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The Comic Strip Live is the oldest stand-up comedy showcase club in
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the L ...

New York City
, located at 1568 Second Avenue (between 81st and 82nd Streets).


History

The Comic Strip was opened in 1976. Richard Tienken and Robert Wachs were two of the club's founders.Neil Genzlinger
"Richie Tienken, Whose Comedy Club Propelled Careers, Dies at 75,"
''The New York Times'', March 6, 2021.
Before emerging as a venue spotlighting only stand up comedians, the club originally featured singers, magicians, and novelty acts.
Chris Rock Christopher Julius Rock (born February 7, 1965) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer and director. After working as a stand-up comedian and appearing in supporting film roles, Rock came to wider prominence as a cast member ...
used to stack chairs to get stage time and
Colin Quinn Colin Edward Quinn (born June 6, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. On television, he is best known for his work as a cast member on ''Saturday Night Live'', where he anchored Weekend Update; on MTV's 1980s game show ''Remo ...
was a bartender at the club. In 2017 Jerry Seinfeld returned to the club to shoot his
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American content platform and production company headquartered in Los Gatos, California. Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. The company's primary business is a subsc ...
special, “Jerry Before Seinfeld"; he had first performed at the club in 1976. Adam Sandler also shot part of his 2018 special “100% Fresh” at the club.


Present

Primarily a showcase club, the Comic Strip encourages performers to consistently write, perform and perfect new material. Once a year, the club holds an "Audition Lottery", where aspiring newcomers line up to be given a date to try out their routine on "Audition Night". If they do well, the club's talent booker passes them. "Passing" means getting a chance to work late night, where they perfect their acts. This occurs weeknights after the regular show has ended.


Guinness World Record

From June 3, 2008 through June 5 the Comic Strip Live broke the
Guinness World Record ''Guinness World Records'', known from its inception in 1955 until 1999 as ''The Guinness Book of Records'' and in previous United States editions as ''The Guinness Book of World Records'', is a reference book published annually, listing world ...
for the Longest Continuous Stand Up Comedy Show, finishing at slightly beyond the 50-hour mark. The entire event was hosted by William Stephenson and included performances by Dave Attell, , Ted Alexandro, Tony Rock, Jeffrey Ross, Mike Birbiglia, Judy Gold, Rich Vos, and Greg Giraldo.


Notable alumni

* Ted Alexandro * Dan Allen (comedian), Dan Allen * Aziz Ansari * Dave Attell * Ben Bailey * Greer Barnes (comedian), Greer Barnes * D. C. Benny * Mike Birbiglia * Scott Blakeman * Vinnie Brand * Kevin Brennan (comedian), Kevin Brennan * Jim Breuer * Eddie Brill * Jimmy Brogan * Louis C.K. * Bryan Callen * Mario Cantone * George Carlin * Dave Chappelle * Dane Cook * Tom Cotter (comedian), Tom Cotter * Sunda Croonquist * Rodney Dangerfield * Ellen DeGeneres * Ray Ellin * Susie Essman * Jimmy Fallon * Wayne Federman * Christian Finnegan * * Jim Gaffigan * Elon Gold * Judy Gold * Bobcat Goldthwait * Gilbert Gottfried * Darrell Hammond * J. R. Havlan * John Henson (comedian), John Henson * Vanessa Hollingshead * Cory Kahaney * Artie Lange * Carol Leifer * Kerri Louise * Bill Maher * Jackie Martling * Dennis Miller * Larry Miller (entertainer), Larry Miller * Eddie Murphy * Dan Naturman * Kevin Nealon * Big Jay Oakerson * Patton Oswalt * Rick Overton * Joe Piscopo * Richard Pryor *
Colin Quinn Colin Edward Quinn (born June 6, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. On television, he is best known for his work as a cast member on ''Saturday Night Live'', where he anchored Weekend Update; on MTV's 1980s game show ''Remo ...
* Paul Reiser * Caroline Rhea *
Chris Rock Christopher Julius Rock (born February 7, 1965) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer and director. After working as a stand-up comedian and appearing in supporting film roles, Rock came to wider prominence as a cast member ...
* Tony Rock * Seth Rogen * Ray Romano * Jeffrey Ross * Angel Salazar * Adam Sandler * Steven Scott * Jerry Seinfeld * Rick Shapiro * Sarah Silverman * Spanky * Jon Stewart * Jeff Stilson * Wanda Sykes * George Wallace (American comedian), George Wallace * Damon Wayans * Robin Williams * Dennis Wolfberg


Notes

Fox Broadcasting Company had an unrelated late-night stand-up comedy showcase, ''Comic Strip Live (TV series), Comic Strip Live'', which aired in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s. The club changed its name from "The Comic Strip" to "Comic Strip Live" in an apparent attempt to capitalize on this.


References


External links

* * {{IMDb title, 0096562 Comedy clubs in Manhattan Upper East Side