Sign this petition to end the “check spot” or “check drop” at comedy clubs

The following is a petition founded by stand-up comedian Judah Friedlander, whom you have seen on TV (30 Rock), in movies, and live in a comedy club near you.

Welcome to

This is The World Champion Judah Friedlander. I’m a comedian. I love comedy clubs. But I hate “The Check Drop” also known as “dropping the checks” and “The Check Spot”.

“The Check Drop” occurs when the comedian is performing on stage at a comedy club, and all of a sudden there is a big interruption of the show; because the waiters & waitresses have begun handing out checks to the audience & making them pay their bills DURING the show while the comedian is on stage. It’s a big disruption to the show for the comedian as well as the audience. The audience has a hard time concentrating on the show because they are trying to figure out their bill in the dark as well as watch the show & pay their bills. It’s a noisy chaotic disruption that can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes & sometimes much longer.

When you go to the movies, you pay at the beginning. When you go to a restaurant, you pay at the end. At a comedy club, you pay somewhere in the middle. Imagine being at the movies, and with 20 minutes left in the movie, the ushers come out in the theater hand you your check and make you and everyone around you pay the bill.

I estimate about 98% of comedy clubs in the United States & Canada have this disruptive “Check Drop”. The only comedy clubs I can think of that do not have a “Check Drop” are the Comedy Cellar in NYC, The Stand in NYC, the Laugh Factory in LA, the Comedy Store in LA & the Stress Factory in New Jersey – and they are all top comedy clubs. If you know of other clubs that don’t drop checks during the show, let me know. The Comedy Cellar, The Stand & The Stress Factory all drop their checks AFTER the show. And the Comedy Cellar does 4 shows a night Friday and Saturday; they never drop the checks during the show; and they’re still able to clean & turn the room around in time for the next show. So, there is living proof that the “Check Drop” does not have to happen during the show.

I will be adding more info to this website and want to hear feedback. Any questions, any information you want to add or issues you want to discuss – email me

If you would like to see “The Check Drop” eliminated (and figure out a better method for the comedy club to collect payment from the audience), please sign the petition below. And please state your profession from the options provided.

My hypothesis is: The elimination of “The Check Drop” would make the comedy club experience even better than it is now…for everyone – for comics, audience, comedy club staff and owners.I know the comics would be able to do a better show. I know the audience would enjoy the show more. And I think a happier audience will mean more business and more money for club owners. And I think the happier audience will lead to better tips for the servers (wait staff). I think if checks are dropped immediately after the show, the checks will get paid and collected faster – because the house lights are on making it easier for the audience to read the bill, audiences aren’t distracted trying to pay the bill and watch the at the same time, and the servers (wait staff) won’t have to whisper. Basically: happier comics, happier audience, happier staff, more profitable owners.

My hope is: That by working together, voicing our opinions, sharing our views in an honest and friendly way, we can make the comedy club experience even better.

My thoughts are: That this is a subject that comics and club owners do not want to discuss. I guess that many comics are afraid to discuss this or sign sign this petition out of fear of being banned from comedy clubs. I feel club owners don’t want to discuss it because they’ve been doing things a certain way for a long time and may not want to change. I feel some owners probably will not like being told what to do. And I don’t blame them. I don’t like being told what to do either. But I am always open to improving anything I do. So I’m always open to suggestions, discussions, and trying new things.

I don’t want this petition to be divisive. I want it to be positive and inclusive. That’s why I’m asking people to list their occupation and where they’re from when they sign the petition. I’m not trying to be anyone’s enemy. I’m just trying to improve the comedy club experience for everyone. I think of this petition as the start of a communication process to hopefully move things forward in a better direction.

Any questions or suggestions email me:

If you would like to make comedy clubs even better than they already are, sign the petition below.


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.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →

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