He has lived there for a year and a half now, but it wasn’t until earlier in the year that it dawned on him that this would be the perfect location for comedy aficionados and novices alike to assemble for some good jokes. So he and a few others, who all live in L.I.C., decided this would be the place.
With the new club -- called The Laughing Devil and set to open officially on Friday, December 16 -- Hofstetter has come full circle back to his home borough.
The comedian, who lived all around the borough from Laurelton to Briarwood and Forest Hills to Rego Park, always carried with him a vision of opening up a comedy club.
He chose Long Island City because of its potential.
“The growth in Long Island City seems unprecedented, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
But he felt the people needed something.
“The populous seems under-served when it comes to entertainment,” he said. And entertainment is what it’ll soon receive when the comedy club opens in a space that was once an old building, remodeled to suit a clothing store, but now transformed again to house the intimate comedy club.
The club will don the look of the classic 1960s NYC comedy clubs and will have 50 seats. Hofstetter says the aim is not to go after tourists but comic fans and “people who can enjoy what we’re putting on stage.”
And who will be on stage? With a lineup of Buddy Bolton, Dave Goldstein, Kerri Louise, Victor Varnado and Hofstetter himself, he guarantees that there will be something for everyone. His style of comedy lends itself to social commentary.
“I love taking things that people generally accept as truth and show them why they’re wrong,” he said. His two main topics right now: national security and Extreme Homemakeover. At 13 years old, he began doing improvisation comedy, then in later years, worked his way up from passing out flyers on the streets promoting shows as a barker, then producing shows and now, owner.
The club, located at 47-38 Vernon Blvd. will issue 10 shows a week. Shows will be at 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. There will also be special nights where people can enter at discounted rates such as Soldier Sundays and College Nights on Thursdays. The Laughing Devil Presents will be the club’s main show offering a generic mix of comedians, much like during opening week.
The club is also offering discounts to anyone with a Long Island City zipcode.
“We want people to have fun above all,” Hofstetter said. “We want them to leave with a greater knowledge of comedy.”
Hofstetter admits that he has spent a lot of his life mistakenly trying to forget Queens because growing up, he was taught, like many Queensites, that Manhattan was known as the place to be, to live, to work.
“It’s good to be back, it’s a wonderful place and I’m happy that I’ve grown up enough and matured enough to be appreciative of Queens,” he said.
For more information on showtimes and tickets, visit laughingdevil.com.