After 30 years in Times Square, Caroline's is closing, but owner vows club won't be last laugh

Sandy Kenyon Image
Friday, December 30, 2022
Caroline's is closing, but owner vows club won't be last laugh
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As revelers gather to say hello to a new year, fans of stand-up comedy will be saying goodbye to Caroline's after a run of more than 30 years. Sandy Kenyon has more.

TIMES SQUARE (WABC) -- Jerry Seinfeld honed his act at Caroline's, and so did Jay Leno and Billy Crystal, and that was just the first generation of comedians who got their start at the club.

Many more would follow over the course of three decades, but now Caroline's is closing for good after its final shows on New Year's Eve.

As revelers gather to say hello to a new year, fans of stand-up comedy will be saying goodbye to Caroline's after a run of more than 30 years.

"I tried to elevate comedy to a higher platform," Caroline Hirsch said.

Hirsch discovered a couple of generations of talent at the Times Square location.

"We presented the very best. We scouted. They worked it out on the stage and we presented that," Hirsch said.

And when fame came to the comics many came back to Caroline's.

The return of Tracy Morgan after his near-fatal accident on the New Jersey Turnpike was as moving as it was memorable.

"It was a time in my life right after the accident when I didn't think I was ever gonna be here again," Morgan said.

This week headliners like Michael Che have been dropping by to pay Caroline tribute.

Some of the artifacts from the club will be sent to the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York for display at the museum located in the Hometown of Lucille Ball.

"I did not have the intention of closing, I just could not work out a better deal with my landlord about the space to be quite honest with you," Hirsch said.

Hirsch says this is not the end of her story but the start of a new chapter.

She says she's determined to continue making folks laugh by discovering new talent so she is actively looking for new opportunities to expand her brand.

NEW YEARS: 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' 2023: How to watch and what to expect

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