Who's laughing now? Comedy clubs weather tough times

Martha C. White
stand-up
stand-up

While the recession has hit nearly every industry, this article points to one niche that's actually thriving in the downturn: stand-up comedy. While many comedy clubs have had a tough time during this economic slump, the magazine The Atlantic profiles one long-time venue owner who's still packing in people looking for a chuckle, night after night. The only catch, and one that's no laughing matter for the club owners who host stand-up comedians, is that ticket prices have to be slashed to the bone or outright given away to fill the seats.

The owner profiled in the article says audience members are grateful for a little bit of escapism, but it needs to be on the cheap to be accessible anymore. People are dying for a laugh in these grim times, but can't fork over big bucks for a ticket on top of the usual drink minimums most comedy clubs slap on guests. The savvy owner interviewed by the magazine started offering a slew of giveaways through radio stations, special promotion and two-for-one sales. He says people are happy enough with the freebies that they can justify spending some cash on drinks or food, which keeps the club afloat.