When it was announced last summer that The Comedy Studio would be moving from the third floor of the Hong Kong restaurant in Harvard Square, there was some question as to when and where the club would finally find its new home.
The answer to that question came in the form of the bustling Bow Market, located in Somerville’s Union Square. And now after the better part of a year full of anticipation and preparation, Club owner Rick Jenkins is looking forward to opening the club’s new doors for its unofficial opening next week (September 6), when he will see what he thought was merely a fantasy come to life.
“The new space is more than I could have dreamed of,” Jenkins tells Vanyaland. “To have our own comedy club is something I never thought would actually happen, and usually, comedy is something that’s done in the backroom of someone else’s space. To be really dedicated to it is an incredible opportunity.”
Jenkins’ giddy demeanor toward the new digs is expected, since there are a few key noticeable upgrades at the new space, including the fact that the seating capacity has increased from roughly 75 people at the old space to over 100 in the new space. But, for Jenkins, that isn’t even the biggest pay off. He’s mostly excited for what the new room will do for the comics that call The Comedy Studio home. “The biggest pro [of the new space] is that we can spend all of our time there,” says Jenkins. “We can have writing groups, put on two shows, have special guests, and we don’t have to work around a restaurant to do it.”
While the official grand opening isn’t until September 20, there will be shows at the new location starting next Thursday with a sold-out gig featuring longtime Studio friend Eugene Mirman (the voice of Gene on Bob’s Burgers, among many other things). It’s a way of getting of all the little details worked out smoothly for what Jenkins calls the club’s official “go get ‘em” day later in the month.
And that’s important, because this feels truly like a new era for The Comedy Studio. Jenkins considers the move a new chapter in the club’s legacy, and he’s hoping the new location, with all its neat little bonuses, will help to add on to that legacy. “The idea is that we want to become the center of the comedy community here,” adds Jenkins. “We want to become a place where people can check in before their shows, where they can perform, and write, and where they can just hang out and compare notes. A lot of people coming together do great things.”
There’s no doubt the new Comedy Studio is ready to once again take the comedy community by storm — and the way Jenkins sees it, the first few months in the new space will be a microcosm of how it’s already done that up to this point. Jenkins is excited for the future of Boston comedy, and what his club will do for those who are coming up in the game, including risers Liam McGuirk, Laura Severse, Dana Jay Bein, and Tooky Kavanagh, who will be filling in the roles of comics-in-residence to end the year.
“The future [of the comedy scene] looks even brighter now [with the new space], because the comics-in-residence will be doing more shows,” says Jenkins. “Instead of opening every show four days a week, they’re going to be opening every show 30 days a month, and possibly even two shows. It’s going to be a huge boom to the young comics that are coming up and putting in the work.”