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Being a Comedian for more than 20 years now, I can honestly say that I have performed in the worst places and the best places in the country. I will concentrate on the best places because I believe comedy should be a happy event and not a downer. What makes a Comedy Club fun and successful is the proper setting. It is all about atmosphere, seating arrangement and most of all, the intimacy factor. Comedy is an intimate medium that always works best in smaller venues of 400 seats or less. The bigger the venue, the less the crowd is part of the experience. I believe that Comedy Clubs and Small Theaters are the best, especially for a crowd worker like myself. With all that being said, here is my list: My Favorite Comedy Venues Of All Time 1. The Original Improv(NYC, NY)- This club was the Grandaddy of all Comedy Clubs. It was the first and truly the best. It was nice and small, about 100 seats, intimate, and had such an aura about it. When you were on that stage, you knew that the likes of George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce and anyone else you can think of in Comedy, had performed there before you. What a great place it was. I miss it dearly and the owner, Silver Friedman, was great to me. 2. Rascal's Comedy Club(Ocean Township, NJ)- This became my home base for many years and it was the perfect Comedy Club. It held around 225 seats comfortably and there wasn't a bad one in the house. It was a rectangular room with the stage on one of the long walls, so every seat was close to the stage. 3. Rascal's Comedy Club(West Orange, NJ) - This was a great 400 seat club that was downstairs of one terrific restaurant (I miss the Chicken Francais)and was the Flagship of The Rascal's chain. We used to do a Comedy TV Show there every Thursday night called 'Rascal's Comedy Hour' and it was so much fun. Being a headliner myself, I never get to see other headliners unless we are all on the same bill doing a benefit of some kind. But with the TV show, I was the Musical Director and writer for the show and I got to see everyone that came through each week. I really had a blast and the show lasted for about 9 years. 4. The Strand Theater(Lakewood, NJ) - What a terrific landmark and a great place to perform since they renovated it about 7 years ago. The acoustics are unbelievable and it is just the right size for a theater to perform comedy in. 5. Uncle Vinny's/Ferrara's(Point Pleasant, NJ) - This is a new club and has only been open for about 1 and a half years. It reminds me of The Original Improv with it's intimacy of only around 100 seats. It's a great restaurant also and the owners, Dino & Jerry, are a pleasure to work for. 6. The Comedy Stop at The Trop(Atlantic City, NJ) - What a terrific place. It is like a mini theater of


around 250 seats with all of the casino showroom aura that a comedian loves to perform in. The room has since moved to the new Quarter Wing upstairs and is a little bigger and even nicer than before. Great atmosphere. 7. Catch A Rising Star at The Hyatt(Princeton, NJ) Another perfect setting for comedy. Only around 180 seats and nice and close to the stage. All views have no obstructions whatsoever and it is located in one beautiful hotel. 8. Penn's Peak(Jim Thorpe, PA) - This is one of the most unique places that I ever performed in. It looks like a giant 1800 seat chalet on top of a mountain and that's basically what it is. I generally don't like large venues like this but they have large screens everywhere for all to see that aren't close and their sound system is second to none. Plus there are balconies all around the stage. So even though it is 1800 seats, 1000 of them are still pretty close to the stage. Definitely a performers dream venue! 9. Viva DeBris(Syracuse, NY) - I truly miss this place. It looked like a little theater bowl of around 200 seats and they were all close. There was also around 20 seats that were right around the stage. No place to hide for those patrons. I also miss the owner, friend of mine and fellow comedian & magician, Joe DeLion. It broke his heart, and a lot of comedians', when the Hotel Syracuse was sold and forced it to close down. 10. The Improv on Melrose(Hollywood, CA) - A great club with lots of show biz aura. As a patron, you never know who is going to walk in and do a set and as an entertainer, you never know who is going to be in the audience. One of the great Comedy Clubs of all time. On my list for honorable mentions are Jokers Wild of New Haven, CT, Catch A Rising Star at Resorts in Atlantic City, NJ, The Brass Rail of Sekonk, MA, East Side Comedy Club of Huntington, NY, Tracy's Comedy Club at The Bowman's in Carney, MD, The Comedy Stop At The Tropicana in Las Vegas, NV, Wisecracker's Comedy Club in Scranton & Wilkes-Barre, PA, Konkoma Komedy of Ronkonkoma, NY, The Music Box Theater at The Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ, Zanies in Chicago, IL and the College of DuPage in IL, that had the perfect state of the art theater I ever saw at a school. Now there are surely many, many more fantastic venues for Comedy to be held but these are my favorites and if you ever find yourselves in those areas and you need a laugh, don't hesitate to walk in and take a seat. You're guaranteed to have a good time and if you don't, it won't be because the comics didn't try their hardest for you. Thanks for reading, from THE COMEDY TORNADO!!

http://www.comedytornado.com

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My Favorite Top 10 Comedy Venues  

Learn to become a stand up comedian

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