Friday, December 17, 2010

Say goodbye to Cheers and Tommy's

The Comedy Club at Cheers has its
last show Saturday with
Steve Sweeney.
If you’re planning on going out to see Steve Sweeney at Cheers Saturday night, you will be witnessing the final evening of comedy at the venue. Jim McCue, co-founder and producer of The Boston Comedy Festival, announced earlier this week on his site and his Facebook page that changes at Cheers itself spelled an end to the club, which opened late last year.

McCue was informed that the Sam’s Café portion of the Faneuil Hall location, where the comedy events were being held, was being closed down and sold. The comedy club had taken a summer hiatus and come back in the fall. McCue did not book for January when he got the news.

“I think if it was meant to be it would have worked out,” says McCue. “We are working on a few new projects and we will now be able to focus more energy on them. It really was fun and helped especially during the festival to have that venue up and running.”

McCue has no immediate plans to open a new club. “Not unless a remarkable opportunity opened it self up to us,” he says. “I will be doing a monthly show at the Ioka Theater in Exeter NH, but that is a simple thing to book.”

Less surprisingly, Tommy’s Comedy Lounge will likely not return. The club also took a summer hiatus after the July death of Frank Ahearn, who ran the club with John Tobin. “I’d love to bring it back, but at this point, probably not,” says Tobin, who also books Nick’s Comedy Stop next door. “Nick’s is proving to be pretty successful for us right now. It’s not where we want it to be yet, but we’re changing the culture.”

There have been talks about bringing it back, but Tobin says the club has no more than “a faint pulse.” He cited Ahearn’s death, the workload at Nick’s, and the scheduling conflicts Tommy’s often had with Blue Man Group, which is run out of the Charles Playhouse. Blue Man has its own theater, but it’s in the same building, which Tobin said affected how Tommy’s operated.

“The short time we were at Tommy’s, I think it was a little over a year, our start time changed three or four times,” he says. “They had us starting shows at 7:30. It’s just too early. There was just no continuity.”