Dangerfield's Comedy Club

Location: 1st Avenue & 61st Street, New York, NY 10065

Dangerfield's is a New York comedy club that was opened in 1969 by the late comic Rodney "I Don't Get No Respect" Dangerfield and long-time friend Anthony Bevacqua, who still runs and operates one of the best comedy clubs NYC today. On September 29, 1969, Kenny Burrell, Thelma Houston, and Rodney Dangerfield performed on the opening night, while Milton Berle, Ed McMann, Joan Rivers, and David Frost were in the audience. It claims to be the longest-running comedy nightclub in the country and continues to attract top-flight comedians from the comedy club and late-night TV circuit.

The club is housed in an old high-rise and is readily identifiable from the outside by its black awning with the club name emblazoned on it in big white letters. Inside, Dangerfield's is typical of basement-style comedy clubs NYC, dark and grungy, with a small stage and the only light coming from small lamps on the tables with orange, graffiti-covered shades where guests are free to scribble their own words of wisdom. All this gives the club high marks for character; if you've ever envisioned the stereotypical home of comedy New York style, this is it.

One of the best New York comedy shows, up to five comedians perform each night, with the headliner generally a recognizable veteran of the national comedy club circuit. Often headliners have some late-night TV experience under their belt as well, either through appearances on Comedy Central specials or guest slots on late-night TV talk shows. Unlike most clubs, there's no amateur or open mic nights and special guest stars are frequently added into the lineup. Among the big stars who have performed at Dangerfield's are Jerry Seinfeld, Andrew Dice Clay, Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, George Carlin, Jay Leno, Sam Kinison, Jeff Foxworthy and Roseanne Barr. The club was home to HBO comedy specials Rodney Dangerfield put on to showcase young comedians. The Notable Biographies website entry on Dangerfield cites a People Magazine story in which comic Carrot Top was quoted as saying, "Rodney didn't care what kind of comedy you did. As long as you were a comic, you were a part of his fraternity."

Dangerfield had been touring the country doing standup, while rapidly gaining a national fan base through stints on "The Merv Griffin Show," "The Dean Martin Show" and "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." But when his wife, Joyce Indig, took ill and later died, Dangerfield was determined to provide a more stable home life for his two young children, Melanie and Brian, so he opened the club and performed as a regular headliner. Years later, daughter Melanie Roy-Friedman would recall in a USA Today story by Ann Oldenburg, "It was a unique experience because he was home every day and worked at night. He opened Dangerfield's (comedy club) so that he could stay in New York to raise my brother and myself." Dangerfield died in October 2004 at the age of 82.

Take our fabulous Night Tour and then head over to Dangerfield’s for a true New York experience!!

 

This page was edited by Steven Thomas