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'The Meltdown' Comedy Show Is Coming To An End
"The Meltdown" comedy show, once L.A.'s best-kept secret (and now a series on Comedy Central) will be ending its run after six years, said co-founder Kumail Nanjiani in a Tweet:
The final show will be at 7:30 p.m. on October 19, according to the show's website. The show's creators left a long and heartfelt message, expressing gratitude to the fans:
We love the regulars, we love the newbies, we love the people who bring their parents. Comedians around the country speak of our audience with awe and admiration. We have been spoiled by you. We know it.
They also (kind of) explained why the show was ending:
[It] just feels like the right time for us. We know we're going to feel absolutely awful that first Wednesday that we aren't high-fiving you into the room, but everything has to come to an end at some point.
Hannibal Buress, a former guest on the show, expressed surprise at the announcement:
Nanjiani was effusive (rightfully so) about his feelings at the moment:
The show got its start in 2010 in a dark room at the back of Meltdown, a comic books store on Sunset Boulevard. Comedian Jonah Ray had told Nanjiani, a recent transplant to L.A., that he was doing a comedy show in this hidden, nondescript spot. Ray and Nanjiani then struck upon the idea to bring a new concept in the room. As explained by producer Emily V. Gordon, the idea was to have a show that broke through the mercenary aspects of the comedy circuit. Normally, comedy shows are a get-in/get-out deal for comedians; they would do their sets, have a drink, then leave. But this new show at Meltdown (it was called, of course, "The Meltdown") would be different. Here, the green room was going to be just as central as the stage. "[There weren't] many fun, conducive-to-hanging-out places," Gordon said in a video explaining the show's origins. "I was like, wouldn't it be cool to have a show where [comedians] wanted to come by even if they weren't on the show? And where people wanted to stay past their own set?"
The idea panned out, to say the least. The backroom at the comic books store began filling out for "The Meltdown" (which happened every Wednesday night). And, in 2014, it would premiere its own stand-up series on Comedy Central. Nanjiani said that they'd agreed to the TV series on the conditions that "The Meltdown" stayed true to form. "We're going to do this for TV, but only if we can do it [at Meltdown]. We're not going to move to a different space and try to recreate this," said Nanjiani. "It's going to be the regular show. And if we can bring in cameras without disturbing the vibe of the show, then we'll do it." In following with the spirit of the comedy show, a big part of the series was devoted to documenting the camaraderie that happened in the green room. The series would see appearances from marquee names like Nick Offerman, Maria Bamford, Jim Gaffigan, Marc Maron, and the Broad City crew (Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer).
If you're planning on attending the last show(s), just know that space will likely be sparse. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try, however. The show's website has a page where you can buy tickets (the final shows haven't been posted yet, however). And there should be a limited number of tickets at the door, though, obviously, you'll have to show up super early. Here are some clips from the Comedy Central series:
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Pickets are being held outside at movie and TV studios across the city
For some critics, this feels less like a momentous departure and more like a footnote.
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