date published: October 8, 2007

5 questions with...

Rick JenkinsRick Jenkins
by Josh B. Wardrop

Since 1996, Rick Jenkins has owned and operated Cambridge’s Comedy Studio, an intimate club highlighting hilarious homegrown talent, located above the Hong Kong restaurant in Harvard Square. Jenkins talks with Panorama about his career producing chortles amongst the Ivy League set.

Q: What sets The Comedy Studio apart from other local clubs?
We’re really dedicated to giving comics a place to truly develop their voice. We look for comedians that do smart, clean material, and strive for more than the quick sitcom or movie deal.

Q: Does being situated so close to Harvard mean crowds expect jokes about astrophysics, or told in Latin?
Not quite. I do think our audiences are willing to go off the beaten path with a comic, though. Boston audiences generally seem more motivated by seeing a name act.

Q: Talk about the event you’re hosting October 11th in conjunction with the Boston Comedy Festival.
We have a program called Comic-in- Residence, where promising comics open every show for a whole month. We’re taking all the folks who’ve done this—Shane Mauss, [2006 Festival winner] Dan Boulger, Dan Sally and others—and showcasing the depth of talent we’ve helped develop here.

Q: Apart from The Comedy Studio, where do you recommend people go for a good time in Harvard Square?
Well, Club Passim is a great, legendary folk music club. Noir at the Charles Hotel is a terrific late night bar. And you can’t eat much better than pizza at Pinocchio’s.

Q: Who are the biggest names to have graced The Comedy Studio stage?
Louis C.K., Jonathan Katz, Gary Gulman and Sarah Silverman. The biggest, though, is probably Steven Wright—he just drops in unannounced sometimes, and he’ll ask “Got any extra time for me?” Yeahhh, Steven…I think we can fit you in! (laughs)