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New York City Comics Discuss Their Favorite Old, New, And Unique Venues For Stand-Up

By The Village Voice

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From the outset, it’s all about the stage time. Serviceable material develops later on. But feeling comfortable in front of an audience, adapting to any given room, and evolving — painfully, incrementally — into an assured stand-up comedian requires years of endless trial and error in countless venues.

New York’s colorful comedy history comprises spaces old and new, legendary and temporary. Some historic venues that made careers were never actually proper comedy clubs — like Sixties-era coffee shops the Gaslight and Café au Go Go, which introduced luminaries like Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers, and Woody Allen to the world. Others, like the Improvisation and Catch a Rising Star — both long shuttered — would create a template for a generation of comedy clubs that popped up across the country in the Seventies and Eighties.