Whether you’re in New York, LA, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or – let’s face it – any city with a comedy scene, it’s incredibly hard for theatre owners just to break even.

But lately there’ve been mutterings from comedians who say UCBeast (UCB’s stand-up club in New York), should pay performers.

Now, the stand-up culture is, and always has been, different from improv. But Chris Gethard makes some pretty good points about the payment-vs-non-payment thing on his tumblr.

This week, Matt Besser made a special episode of his Improv4Humans podcast called “Ask The UCB” where he and Ian Roberts set the record straight.

When you hear how much time, energy, and yes, money they’ve poured into all the different UCB stages (including, from which they’ve never profited), you’re guaranteed to have a new respect for everything they’ve done.

I guess the reason I never talk about it in interviews is it sounds tacky. And when I talk about it I don’t wanna…I don’t wanna come off bitter and like, ‘Poor me,’ like maybe we’re starting to sound by this; having to pay those taxes.

But I guess it is something people should know, that the UCB Four, in 15 years since the theatre’s been open, we have never taken any money.”

– Matt Besser, from Improv4Humans 

(Click the link above or on the image below to hear the whole episode)

Thanks UCB, for giving us a space to play.

Thanks UCB, for giving thousands a place to play.


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