Located in the heart of Times Square, Carolines on Broadway presents the very best live comedy entertainment seven nights a week, 365 days a year. Just steps from many of Broadway’s most well known theaters, Carolines on Broadway provides the same quality entertainment that is customary on New York’s legendary Great White Way.
Carolines first opened as a small cabaret club in the New York’s Chelsea neighborhood in 1982. Owner Caroline Hirsch, a lifelong comedy fan, soon began booking comedians in her room. The comedy acts – which included now legendary performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Billy Crystal, Rosie O’Donnell and Jay Leno – were a tremendous success, and it wasn’t long before Carolines became a full-fledged comedy club. As the popularity of stand-up surged throughout the 1980s, so did the popularity of Carolines, which was becoming THE place to see live comedy in New York City.
The great demand for comedy brought standing-room-only crowds to Carolines, which moved to a larger space at New York’s historic South Street Seaport to accommodate the ever-growing audiences. There, business continued to thrive, and the club quickly established itself as the city’s top comedy venue. It also became home to the A&E Network’s highly successful series, “Caroline’s Comedy Hour,” which would eventually garner the prestigious Cable ACE Award for “Best Comedy Series.” In 1992, Hirsch once again relocated her club, this time to its grand setting on Broadway in Times Square, where the club continues to present the country’s biggest and best comedians in a sophisticated, state-of-the-art nightclub, bringing the live comedy experience to new heights.
Today, Carolines on Broadway continues to hold center stage in Times Square as one of New York City’s most popular and enduring hotspots and as the city’s only genuine nightclub. The club is a New York institution and was one of the cornerstones in the revitalization of the vibrant and bustling Times Square district. The 300-seat venue, designed by Paul and Barbara Haigh of HAIGHArchitects received critical acclaim when it received the American Institute of Architects : National Honor Award for Interiors and a United States Institute of Theatre Technology : Merit Award for Best Club Design, it also featured on the cover of Interior Design Magazine.
In addition to presenting such top headlining comedians as Dave Chappelle, Janeane Garofalo, Joel McHale, Tracy Morgan, Kathy Griffin, the club plays host to countless large-scale fund-raising events and high profile benefits. Hirsch, a long-time Ms. Foundation board member, created an annual fundraiser for The Foundation that has continued to grow each year. Now in its fourteenth year, “The Ms. Foundation’s Women of Comedy” special recently aired on the Lifetime Television Network to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Ms. Foundation. Additionally, Carolines hosts a highly successful annual fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, which honors the late Madeline Kahn. In 2003, the club celebrated 20 years of laughter with a gala comedy event at Carnegie Hall that featured performances by long-time club favorites Richard Belzer, David Alan Grier, Gilbert Gottfried
Carolines on Broadway also produces the highly successful New York Comedy Festival, a five-day comedy festival that presents comedy’s biggest stars in New York’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, The Beacon Theatre, The Apollo Theatre, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, and the Hammerstein Ballroom, to name a few. The Festival has featured such stars as Dane Cook, Denis Leary, Bill Maher, Ricky Gervais, Damon Wayans, Howie Mandel, Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey, Artie Lange, Rosie O’Donnell, Mario Cantone, and Steven Wright, over the past seven years. Since 2007, The Festival has presented Stand-Up for Heroes, a very special benefit for The Bob Woodruff Foundation that has featured appearances by Robin Williams, Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Tony Bennett and Bruce Springsteen. The eighth annual New York Comedy Festival will take place in November 2011.
Nearly thirty years after it first opened as a small cabaret club in Chelsea, Carolines on Broadway has grown into the one of the country’s top comedy venues and leading destinations for live entertainment for New Yorkers and countless visitors from across the country and the world, affirming its position as “America’s Premier Comedy Nightclub.”