Comic Cabana: Comedy Central’s 1997 launching pad for the Upright Citizens Brigade?

Comedy Central has gone through so many phases for how it goes about showcasing young comedic talent, that every so often, an idea becomes reality and years later, you wonder how, exactly.

Ucb_cc_1997 Such was Comic Cabana, the 1997 summer series on Comedy Central that may have been the first real TV credit for the Upright Citizens Brigade quartet of Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts. It came a year before they’d get their own Comedy Central series and two before they could open up their own theater in New York City.

In this episode, hosted and introduced by Anthony Clark, the UCB demonstrates how comedy would adapt some of its classic forms — the spit-take, the double-take and the pratfall — due to future changes in the Earth’s environment. Roll the clip, please!

This came to my attention yesterday via a freshly-uploaded YouTube clip shared by Comedy Nerds United.

If you want to have more fun, look through the 57 clips Comedy Central has archived from Comic Cabana on There’s a clip of young Greg Giraldo with one of his early bits about interacting with a homeless man. Also clips of Patton Oswalt, Todd Barry, Andy Kindler, Lizz Winstead, Lewis Black and more.

I was spending most of my free nights in 1997 going to open mics and other stand-up shows in Seattle, and in those days, kids, we didn’t have such easy technology to record every odd comedy program that came along. So I missed out on Comic Cabana. If I’d seen it, I wouldn’t have known what to make of it, either!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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