The Legendary Punch Line Comedy Club is CLOSING
OFF MENU IS SPONSORED BY EMPEROR NORTON’S BOOZELAND THE TENDERLOIN’S NEWEST HISTORIC DIVE. HAPPY HOUR NOON – 7PM
– article updated on 5/9/2019
The Legendary Punchline San Francisco is closing this summer after over 40 years of hosting some of the biggest names in comedy. According to a source close to the Punchline, all staff was notified this week that the owners of the building have refused to renew the club’s lease which ends on August 20th.
Punch Line is part of Livenation (along with Cobb’s Comedy Club, The Fillmore & The Masonic), and they are actively searching for a new venue in order to continue Punch Line San Francisco.
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Punch Line is truly a legendary place for comedy, Dave Chappelle has famously been working out his newest material there since the 1990s, I once saw him perform there for over 4 hours, just riffing and speaking to the audience as if he were in his own living room. SF comedy stars like Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Margaret Cho & Greg Proops frequented Punch Line, and everyone from John Mulaney to Amy Schumer have performed there. It’s a pretty magical spot and a true piece of America’s comedic history.
Correction update 5/9/2019: The Punch Line SF was founded in 1978 by SF promoter and restauranteur Jeffrey Pollack. Pollack recently told us that his wife Patricia actually came up with the name ‘Punch Line’. In 1980 Pollack got out of the club game and sold both the Old Waldorf and Punch Line to Bill Graham. That same year Pollack bought the landmark restaurant Julius Castle on Telegraph Hill and ran that until 2006. The Punch Line website implies Graham started the club in 78, so thanks to Jeffrey for the correction!
Originators aside, over the years this venue has not only catered to the biggest stars, it also provides an excellent stage for young, local and up and coming comics to hone their craft. We hope they land on their feet somewhere else in the city soon.
Meanwhile, there is definitely going to be comedy performed there 6 nights a week at least until August 20th, so check out the Punch Line SF Calendar here, and go see a show before this landmark venue of comedy is gone to the highest bidder.