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New York City Comedy – Funny Voices: R.I.P. RiFiFi

Posted Saturday, August 2nd, 2008 at 10:00 am by Matt in Social Bees. More in 10003

This week’s column is a downbeat one. This week, downtown comedy epicenter RiFiFi closed its doors for good. RiFiFi was a dive bar with busted air conditioning whose crowd alternated between comedy nerds and sweaty hipsters waiting to throw up to the new DFA dance remix; in other words, a New York original.

It’s comedy roots started years ago when Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale began hosting their weekly showcase, Invite Them Up, which grew to standing-room only crowds based on great word of mouth. It was from here that the second wave of downtown comedy emanated.

RiFiFi was the place attracted people from out-of-town to see shows due to the star wattage appearing on stage (it wasn’t odd to see Todd Barry, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galafinakis, and others pop in to do a set) in a setting so intimate, the front row could literally reach out and grab the performer.

Sure the bathrooms were an abomination, and there was a perma-tear in the screen, but no one comes to the East Village for a squeaky clean experience. Well, maybe now they will; with the way real estate is skyrocketing in the area (the main point of contention for the bar closing), who knows how much longer before it becomes Midtown South?

Farewell, you filthy champion of comedy…you will be missed.


The Final 13 Minutes of Comedy at RiFiFi (via The ComicsComic)

Want to see your show or video featured in this column? E-mail me and let me know!

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