The Tiny Cupboard, a Bushwick-area comedy club located at 10 Cooper St., is hosting its first-ever comedy festival this weekend.
The Tiny Cupboard Penthouse Comedy Summer Festival is a four-day outdoor and indoor event happening from August 26 to August 29. Talent includes comics from SNL, Netflix, HBO and Comedy Central, among other channels and platforms.
Attendees will have the chance to see dozens of comics over the course of the weekend. Aside from the various comedy shows, the event includes live podcasts and opportunities to mingle with the comics and other people in the audience.
“It’s the best lineup we’ve ever had with the most headliners we’ve ever had,” said owners and couple Matt Rosenblum and Amy Wong, who called their festival the “biggest summer comedy festival” in New York City.
The Tiny Cupboard began in a small studio room, capable of fitting about 13 people. Now, just over two years later, the venue includes three comedy rooms known as the tiny room, the pink church and the rooftop, which became very popular during the pandemic.
“Everyone moved underground, kind of like speakeasies, and so we became one of the pioneers of the outdoor comedy movement,” said Rosenblum. “There was this whole resistance against the government being too strict on comedy because everything else was open. Even outdoor socially-distanced comedy wasn’t allowed for a while after June, which was all that we were fighting for at the time.”
At the height of the pandemic, a New York State executive order mandated that all “non-essential businesses” shut down. Comedy clubs improvised by setting up shows in public places that could provide the space needed, such as parks, rooftops and parking lots. However, what distinguishes The Tiny Cupboard rooftop is that it’s sustainable. Because it is not in or too close to a residential space, there aren’t any noise complaints.
“I’ve always felt there was a hole in New York City for an independently run comedy club. It used to be Creek and the Cave in Long Island City, but it shut down because of the pandemic. So this is the place for independently run shows, which means shows are booked and run by comics” said Rosenblum.
Open every day of the week, The Tiny Cupboard hosts a plethora of consistent comedy shows with up to six open mics a day. Wong and Rosenblum only have one weekly Saturday night show, The Tiny Cupboard House Special, which they book themselves. Others are booked by several dozen independent comedians on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.
“There have been so many comics who have contributed value to the space. Even the people who come to our open mics who would like to test material are a substantial part of the community,” Rosenblum said. “Comics themselves built the scene, and we provided the space and marketing.”
“It’s a very welcoming space,” comedian Malorie Bryant, who will be performing at the festival and has a weekly show at The Tiny Cupboard, told Bushwick Daily. “There are opportunities for comedians and producers, and I had a chance to take my brand from the West Village and bring it over here.”
As The Tiny Cupboard grew, the line-ups grew and the audience grew. By the time Wong and Rosenblum put up an application on their Instagram and the Facebook group NYC Outdoor(Indoor) Comedy in February, over 500 comedians signed up for a slot in the festival.
The Tiny Cupboard Penthouse Comedy Summer Festival will feature a combination of headliners, up-and-coming and local comedians. An all-day access pass is priced in the $25 to $30 range, while a pass for the whole weekend is priced at $60. There is no two-drink minimum and attendees can bring food to enjoy the show.
If you’d like to attend for a night (or four!) of laughs, you can purchase tickets here.
Top image courtesy of Allie Herrera.
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