Long Island comedy industry going strong

Comedian Peter Vellios hosts a comedy show every Tuesday at Simply Fondue in Great Neck.

If you’re looking to catch  — or be — the next Jerry Seinfeld, there are plenty of opportunities on Long Island.

There are three major comedy clubs: the Brokerage, Governor’s and McGuires — all of which have fallen under the same management, led by retired comic Marc Lund, over the last four years. Comics agree Lund created a better environment for comedy, but many performers set up their own shows as an alternative to the major clubs as a way to  network, hone their own craft and offer a hand up to fledgling comedians.

Veteran Long Island funnyman Alan Streisfeld, who has been running an open mic at Fins Pub every Monday in Oakdale for the last three years, videotapes the shows and gives DVDs to comics for free.

“I don’t get paid,” says Streisfeld, “I just do it for the satisfaction of helping up-and-coming comics.”  

These DIY open mics let performers practice their material without having to recruit friends and family to come to the show or meet a drink minimum.

On the other hand, the open mics at the major clubs also tend to be better because of the guaranteed crowd, according to rising comic Jessica Collazo, who puts on her own loosely booked show at Katie Mc’s in Huntington.

“With my open mic, you never really know if there’s going to be a crowd or not,” says Collazo.


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