Vanity Fair has a great new oral history out today of the Comedy Cellar, and it’s full of fun looks back on the legendary New York comedy club from Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Colin Quinn, Judy Gold, Judd Apatow, Darrell Hammond, and plenty more. Here’s Jon Stewart on his first set at the club:
I don’t remember my first set. And you know why? Because it wasn’t a milestone. I was really excited to get onstage there, but there was no hint of what was to come in any of it. This was a shitty comic who worked at a Mexican restaurant up the block. It wasn’t Dylan unplugging.
Sarah Silverman on Comedy Cellar booker Estee Adoram:
I remember the terror of bombing in front of Estee. She doesn’t give a shit about anyone’s credits or what TV shows they’ve been on. She just likes who she likes and that’s that. To this day if she comes downstairs and checks out my set, I get nervous.
Jim Norton on watching Robin Williams do standup at the Cellar:
I think it was 1998 when Robin Williams came in. It was my first time ever being in the same room with him. Colin and I went downstairs to watch/criticize his performance. Robin was topical and brilliant. We both stood in the doorway and just enjoyed it like everyone else, instead of being the cynical asses we had planned on being. As he finished, Colin said, “The son of a bitch really does have a genius streak,” and we went back upstairs dejected.
Read the rest over at Vanity Fair.