truTV’s behind-the-scenes comedy history series, truInside, has focused on classic big-screen comedies over its first six weeks: Airplane!, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Bridesmaids, The Jerk, Heathers. But this Monday’s episode spent an hour inside the Olive Tree Cafe and its more famous basement dwellers at The Comedy Cellar.
The hour includes a brief history lesson with Bill Grundfest, the comedian and comedy writer who convinced the late Manny Dworman to reopen the basement — which had been a Middle Eastern music nightclub — into a stand-up comedy club in 1982, gives you more access to booker Estee Adoram and screen time for Noam Dworman (Manny’s son) than you’ve ever seen before, and the greatest endorsement for Dan Naturman in the form of Ray Romano. You also get to see and hear how vital Colin Quinn and Nick DiPaolo have been to establishing the Cellar’s reputation as we know it, Dave Attell holding down the fort late-nights, and see for yourself how stressful an audition there can be.
Or roll these clips: