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NYC comedy club owner slams COVID-19 ‘double standard’ for ‘SNL’
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Livid from New York…
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A Big Apple comedy club owner is angry that “Saturday Night Live” is shooting with a live audience, while the city’s comedy clubs remain empty because of COVID — and he says he’s disappointed that the city’s big-name comedians haven’t done more to help the ailing industry.
Dani Zoldan, co-owner of Upper West Side comedy club Stand Up NY, told Page Six that it seems as if there’s one set of rules for the longrunning NBC show and another for local clubs.
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He told us that comedy clubs in the city are being forced out of business by the lockdown, and said, “From the perspective of a comedy club owner, it’s frustrating, day in and day out, to bear witness to this loss and see that every Saturday night ‘SNL’ is allowed to produce their show indoors, seemingly in violation of the same laws crushing small businesses all over New York City.”
“They have a live studio audience and the cast members are not social distancing,” he said. “I was watching the show Saturday night and I was so upset that struggling comedy clubs are going out of business while they’re doing their thing and collecting a paycheck.”
He said that, to add insult to injury, “SNL” star Pete Davidson mocked last week’s high- profile anti-lockdown protests at Mac’s pub in Staten Island during the “Weekend Update” segment.
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During his appearance, Staten Island native Davidson cracked of the protest, “People were outside the bar, talking about freedom, taunting the cops, chanting that they should arrest the governor, but it’s Staten Island so I assumed that it was just like a typical last call.”
According to the New York Times, “SNL” has gotten around the ban on live audience by paying audience members $150 each — technically making them members of the cast.