Winner of the Chortle Awards Best London club 2011-1015 and Best UK club 2015 – The 99 Club is well worth the visit!
Alternative comedy began right here in London in 1979. It was a uniquely British art form and one of which we should be rightly proud. During the late seventies two British men visited America and came back mightily impressed by the slick commercial American comedy scene and by a Comedy night they saw over there by the name of the Comedy Store. The two quickly determined to set up their own "Comedy Store" here in the UK.
Live comedy exploded during the eighties with the founding of huge numbers of comedy clubs across London.
The nineties saw a shift in the live comedy scene and not necessarily one for the good. Comedy clubs gradually became more commercial, focusing in particular on stag nights and the kind of comedians whose jokes would service a massive group of drunken lads. Meanwhile in comedy more generally, there was a sense that the anarchic political comedy of previous years was being replaced by laddish joke-tellers. It was becoming increasingly difficult to find comedy clubs that treated their acts as artists and gave them a positive, supportive environment in which to practice their craft.
It was into this environment that the 99 Club was born. It opened in 2004 in a tiny room above a pub on Great Windmill Street. It's policies of a friendly, fun environment for acts and audiences alike drove it to experience massive growth. Within a few short years they had earned critical plaudits aplenty and had sell out venues at clubs across London every night of the week. Their earnest hope is that this will influence other London Comedy Clubs to change the way they do things, to focus less on commercial imperatives and more on creating the perfect environment to let this art form flourish and to give audiences a terrific night out.