San Francisco's legendary Punchline Comedy Club will be closing in August, and owners Live Nation are already looking for a new home.
The comedy club, which was founded by Bill Graham, and has hosted the likes of Dave Chappelle, Robin Williams, Dana Carvey and Amy Schumer, was not able to come to an agreement about its lease.
"After being unable to renew our lease, we will be moving from our longtime Battery Street home this August. Thank you to all the fans and extraordinary comedians that have helped make the Punch Line an entertainment landmark in this city!" Punch Line said on Twitter.
The announcement drew immediate responses from a number of well-known comedians, including W. Kamau Bell and Steve Byrne.
"San Francisco gentrifies another of my homes," Kamau Bell tweeted.
"I hope the @punchlinesf finds a new spot. So many great comics have come out of there. I've been there on many legendary nights. Most of which involved Dave Chappelle. You would think SF would want to help."
"Absolutely bummed to hear about @punchlinesf LOVED performing at that club," Byrne tweeted.
Punch Line also tweeted that Dave Chapelle will be performing before the club closes in August.
"Dave Chappelle doesn’t want the Punch Line to move and he’s coming back May 20-22 to tell us why!" the club tweeted.
The event sold out almost immediately.
There's already a lot of chatter on Twitter about starting a campaign to save the venue.
“We’re currently in search of a new home to preserve our decades-long tradition of entertaining comedy fans in San Francisco and the Bay Area. It’s a sad moment for us, but we’re excited at the future’s potential," Punch Line talent buyer Molly Schminke said.
“While we search for our new home, the club will continue to support local comedy, bring in the hottest up-and-coming comedians and book some of the biggest national headliners who come back to perform on the Punch Line stage year after year.”
Punch Line originally opened in 1978 as a dressing room for a rock club, The Old Waldof, and both venues were owned by another legend in the world of entertainment, rock promoter Bill Graham. It gradually became a well-known comedy club under House MC Bobby, drawing entertainers as well as fans of comedy from the Bay Area and beyond.
“We want to thank all the fans and extraordinary comedians that have helped make Punch Line an entertainment landmark in this city,” Schminke said. “Our best days are yet to come.”
San Francisco gentrifies another of my homes.
I hope the @punchlinesf finds a new spot. So many great comics have come out of there. I've been there on many legendary nights. Most of which involved Dave Chappelle. You would think SF would want to help keep this club open. https://t.co/zzWjDAdBdY — W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) May 8, 2019
We can't thank you enough for your kind words @_chrisgarcia �� We're excited that you're headlining (May 15-18) the club before the move! https://t.co/vartHfjwZ5 — Punch Line SF (@punchlinesf) May 9, 2019
So many close friends & family dying the last 3 yrs. & now the pain of hearing the legendary @punchlinesf lost their lease & is closing this summer.I was there when it started 40 years ago & where I really learned to do stand up. So many memories and great times. Sucks. — Bobby Slayton (@PitbullofComedy) May 8, 2019
Absolutely bummed to hear about @punchlinesf LOVED performing at that club. That stage is the first time I got to professionally share time w @kenjeong @bobbyleelive @kevinsheacomedy I also got to rip it up with "Sullivan & Son" boys @ahmedcomedy @roywoodjr OB. LOTS of LOVE to SF — Steve Byrne (@stevebyrnelive) May 8, 2019