NYC comedy club The Creek & Cave shuts down permanently due to COVID
Very sad news for NYC comedy fans. Long-running Long Island City comedy club The Creek & Cave, which opened in 2006, announced it has closed for good due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Rebecca Trent shared the sad news via Facebook today, saying "I simply wasn’t in a strong enough position going into the pandemic to sustain the Creek without going into insurmountable debt...We had some interested investors, buyers, and ideas. But when it came down to it, the renovations would have been too expensive on a building that’s already crumbling."
Trent went on to say, "The Creek has been my home for 14 years. More importantly, it’s been a home to so much creativity and laughter and ideas. Together, we helped shape the New York comedy scene and comedy as a whole for almost a decade and a half." The club was known for giving comics freedom to stretch out and work on material -- Trent notes that Colin Quinn workshopped his special Unconstitutional there -- and they sometimes had music too.
"Thank you all for bringing this stage to life," Trent closed her long goodbye letter. "And making it feel like church. Thank you for making me feel like a part of the community. Thank you for your jokes and your tears. Thank you for the times. All the times. It meant the world to me."
James Adomian wrote, "It was the totality of my New York. I washed up there ten years ago with nowhere else to go, like some idiot in a fairy tale. Rebecca fixed my wings and helped me fly again and crash again and soar through the crashes."
Mara Wilson wrote, "The Creek and the Cave was this magical place where you could do a show in a basement, watch ten people go into bathroom together to do coke, get hit on by a local comic’s 65-year-old con-man father, and eat a pretty good burrito all within 10 minutes."
You can read Rebecca Trent's full statement, as well as more tributes from Ron Funches, Christian Finnegan, Nick Turner, Chris Distefano, and more below.
Many of NYC's comedy clubs banded together to form the New York Comedy Club Coalition, asking Governor Cuomo to allow them to reopen with reduced capacity and safety precautions, like restaurants, bowling alleys and museums. Comedy clubs and music venues are still closed.
Upper East Side comedy club Dangerfield's closed last month after five decades in business.
THE CREEK AND CAVE OWNER REBECCA TRENT ON CLUB CLOSING
I wanted to wait until the election before I let you all officially know something that I’m sure most of you already know. The Creek & The Cave is not going to reopen. I simply wasn’t in a strong enough position going into the pandemic to sustain the Creek without going into insurmountable debt. (Most would say I’m already there.)
We had some interested investors, buyers, and ideas. But when it came down to it, the renovations would have been too expensive on a building that’s already crumbling.
The Creek has been my home for 14 years. More importantly, it’s been a home to so much creativity and laughter and ideas. Together, we helped shape the New York comedy scene and comedy as a whole for almost a decade and a half.
Kingdom of Heaven, The Eric Andre Show, Derek Comedy, Emergency Sketch Show, Jerk Practice, This Is NY, We’re All Friends Here, Froduce, Midnight Run, Cookies, Monsters, B Squad, Night Mic, Last Podcast on the Left, Black Metal Chvrch, The Dan Joe & Charles Show, Wildcats, Gentrification, Permission to Fail, Legion of Skanks, HLV, The Regulars, Savage Animal, Late Late Breakfast, Creek Cave Live, Week at the Creek, I Did It, Pig Pile, The Dump, Art School Acid Drop Out, Shoot the Shite, Skankfest, Petey’s World, High Five, Love, Poverty War, See You In Hell, Hardcore Comedy, Tip of the Tongue, Barely Making It, New York City Talent Show, Jackknife Comedy, Power Hour...too many to remember. So many shows...so many mics.
Colin Quinn chose the creek as his stage to develop a one man show. I was starstruck and was there every second he was on that stage. That one man show became Unconstitutional and I became the director in two off Broadway venues and even have a Times review.
I’ll never forget the spit take at the Creek Awards surrounded by Nick Turner, Jason Sáenz, Travis Irvine and Mark Normand and will be forever grateful that Evan wanted an awards show.
We did Thanksgivings together every year except 2008 and everyone came. My mom, Annie’s parents, Andy’s mom, Jessica’s Mom, Sean Patton’s parents, Brian MacKay’s entire family, Calise’s kiddo, Nick Turners whole fam, one or two grungy kids who had nowhere to go but looked hungry, and as many comics as wanted to be there...We started as just a handful of folks and eventually were cooking for 75.
We had crawfish boils, lobster bakes, pig roasts and cook offs. We feasted like royalty.
We had an incredible staff that made this all work. Victor, Aldo and Mariano were with me from the start. I watched Jessica T go from having her quinceanera to becoming a nurse. I saw Rojo go from behind the bar to on TV. My managers Joe Wize, Allen Arthur, Vance, Shanara, Peggy, Sherri, Vinny, Jamie all did the very best they could with the ceaselessly breaking dam that is the creek. Cassidy & Joseph Roberts met here and fell in love, James & Jaime Lyn were married here by Ed, Lupe found the love of his life. So many forevers were started here.
Vatterott’s giant set list might have made its debut on the Creek’s stage. Emily Heller’s birthday party was my favorite of all time. Mike Lawrence’s album release party and every time he was the consummate closer on Midnight Run. Ted Alexandro’s keynote speech at the Creek Awards. Kevin Barnett’s roast. Winter Camp. Jay Oakerson’s roast. Doug Stanhope in a pile of trash. So many of my forever memories happened here.
The moments we decided to go for it, to figure it out, to make it happen were and are my favorite memories.
So I ask that you keep making things happen. I ask that you decide to go for it every day. And make sure that Patrick & Gideon and Amy Shanker find a home. Don’t let Taj, Elgae, or Napoleon slip through the cracks. Chanel and Kenice are important voices - we need to keep shoving microphones in their faces. Maria and Ariel too. Make sure Lizzy, Tracy, Shane, Charlie, and Ben find a home. Alex, Aaron and Benel will need a place.
I know my time at the helm of the Creek wasn’t everyone’s favorite. There were times when I was too angry, too outspoken, too passionate, too much. I disappointed people, I know.
I also know that I tried my hardest to make sure we were all prepared for the world, the road and the weird clubs, the pitch decks and the generals, the late night tight fives and the first hour...and what to do when none of that feels like it’ll ever be on the horizon.
As Kat says, People Contain Multitudes. And while I may be as multitudinous as they come, I served this community as hard as I could. I took chances on people and offered stage time to everyone as fairly as I could. The Masters, The Proven, The Villains, The Dorks and The Yet to be Brilliant all graced that stage for 14 years. Because when someone has a stage it becomes their sacred duty to say yes to the artists that grace it, to give them time and space and permission to fail so that they can become great. That was my sacred duty for 14 years and I only wish it could have been 14 more.
So thank you all for bringing this stage to life. And making it feel like church. Thank you for making me feel like a part of the community. Thank you for your jokes and your tears. Thank you for the times. All the times. It meant the world to me.