In the brick-lined subterranean showroom of Wise Guys Comedy Club & 201 Bistro, nationally touring rib ticklers ply their craft. The intimate comedy den comfortably seats up to 110 revelers and allows for prime viewing of top-notch comedians from every angle. Tableside cocktail service allows guests to stay seated throughout the shows, and Wise Guys doesn’t require standard drink minimums. The bar beckons with sterling woodwork and bar-side tarot-card readings. Before or after the side-splitting comedy shows, 201 Bistro satisfies guests with a hearty menu of steak, pasta, and seafood entrees.
Of all the positive things that have led Joke Factory Comedy Club to succeed, two may be the most potent: the regular lineups of local and nationally touring standup talent at all four of its locations, and the sheer moxie of veteran comic Artie Fletcher, sometimes called "New York City's Bad Boy of Comedy". The latter of those two helped nurture the venue's capacity to host the former, prompting popular southern comic Eddie Caylor to dub the Joke Factory "the little club that could and did." Joining the extant Joke Factories in Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida, the Rochester branch (located inside a Holiday Inn) allows Fletcher to introduce acts from around the country to the local audience, visitors to town, and hotel enthusiasts.
The Comedy Club sticks to the basics: nationally known acts; booze, burgers, fried foods; one microphone; and a brick wall. Renowned standups Jim Norton, Tom Green, Orlando Jones, and the late Patrice O'Neal have all graced the stage, and regularly scheduled Open Mic nights fuel an eternal search for undiscovered talent. The club proves its commitment to local humorists in its annual Funniest Person in Rochester Contest, semester-long classes on standup comedy, and always remembering their birthdays.