Westchester Gets Its Laugh On
The county’s first new comedy club in more than three decades, HA! is bringing a bevy of belly laughs to Yonkers.
photo by andrew gold
Believe it or not, Westchester didn’t even have its own dedicated comedy club until this past July, when Jeff Pichardo brought Manhattan’s hit Yonkers Comedy Club up to Ridge Hill in Yonkers. For manager and standup comic Joseph Conklin, the decision to move north came naturally.
“We are the only comedy club in Westchester and the first new one in 30 years,” says Conklin. “There is a need in the area. A lot of people don’t have anything to do in Westchester as far as [comedic] entertainment, and they feel almost forced to go into New York City or over the Tappan Zee into Rockland. We have the same quality comedians, as well as a lot of Westchester talent that itself had to go into the city before.”
Conklin feels many of Westchester’s best comedians, like frequent HA! headliner Nick DiPaolo, are drowned out amid the countless comedians onstage in the Big City. “They got lost in the stream down there. Now they can come back and show that Westchester has a lot of talented comedians. One of the things HA! finally gives them is a home, so they can perform for their own people in Westchester for once.”
The club also has a leg up on the competition, with its cozy atmosphere and carefully selected acts. “We are a smaller, intimate club, seating 85 to 100,” explains Conklin. “There are a lot of comedians who people don’t know because they haven’t had a Netflix special or haven’t been on Conan but are so incredibly talented. So, it is our job to mix the people who are being asked for with people who are going to be asked for in the future.”
The curious can sate their craving for laughs at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, where famed comedian Vic DiBitetto will be performing April 27. Tickets can be purchased by calling 914.358.9260; all other seating is first come, first served.