Outer-echeclon comedy showcase Club Chuckles is turning the ripe old age of 10. Launched in 2003 by Hemlock Tavern live music booker Anthony Bedard as a “Safeway Select”-style ploy to book less bands, Club Chuckles has achieved the cold-comfort distinction of becoming the currently longest-running “comedy-in-a-rock-club” monthly series in Americapresaging the alt rock/alt comedy crossover wet-dream of the 2000s, predating Patton Oswalt’s “The Comedians of Comedy” tour, and even birthing a comedy record label (Talent Moat). Club Chuckles also instituted the comedy world’s first-ever 10 drink maximum policy in the wake of the heckler uprising at Todd Barry’s impromptu crowd-work set at Hemlock in 2006. Sure, every late-to-the-party, ambulance-chasing Johnny Come(dy) Lately rock club is now trying to pad out their schedules with laffs & yuks, and the whole comedy-in-a-rock-club thing is now the toast of greater Brooklyn, but back in the early 2000s, this kind of programming nearly got Bedard sh*t-canned from his job until Neil Hamburger smashed the Hemlock’s all-time bar sales record.
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