Legendary Dangerfield’s comedy club in NYC has Permanently Closed, Building for Lease

Dangerfield’s, the iconic and legendary comedy club opened by the late Rodney Dangerfield in 1969 on New York City’s Upper East Side, has become the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new commercial real estate listing has appeared for the building at 1118 First Ave., asking $25,000 to rent out the 2,200 square feet on the ground floor as well as the 2,200 square feet in the basement. The listing from broker Elliott Rackman of CitySites Commercial Group notes the venue has 11-foot-high ceilings, 25 feet of frontage, and comes “fully vented, all equipment.”

Dangerfield’s site links to a “Breaking News!” memo from the establishment. It reads:

Rodney Dangerfield Inc., owner and operator of Dangerfield’s comedy club in New York City, announces with great sadness that after 50 years of continuous operations we will be closing our New York City venue effective immediately. Our flagship location at 1118 1st Ave. has been in the heart of Manhattan for over 50 years, and has enabled us to entertain millions of people from around the world.

The State of New York and New York City’s continuing Covid-19 lockdown, the banning of public venues, no official guidance as to when or if such public gatherings will be allowed or in what capacity, has placed a severe financial burden on Dangerfield’s making operations in New York City untenable.

Fear Not !!

Once the Covid-19 crisis passes Dangerfield’s will be reopening in a suitable public venue friendly area. Rodney Dangerfield Inc. will rebuild its iconic comedy club and continue to produce the funniest comedy shows the world has ever known !!  This future location may be brand new, but we will make sure it still retains that classic Dangerfield’s look and feel. None of this would have been possible without your support and we are eternally grateful !! Please check back on our website and social media for future updates and announcements. We look forward to entertaining the world for another 50 years at our future location. Your patronage means everything to us and we cannot thank you enough. We will see you soon!

Though the club had long since seen its glory days when Dangerfield ruled the roost and hosted HBO Young Comedians Specials there, its antiquated charm also made it a perfect filming location for the comedy club scenes in the 2019 film, Joker.

Chario, the longtime waiter at Dangerfield’s who often took to the stage for his own regular guest sets, died this April. He was 84. The New York Times had profiled him back in 2015.

We’ll bring you more on Dangerfield’s as we find out more.

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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