When Comix comedy club in New York City shuttered its doors in February, it was immediately a regional news story and slowly gained some national attention as industry insiders and comedians (notably Bobby Slayton) made grievances public.
At the heart of the story is basically this: months before Comix went belly up, the owner Michael Palitz and co. had a bad habit of not paying comedians (Slayton, included) as well as contracted workers and full-time staffers, though the unpaid bills had begun piling up even long before the new owners took over. I know this first hand from speaking with some of these folks. I also know it, because we had a long, fruitful relationship with the club since its opening, producing our yearly anniversary shows there as well as shooting our video interview series A Tight Five on its premises. The folks I came into contact there were all awesome.
The trouble began when the new owners showed up, leaving only a small handful of the more seasoned “awesome” staff. In fact, the club never paid Punchline Magazine for the money we made on our most recent anniversary show, which was held in October 2010.
In case I haven’t made it painfully clear yet, I am in no way pointing fingers at the staff at Comix I and Punchline Magazine worked directly with for years. You know who you are, and you guys rule. But, with the below report from My Fox New York surfacing this morning, I feel like it was time to say something more about the situation. It seems the club walked off with $7,400 that should have went to a scholarship fund created in honor of two sisters who were killed in a car crash.