Comedy Cellar

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The Comedy Cellar stage as seen from the audience left

The Comedy Cellar is a comedy club in Manhattan where many top New York comedians perform.[1] It was founded in 1982 by then standup comedian, and current television writer/producer Bill Grundfest.[2] It is located in the heart of Greenwich Village on 117 Macdougal Street between West 3rd Street and Minetta Lane.[3] Above the club is a restaurant called The Olive Tree Cafe to which it is connected, and where many of the comedians hang out after performing.[4] The businesses 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.

Notable comedians[edit]

Regular performers there include Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, Colin Quinn, Jim Norton, Mitch Fatel, Darrell Hammond, Michael Mittermeier (first German Comedian in the Club[5]), Rich Vos, Louis C.K.,[6] Nick Di Paolo, Artie Lange, Dave Chappelle, Greer Barnes, and Marc Maron.

Also, some rising stars in comedy frequently perform, including Dov Davidoff, Robert Kelly, Harrison Greenbaum, Sherrod Small, Amy Schumer, Keith Robinson, Gregg Rogell, Nikki Glaser, and Ben Bailey, and Andrew Schulz.

Each week consists of three shows a night on Sunday through Thursday and four shows each Friday and Saturday.

The New York Post regularly rates the Cellar as the best comedy club in New York.[7] Musician John Mayer can also be seen dabbling in stand-up here occasionally.[8]

In the media[edit]

Much of Jerry Seinfeld's 2002 documentary Comedian was filmed at the club, and it also can be seen in a 2006 Pepsi commercial starring Jimmy Fallon.

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.[9] The club was also featured in Chris Rock's film Top Five, including a performance by his character, Andre Allen.

In September 2015, the club launched its public-policy debate series [10] with a debate on the Iran nuclear deal. The debate featured professor and lawyer Alan Dershowitz and journalist Fred Kaplan, among others.

In March, 2016, writers Jessica Pilot and Katla McGylnn wrote an oral history of the club for Vanity Fair.[11]

Iconic Comedy Cellar stained glass sign was made by Victor Rothman for Stained Glass, in Yonkers NY 914 969 0919

Las Vegas location[edit]

In 2018, the Comedy Cellar opened a third location at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas.[12]


  1. ^ Wallace, Amy (2014-06-04). "Dave Chappelle at the Comedy Cellar: The Funniest Night on Earth". GQ. Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  2. ^ "What This Founder of an Iconic Comedy Club Believes All Companies Need to Succeed". 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Comedy Cellar". Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  4. ^ Hankinson, Andrew (2017-08-21). "An Upset at the Comedians' Table". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  5. ^ michael mittermeier - Comedy Cellar
  6. ^ "Comedian Louis C.K.: Finding Laughs Post-Divorce". NPR. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  7. ^ "Business Info, reviews, and directions". Citysearch. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  8. ^ "My Big Mouth Strikes Again". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ McGlynn, Katla. "An Oral History of the Comedy Cellar". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2016-03-20. 
  12. ^ "The Comedy Cellar at Rio Las Vegas". Retrieved 2018-04-23. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°43′48″N 74°00′01″W / 40.730131°N 74.000403°W / 40.730131; -74.000403