The Comedy Cellar is a comedy club in Manhattan, where many top New York comedians perform. It was founded in 1982 by then standup comedian, and current television writer/producer Bill Grundfest. It is located in the heart of Greenwich Village on 117 Macdougal Street between West 3rd Street and Minetta Lane. The upstairs portion is a restaurant called The Olive Tree Cafe. They share the same menu, kitchen, and staff.
The Comedy Cellar, like The Comedy Store, uses a showcase format, as opposed to a headline format like most clubs. A show will consist of between five and seven comics performing sets of roughly 20 minutes each.
Regular performers there include Todd Barry, Colin Quinn, Opie and Anthony co-host Jim Norton, Mitch Fatel, SNL star Darrell Hammond, Dave Attell, Louis C.K., Nick DiPaolo, Artie Lange, Dave Chappelle, and podcast host Marc Maron. Also, some rising stars in comedy frequently perform, including Dov Davidoff, Robert Kelly, Sherrod Small, Amy Schumer, Keith Robinson, Gregg Rogell, Nikki Glaser, and Ben Bailey.
Each week consists of two shows a night on Sunday through Thursday, three shows each Friday, and four shows on Saturday. The Cellar is located under and connected to the Olive Tree Cafe, where many of the comedians hang out after performing.
The beginning sequence of Louis CK's television series Louie shows him walking into the Comedy Cellar. Many scenes in the show are filmed in and around the Comedy Cellar and Olive Tree Cafe. Speaking with ESPN's Bill Simmons about the club on a Grantland podcast in June 2012, CK discussed playing shows at the Cellar to empty rooms in the 1990s, stating that then-owner Manny Dworman "kept comedy alive" by making comedians perform on empty stages, in an effort to lure in potential customers.
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