New lease on life for San Francisco’s Punch Line comedy club

Today provided a double-dose of comforting news for comedians and comedy fans in San Francisco, as its venerable comedy club, the Punch Line, received historic Legacy Business Status from the city as well as a new lease from Google.

The club’s lease had been set to expire in August.

But comedians, from longtime locals such as Will Durst and Nato Green, to the most famous of stand-ups including Dave Chappelle, immediately rallied to save the Punch Line back in May. And Google, rumored to be taking over the Embarcadero space held by the Punch Line since 1978, wasn’t about to stand in the way.

Or were they?

Not until Monday, when City Supervisor Aaron Peskin brought the club’s petition before the city’s Small Business Commission to achieve Legacy Business status, which would guarantee it rent protections, did it become a reality.

A statement from Google Monday night read simply: ““We’re excited that the Punch Line will remain our neighbor and a vibrant part of the Bay Area community for years to come.”

As Green told friends Monday night: “We maybe possibly kinda took a step closer to saving the Punch Line today. So go pay for some live comedy as soon as possible. Proops is there this weekend and you can’t do better than that. UPDATE: THE LEASE IS SIGNED. WE WON. THANK YOU Aaron Peskin ANDSunny Angulo for making this possible.”

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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