Famed San Francisco Comedy Club Faces Closure, Fans Fight to Keep Laughs Going

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During a rally to save the famed Punchline Comedy Club, Dave Chappelle and CNN’s “United Shades of America” host W. Kamau Bell were joined by San Francisco city officials at San Francisco City Hall. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Comedian Dave Chappelle told a crowd gathered at City Hall Tuesday that moving the Punch Line comedy club would be like “burning down the Louvre.” The comedy institution faces displacement when its lease expires in August. The club has nurtured the careers of comics for over 40 years, including Robin Williams, Margaret Cho, W. Kamau Bell and others. District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin announced plans for a measure that would prevent any non-nightclub use of the building. Forum talks with comedians about why so many people are fighting to keep the Punch Line alive.


W. Kamau Bell, comedian; host, CNN's "United Shades of America"

Will Durst, comedian

Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, comedian