Something funny is happening in LIC

By Tammy Scileppi

Charlie Chaplin once said, “a day without laughter is a day wasted.”

The ownership team behind Long Island City’s brand new comedy club, The Standing Room, would probably agree.

Since it opened its doors earlier this summer, the neighborhood’s newest addition has been enticing comedy fans with a series of events that offered great drinks and side-splitting shows, on the house.

“We want to give the public a taste of what we’re doing,” said co-owner Cris Italia, noting that a newly revamped lineup of comics and cocktails will be complimenting the club’s recently renovated intimate space. He and fellow owners, Patrick Milligan, Paul Italia and David Kimowitz, created The Stand comedy club in Manhattan.

The club currently is getting ready to kick off its grand opening event this weekend.

Located at 47-38 Vernon Blvd., The Standing Room took over the space formerly occupied by Laughing Devil, and is already contributing to Queens’ comedy boom, judging by its lightening-speed popularity.

More promotional events are being planned through the end of the month, including the introduction of a weekly trivia quiz night Aug. 11.

But comedy and up-and-coming comics will continue to be the main draw.

Center City Comedy Night, comprised of seven performers from Astoria and Brooklyn, regularly played The Laughing Devil and are excited to be back in Long Island City.

“We have our comedian friends on the show, and a lot of the people in the crowd are our friends, along with a cool mix of people from the neighborhood. And the staff is super cool,” member Tom Cassidy, an Astoria resident, said. “Our shows in LIC have been some of the most fun I’ve had performing in New York.”

Another Center City comic, Kevin Ryan, who also lives in Astoria, pointed out that three other guys in the group live there as well, while the other two live in Brooklyn.

“The venue is a great room for comedy, and I’m excited to see it as The Standing Room. There’s always a good energy, and we always have a blast performing there,” he said.

Owners said they won’t be releasing the lineups for the grand opening until after this weekend, but Standing Room regulars will include established and new performers.

“We want the neighborhood to feel like they’re going to get A-list talent in Queens; it’s what we deserve,” said Cris Italia, who grew up in Ridgewood with his brother Paul. “Queens is a great borough, and we deserve to have the best entertainment.”

According to the owners, folks can recycle their junk mail into free tickets to comedy shows. Just bring in any catalog, circular, credit card offer or other junk mail showing you live in western Queens, Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside or Woodside, and get two free tickets to any show through Aug. 31.

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