We’re officially one week in to 2020! From now on anyone starting an email with “Happy New Year” is a weirdo. But just because the holidays are in the rear-view mirror doesn’t mean the celebrations are over.
Tonight (January 8) marks the two-year anniversary of our Comedy Records Showcase at New York Comedy Club! Each month we team up with Canada’s original comedy label to present a lineup featuring Toronto and New York’s legendary stand up comedy scenes. The show is the first of its kind, combining two of the industry’s top communities on a monthly basis.
Comedy Records started in 2010 and is run by Barry Taylor and Tim Golden. “A lot of the success of the Interrobang Showcase comes down to good timing and luck,” explains Taylor. “We met (club owners) Emilio (Savone) and Scott (Linder) shortly before they bought the club and we became friends pretty quick. The four of us share a similar outlook and approach to comedy. The whole New York Comedy Club family is great, (club booker) Amy (Hawthorne), (club manager) Drew (Tomlinson) and of course it’s great working with the iBang team too. Everyone’s really nice and easy to work with. It’s almost like they’re Canadian.”
“I know what clicked with us was the connection we had with Barry and Tim and how Comedy Records was in the trenches with their artists to put them in the best position to be successful,” adds Savone. “We were trying to create a platform for the kind of artists they work with, and that created this really great relationship.”
New York Comedy Club has become one of the top clubs in the city when it comes to supporting comedians from the Great White North. “Most Canadian comics are already so strong by the time they cross the border, that’s the first thing,” says Hawthorne. “Especially the Toronto scene, the attitude and vibe of comedians who come out of there fits very nicely with the New York scene as a whole and here at the club.”
Two comedians that represent the Toronto scene as well as anyone in New York are the up and coming duo, Jay & Eytan. The pair started in sketch comedy but have since evolved into a two-man show and regularly perform on stages traditionally reserved for stand up. Jay L’Ecuyer and Eytan Millstone are mainstays on the Comedy Records Showcase and have New York Comedy Club at the top of their list of venues in the city. “Every club in New York has its own unique qualities, but something New York Comedy Club takes a lot of pride in is homegrown talent,” says Millstone. “It’s always great to have Bill Burr pop into your club but being able to grow the future Bill Burr’s by offering a great stage and crowd to work on material is a little bit more special.”
Focusing on new talent has always been a priority for Linder and Savone. “When taking over the club, our eyes were as much on the future as it was the present,” explains Savone. “Our philosophy has always been that it’s our job to create an atmosphere where comedy can flourish; so if that’s the approach in many cases it doesn’t matter if a twenty year vet is on stage or a newer comic developing. In the right environment comedy will thrive.”
Savone believes that one of the strongest connections the label and club share is their loyalty to the talent they work with. “The way I describe Comedy Records to comedians is that they’re a family. You’re not just joining a label, rather you’re becoming part of a family that is growing and isn’t going to stop growing because of how they’re being led. I see a common bond there with them and us.”
“It’s nice to be able to use comedy to collaborate on something on an international level too,” adds Taylor. “I’m not smart enough to know anything about politics but at this moment in time, it just seems like we, as humans, have lost our goddamn minds. Spending time in New York and other places away from home you realize there are so many great, likeminded people out there and we can work together and do some really positive things. Even if it’s as silly as a monthly comedy show.”
The Comedy Records Showcase happens the second Wednesday of every month at New York Comedy Club’s Gramercy location at 7PM. Tickets can be purchased for $10 at NewYorkComedyClub.com with the promo code NAFTA.