Times readers don’t want to believe in Comedy Store ghosts, but in the end they do.
A lot of what made “Ghosts of Comedy” so great has to do with how it manages to weave together a disparate cast of characters that are all fascinating, and yet somehow not over the top, and yet not too over the top. The one-line punchlines in particular don’t feel like the writers throwing around the word “comedy” with no intent to have it mean anything at all.
And yet when these characters meet the Grimacing Ghost, he becomes something of a living metaphor for the Comedy Store itself. It’s a dark place, where people don’t really want to be and where the rules in some cases are actually a matter of life and death. It’s a world both strange and oddly beautiful — and that’s what makes it fascinating.
“Ghosts of Comedy” is the first episode in a half-hour series titled “The Comedy Store Chronicles.” But this isn’t a series about the Comedy Store, the venue where the show is being staged. It’s about the people who work there, and it’s about the way things work inside one of the most famous comedy clubs ever.
We want to bring you the stories of the people who work at the Comedy Store, and the stories of how they became the Comedy Store people they are today. And the stories of how they met the characters who became the stuff of their comedy — and vice versa.
Our first story is the story of how a lot of things happened in the Comedy Store in the late ’70s. The comedy of two different guys from Buffalo, N.Y., began on a stage set up in the back room of the Comedy Store. But instead of focusing on the acts one might find at a traditional theater, their show featured sketches that went a lot deeper than that.
“The Comedy Store Chronicles” presents the history from the outset. It opens with four scenes