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NY Comedy clubs seek to reopen

Gus Taf | Flickr

A group of comedians and comedy club owners organized a rally outside of the New York Comedy Club in an effort to reach Gov. Andrew Cuomo and advocate for the reopening of comedic establishments across the city on Sept. 22. Calling themselves the “New York Comedy Club Coalition,” the group launched the hashtag #SaveNewYorkComedy. They argued that since the restaurants are allowed to feature live music under the authorization from the New York State Liquor Authority, live comedy should be able to continue as well.

At the moment, comedians are using their creative minds not only for the purpose of content creation, but also for venue scouting. Resorting to backyards and private homes to hold their shows, New York comedians are looking for safer and more professional alternatives. However, many of the most creative options will soon disappear as the weather grows colder and outdoor venues are no longer realistic alternatives.

As of right now, there are two plans in the works that would allow comedy clubs to reopen.

Option one would entail opening comedy clubs up at 25% capacity with no mask requirement due to food and drink, but with social distancing between tables, just like restaurants.

Option two involves opening up at 50% with a mask requirement but, consequently, no food or drink available to patrons.

Unfortunately for comedians and comedy club owners across New York, Gov. Cuomo does not believe that comedy clubs are worth opening with the high infection rate at the moment. “I hate to say this because everything is essential. How essential is a comedy club when you’re talking about the infection rate?” Cuomo said.

In response to Cuomo’s words, The New York Comedy Club Coalition submitted a five-page proposal to the Mayor Bill de Blasio shortly after. With the proposal yet to be responded to, in-house comedy remains on hold, awaiting further action from de Blasio.

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