Owners of Historic NY Club in Heated Name-Calling Legal Battle

The infamous Comic Strip comedy club where Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock got their start is the only club still standing from the great golden age of the 70’s. But despite Seinfeld recently filming his Netflix special there, things don’t seem to be going too well. According to the New York Daily News, the club is in dire straits financially, and the clubs owners are fighting.

The Daily News reported that the club’s co-owner Tess Wachs is suing Richie Tienken in Manhattan Supreme Court, claiming that he, his wife and the club’s manager Thomas Latch (who goes by Tom-E) are running the club into the ground, neglecting the physical space, and she alleges in the pleadings that all three are misusing club funds.

The club is located at Second Avenue and 81st street and was recently restored to is 70’s decor when Jerry Seinfeld recorded his Netflix special there. Despite the upgrades (or retrogrades), Wachs alleges there are holes in the floor, and dead rats and mice on the premises. She claims the Tienken’s spending club money on jewelry, restaurants and golf.

Although Tienken denies all of the allegations, he does admit to one thing the suit alleges- the club is broke. There’s nothing there, he told the New York Post, despite that the club is a New York institution, and despite that both Seinfeld and Adam Sandler returned to the club to record specials there.

Back in 2016 Wachs had filed papers in New York court to force open the books and records of the club. At that time Tienken had said the club was doing just fine, denying Wach’s claims that the club was in deep debt.

The club was founded in 1975 by Richard Tienken, John McGowan and Robert Wachs. Both McGowan and Wachs are now deceased.

Wachs is asking the court to appoint a receiver to take over the club.

The Strip was the subject of a book, “Make ‘Em Laugh: 35 Years of the Comic Strip. The Greatest Comedy Club of All Time” by Jeffrey Gurian, and a documentary, Eat Drink Laugh.

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