians), are opening yet another comedy club called The Stand. It’s just a short subway hop north of The Greenwich Village Comedy Club.
That’s twoâ€”count ’emâ€”two comedy clubs in a city that already has a dozen or so, not counting open mics and improv theaters. At this rate, the comedy scene in New York City is growing at a rate eight time that of the national economy.
I don’t know if clubs going to follow the same business plan as many of the clubs in L.A. by having “bringer shows” masquerade as real comedy shows, but with names like Bill Burr, Artie Lange, Jim Norton and Dante Nero appearing at the club, I don’t think they’ll have a problem putting butts in the seats.
What I like about guys like Al Martin and the boys over at Cringe is that they’ve been in the comedy business and have been focused on developing comedians for over a decade now. They’re not just fly-by-nights who would just as easily open a titty-bar for the convenience of having a cash cow. They are into stand-up comedy and they have a genuine focus.
Both owners have also professed an understanding and commitment to the traditions of the New York comedy scene (i.e.: Lenny Bruce, George Carlin) and apply that and keep it present in their clubs. The difference is that The Stand will not be imposing the two-drink minimum. They’re hoping that their cocktails and food will be too tempting to resist.
Kimowitz even said they are looking to utilize The Stand as a “comedy gym,” (Hey, that’s my line!), to provide a place where comedians can work out and develop.
New York City is clearly the dominant force in comedy clubs in this country. Where you can count comedy clubs on one hand in Los Angeles, in New York City to accomplish that, you would need an abacus.
So, yeah kid, ‘comedy’s dead,’ and it’s gone to comedy Heaven; New York City.
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