The Comedy Studio, Rick Jenkins’s little comedy club above a Chinese restaurant and nightclub that could and would foster Boston’s up-and-coming comedy talent for the past two decades, is on the move.
The Studio will play host to 17 more showcase nights above the Hong Kong in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, before shuttering, then reopening next spring in Bow Market, a newly redeveloped marketplace in Somerville’s Union Square.
As Jenkins joked in this week’s newsletter, “Now that we’re 21, it’s time to move out of the attic and into our own place! We will be at the end of an alley, on the second floor of an abandoned warehouse…NOBODY will know we are there.”
Eugene Mirman gave the Studio its first big boost in the early 2000s hosting a weekly show there before he moved to Brooklyn. The club also has nutured most of the young stand-ups that have come out of the Boston scene since then, from the Walsh Brothers to Gary Gulman, Brendon Small, Pat Borelli, Shane Mauss, Myq Kaplan, Baratunde Thurston, Erin Judge, Jen Kirkman, Max Silvestri, Joe Mande, Zach Sherwin, Jon Fisch, Emma Willmann, Matt D., Ken Reid, Sean Sullivan, Tim McIntire, Josh Gondelman, Harrison Greenbaum, Mehran Khagnani, Chris Fleming, Dan Boulger, Ahmed Bharoocha, Casey Crawford and most recently Sam Jay. Jenkins famously gives newer comedians with promise a full month of slots as a “Comic in Residence.” Many big names in comedy have dropped into the Cambridge spot whenever they’re in the area.
And Jenkins almost always provided all of the comedians with a DVD of their performance, which helped many of them in their efforts to land their first TV credits. Joe Wong made his debut on Late Show with David Letterman straight from the Studio.
The Comedy Studio will go before Somerville’s licensing commission for a liquor license at their new location, because the club will have its own bar, instead of having to share the Hong Kong’s bar until they’d get kicked out at 10 p.m. so the restaurant could convert the space into a dance floor.
Here’s a look at the new layout for the Studio to come next spring:
“While we’re moving to a beautiful new, custom-made space, we’ll be sticking to what we do best–inviting comedy’s biggest fans to support emerging talent. This place we call The Studio is a family that has supported the comedic arts for more than two decades and The Comedy Studio will remain an intimate, affordable, and accessible arts option,” Jenkins said. “I’ve been part of the Boston comedy community since the 80’s–this Union Square location is going to be a great home for the next generation.”
In the months leading up to the opening of the new space and to introduce itself to its new neighbors and community, The Comedy Studio plans to feature a series of stand-up performances in bars and restaurants throughout Union Square.
“The Comedy Studio is an institution. Matt and I have been seeing their show for years. We might go so far as to say we’re regulars,” said Bow Market’s Zach Baum. “We’re thrilled to be a part of their next chapter in Somerville and can’t wait to add their comedians to the incredible list of artists and performers who call Union Square home.”