People stop to look at a tribute and memorial for the late Robin Williams at the entrance to Carolines on Broadway comedy club in New York City in 2014. The club is set to close on Dec. 31. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The legendary Carolines Comedy Club is set to close its doors in New York City this month after four decades.
Performers who took the stage over the years include Robin Williams, Jay Leno, Richard Belzer, Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Jon Stewart, Joy Behar, Denis Leary, David Alan Grier, Jeff Ross, Jimmy Fallon, Michael Che, Conan O'Brien and Larry David.
"After 30 wonderful years at our location in Times Square, we have decided not to renew our lease. Our final shows here will be on December 31," the club's Twitter feed said Tuesday.
"Carolines began 40 years ago in Chelsea and later moved to the South Street Seaport before calling Times Square home in 1992, when many New Yorkers and businesses had written off Times Square and NYC overall due to high crime and a lack of proactive government solutions," said another post.
"People thought we were crazy to invest in Times Square, only later to say that we were ahead of the curve when global brands like Disney, Nasdaq and national retailers and businesses came to the neighborhood," the message continued.
"We are very proud to have played an integral role in its resurgence and brought much needed laughter to the neighborhood and the city," it added.
"We've had an incredible run these past 40 years, elevating comedy from the very beginning and we are so proud of the comedians that have graced our stages throughout the years with their considerable talents," the thread said.
Owner Caroline Hirsch plans to focus her energy on her annual New York Comedy Festival, which takes place on various stages throughout the city.
She told the New York Post that business has been good since the venue reopened after the coronavirus pandemic, but her 10-year lease at 750 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan is up at the end of the year and she is expecting a major rent hike, so she decided against renewing it.