Last week saw fundamental changes at comedy clubs in both New York City and Los Angeles.
In the Big Apple, Al Martin sold off his longstanding stake in New York Comedy Club (it now redirects to EmpireTonight.com for the time being for schedule/tickets), and several longtime regular comedians and friends wished him farewell last Tuesday night. But Martin isn’t going anywhere, really. He still owns both Broadway Comedy Club and the Greenwich Village Comedy Club, offering showcase spots for the many NYC-based stand-ups who cannot break into the rotation at the A-level clubs or need extra spots.
The news out of West Hollywood, however, came seemingly out of nowhere, as one of the most prestigious stand-up booking gigs in the country suddenly changed hands.
After some 13 years as the eccentric long-haired talent coordinator of The Comedy Store, Tommy Morris was out. And Adam Eget, already a manager at The Store, was in.
Just about every documentary film about comedy made in the past generation has included a choice quote or two from Morris. Tommy’s “talent” page was still up today on The Store’s website. It read, in part:
“The Store” is about the craft of stand up comedy – it is described by Mitzi as an “Artists’ Colony.” Many comics perform here in our three show rooms for all kinds of different shows. Comedic development thrives in all our rooms.What I do…what I am…is the guardian of the Paid Regular system. Being passed at The Store is an artistic validation that includes being scheduled in the Original Room with top comics…some famous, some breaking…all elevated. Mitzi taught me to use my feelings and use my instincts. Another quote from the queen…”The question is…do you bring heat on the stage..well..do you?” There is and energy and a flow when a comic hits the beats…and rises from mediocrity to the qualities that make us interested in making a comic a Paid Regular. I am the director of these desicions…but the vibe of The Store and artistic input from Mitzi’s son Pauly Shore help me feel things out.
So what now?
Eget, known perhaps better already as the co-host of Norm Macdonald’s video podcast, told The Comic’s Comic that not much will change immediately. “Lots of comics to give few spots to,” Eget said. “I’m keeping the status quo for awhile. Don’t want to cause too many waves and plan on a fairly smooth transition.”
One relatively new thing to emerge: The Comedy Store’s Roast Battles, which happen Tuesdays at midnight in The Belly Room.
“I’m incredibly proud of those,” Eget said.
Stay tuned on what happens next at The Comedy Store later this year.
Until then, here’s a “Get To Know Adam Eget” video from Norm Macdonald!