Join us to help The Stand celebrate five years this Wednesday, September 20 with two all star shows! Get tickets here.
It’s been five years since The Stand opened its famed doors and put its first comedian (Sherrod Small, we’re told) on stage. A short period of time in the life of most comedy clubs, but in that short time, The Stand has risen to go toe-to-toe with New York’s best clubs. Comedians adore The Stand because of its pro-comedian attitude and policies, and of course great audiences every night. Comedy fans love the club for its tremendous line ups featuring some of the best established and the best up and coming comedians in New York City, no two item or two drink minimum, and an excellent menu with real food replacing standard club fare of nachos and frozen chicken fingers.
The club has, time and time again, featured all-time greats on their stage– Janeane Garofalo, Rich Vos, Ari Shaffir, Bonnie McFarlane, Dave Chappelle, Dave Attell, Bill Burr, T.J. Miller, Kevin Hart, Colin Quinn, Gilbert Gottfried, Louis C.K. and more have graced their stage, with some of the best comics in New York performing nightly– a seriously impressive feat for a club that’s only been around for five years.
Paul Italia, Cris Italia, Dave Kimowitz and Patrick Milligan have made The Stand a true home for comedians, and a favorite stop for comedy fans by paying attention to what both groups wanted in a club. “When we first conceptualized The Stand six years ago, we set out to evolve the aging comedy club model,” Milligan told us. “I produced Cringe Humor Shows at virtually every comedy venue throughout Manhattan leading up to The Stand opening. I saw a lot of good and bad in how comedy clubs conducted business. I wrote about it often on the site. There’s always been a stigma that comedy clubs offered terrible food, watered-down drinks, and have promoters in Times Square lying about line ups and hoodwinking tourists into coming down. We made it our goal to counteract that reputation,” he said. And that means a great menu. “We are approaching our 5th year and have not and never will enforce a food or drink minimum. We offer our patrons some of the best cuisine from our heralded executive chef Seth Levine. We offer top shelf liquor and brought in some of Manhattan’s top mixologists to set up our cocktail menu.”
“And of course, I am so blessed to have some of the most talented performers come down and grace our stage on a regular basis. A booker is only as good as the talent at their disposal, and the crop of comedians I’m fortunate enough to work with make me look like a superstar,” Milligan added. But the real test of a comedy club is the comedy, and The Stand delivers every night.” Looking back over the past five years, Patrick remembered so many great moments in the club’s five year history. “Having Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Bill Burr, Jim Gaffigan, and more arena acts drop in regularly is always a thrill. Watching up & coming comedians develop into headliners is always fun. Big Jay Oakerson is an example of that. It’s been a pleasure watching Ron Bennington get back into stand up and perform it full-time. It’s not every day a radio legend can flawlessly transition like he has. The greatest moments though are hearing people walk out of the venue and talk about how great the show was. That’s the ultimate validation.”
Some of the club regulars shared why they love performing at The Stand. Dan Soder attributes the great vibe at the club to the way the club is run. “Easily one of my favorite places to build new material and try shit out. You can take a risk and not worry too much because Patrick and the staff know that’s how you get great bits, by trying stuff you’re not sure of,” Dan said. “I love that I know I can go there and build a joke, line by line and the patience is there to have the joke grow naturally.” Sal Vulcano has been building his stand up career outside of the Impractical Jokers, and is a regular at The Stand. “[It’s] hard to narrow down a favorite memory because there are so many and I always have a blast when I’m there,” Sal told us, “but always getting up with Jay Oakerson at Frantic on Mondays is one of my favorite things ever. I love that the club is such a great hang during the week.” Rich Vos also loves the club, but for a slightly different reason. “I feel so comfortable at The Stand. Maybe its because I’m such a big act.”
SiriusXM host Ron Bennington believes the club’s success is all about the people. “A lot of people who debate what makes a great comedy club say it has to do with sound or seating, but to me its always about the people. You have four owners who all love comedy and love comedians and look to make great experiences for the audience with those comedians. Everyone from the owners, to Adele to the staff put the comedians and the show first. It’s one thing to see all the great headliners like Big Jay Oakerson kill in that room, but I’ve really enjoyed some of the young guys coming up– Monroe Martin, Vladimir Caamano, and recently I just saw Derek Gaines have a set that if you were standing outside the room, you would have thought it was Dave Chappelle killing and that’s what makes this a really special room.”
On a personal note, The Stand has always been so welcoming to us, and that extends from ownership and management to every server, many of whom we consider friends. We’ve produced shows there, and never had a bad experience, thanks in particular to Joe and Adele, who do such a spectacular job of keeping the room running, and all the girls at the host stand- Emily, Jessica, Talia, Michelle and Tonica who make everyone feel welcome.
Now, the club is preparing to celebrate their upcoming five year anniversary in style with a night of comedy that promises to be unforgettable. On Wednesday, September 20th, The Stand will host two anniversary shows, one at 8 p.m. and one at 10 p.m. Both shows feature very similar line ups, although the “and more” part of the title indicates that each show will have a few wildcards coming through to celebrate the occasion. Even if both shows had the exact same lineup, however, that’d be totally fine, as the two shows of comics they have coming through that night are a couple of stone cold killers. Show 1: Ron Bennington, Artie Lange, Rich Vos, Dan Soder, Wyatt Cenac, Sal Vulcano and more! Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8: p.m. Show 2: Artie Lange, Ron Bennington, Rich Vos, Dan Soder, Sal Vulcano and more! Doors at 9:30 p.m., show at 10 p.m. Tickets to both shows are $20. The Stand truly is one of the best venues in the city to catch a comedy show, so this is a night of laughs not to be missed. We can’t wait to wish everyone at The Stand a Happy Five Year Anniversary- here’s how to join us on Wednesday night: