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Sensi Magazine

Laugh Market

Nov 24, 2018 11:58AM
After 20 years and icon status in Harvard Square, The Comedy Studio is bringing the hilarity to Somerville’s Bow Market.

Rick Jenkins has the twinkle of a man who knows he’s got a good thing going.

As owner of the famed Comedy Studio, the longtime Cambridge comedy institution that moved earlier this year from the third floor of Harvard Square’s Hong Kong restaurant where it was located for over two decades to Somerville’s new Bow Market, Jenkins is looking ahead to an exciting future of killer comedy in the Hub.

“I went from the third floor of a Chinese restaurant in Harvard Square to the back room of an abandoned warehouse in Somerville alley,” Jenkins says with a laugh about the former life of the complex of small shops, food vendors, and nightlife options making up Bow. “We’re moving up!”

The Comedy Studio’s resurrection comes, in part, on the back of the never-ending construction boom happening all around Greater Boston. Jenkins says he moved The Comedy Studio and its accompanying cocktail lounge, Variety, to get away from the skyrocketing rent and ceaseless construction in Harvard Square and seize the opportunity to do things his way, from comedy workshops to open mic nights to podcasts.

“You spend your whole life thinking, if I could just get this or I could just get that,” Jenkins says. “Well now I’ve got it. This is me planting my flag and doing my thing.”

Corey Rodrigues, who’s known around town for his social media series, “Ask Denzel,” looks forward to performing at Bow Market but will always hold a special space in his heart for the Hong Kong attic across from Harvard University.

“It’s bittersweet, of course,” says Rodrigues, who has been touring nationally for 12 years.

Comedy Studio veteran Will Noonan used to watch post-show recordings of his gigs in the Hong Kong attic like an athlete watching game reel footage, and he says that refined his act and fostered strong community ties at the original spot. “It’s bittersweet because the Harvard Square location held a lot of history and many memories, and the studio was very connected to the city of Cambridge. It had its own philosophy and an almost cult-like following, so I think they will continue to make new memories and inspire new connections at the new spot.” Plus, he adds, wwho

Tricia Auld remembers being carried down the Hong Kong’s three narrow flights of stairs by a fellow comedian after her first-ever performance following post-reconstructive knee surgery. Auld says the strength of the community orbiting the Studio will be a key driver in its future.

“That comic who barely knew me that night but carried my broken ass down the stairs because he knew that I was a comic really epitomizes The Comedy Studio.”

Lamont Price, Boston Magazine’s “Boston’s Best Comic” winner, was concerned when Comedy Studio closed.

“The worry when it closed was, where would it resurface and would it have the same impact?” he says. “You think of the names that came out of there, the rabid comedy crowds, and the fact the old club was packed to the gills every night. The hope is it picks up where it left off in that sense.”

Jenkins plans to. Comedians and audience members are still encouraged to hang out with cocktails, but also take advantage of the new photo booth, and bring in food from the market’s vendors on the first floor. Additionally, The Studio will be equipped to produce quality recordings of each performance that comics can use for work-shopping material and auditioning.

- Jameson Viens