I dropped by Broadway Comedy the other night, cause I heard that Ruperto Vanderpool was headlining, and I hadn’t seen him since he performed in one of Anthony Anderson’s fabulous Mixtape Comedy shows. Ruperto and I go back a long ways, and he’s really funny, so I made time to check out the show.
After I got there, and felt the Broadway Comedy energy, I started asking myself why I don’t get over there more!
Then I ran into my old buddy Al Martin who owns the place. Al is a fascinating guy with a long history in comedy.
He’s one of only two comedy club owners I know to own more than one club in NYC at the same time. Besides Broadway on West 53rd Street, which also encompasses “The World” Comedy Club, he also has New York Comedy Club on East 24th Street, which was where I first started to perform when I started doing stand-up.
Al was a stand-up himself, having started performing back in 1988, which gives him a different perspective on comedy than other club owners who don’t perform. Al puts it to good use when he hosts shows, which I’ve seen him do many times. He’s a funny guy.
I remember back when he had New York Comedy on 2nd Avenue around 48th Street, I believe. It was an upstairs club, and I used to drop in pretty often since I lived on 54th and 2nd. I recall meeting Eric Douglas there. Eric was Michael Douglas’s younger half- brother who was a stand-up, and who unfortunately died back in 2004 of a drug overdose.
As a stand-up Al did a lot of TV, including A&E’s Evening at The Improv, Comedy Tonight, and Joan Rivers’ talk show, besides gigs in A.C. and Las Vegas.
New York Comedy opened on East 24th Street in 1994, which I happen to know, ( and don’t ask me how! LOL) had been the exact location of a well known after-hours club!
As of 2001, Al also has a New York Comedy Club in Boca Raton, Florida! And it seats 350. That’s big!
Then in 2005, Al was involved with Boston Comedy Club, down in the Village which left him operating three clubs in NYC at the same time, also a record!
( Somebody call Guinness! LOL )
Anyway this night, I ran into a whole bunch of funny comics I know like Stacey Prussman, Leah Bonnema , Jason Salmon, Ricky Velez, and a new comic to me, who’s opening for Ruperto, named Edgar Rivera.
Leah Bonnema had some good lines. She said there are no divorces in her family. There’s lots of murder, but no divorces!
She also dreams of something she never had, … health care! I think she said she was awakened during a dream by her boyfriend, where she was just about to get dental! I thought she should have added the tag, “ but instead I got oral!”
I forgot to tell her, but maybe she’ll read this! (LOL)
Edgar Rivera commented that it was so cold last week that white people stopped jogging! (LOL)
And Ruperto who’s always funny, killed it with his reminiscences about the old days, schoolyard games, playground stuff, and his comparisons between encyclopedias vs. i-Pads. Ruperto and Edgar will be performing together on an upcoming date!
Ruperto, who’s Dominican, and calls himself a “Blacktino”, does fantastic dialects, which always amazes me. He even does Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Audiences love when comics can imitate an accent! Of course it helps when they do it well! (LOL)
When Ruperto talks about Coney Island being the worst amusement park in the world, he gets very physical. He says it’s so old that you have to bring your own tools to tighten up the rides, and he makes his body vibrate as if he was on an out of control ride. It’s very funny!
When I left I ran into comic/producer Aaron Haber who not only produces shows at Broadway Comedy and The World, but also on Tuesday nights at The Friars Club, where I will probably see him tonight!
Al, who seems to always be planning a new project will soon launch New York Comedy World… a website devoted to everything comedy in New York! Sure hope there’s a place for Comedy Matters TV on there!!! (LOL)