NYC’s hottest comedy show, with an 11,000-person waitlist, is in an iconic sports store

This athletics store is giving New York City comedy golf equipment a run for his or her cash.

Of all of the venues throughout Manhattan to current a two-night, eight-show, 30-comic pageant, the historic Paragon Sports store off Union Square is fairly the unlikely host.

But that is certainly what can be occurring on the 116-year-old family-owned specialty store subsequent week throughout the first of a doubtlessly annual pageant produced by David Levine and Ethan Mansoor, the 25-year-old duo behind Underground Overground Comedy. 

Since April 2021, the Manhattan natives have organized comedy reveals in stunning locations — rearranging merchandise, tables and extra to arrange seats and makeshift phases in inconceivable venues. So far, an Alphabet City laundromat, an Upper East Side health club, Lower East Side staple Economy Candy, Katz’s Delicatessen, Astor Place Hairstylists and extra have welcomed comics, joking about love and intercourse and personal jets among the many racks and dryers and pastrami.

The reveals have constantly bought out, and, at one level, there was an 11,000-person waitlist.

“What people love our shows for is going to places that they grew up going to in a different context,” defined Mansoor of their reputation. “If you talk to a lot of New Yorkers, they’ll be like ‘Oh my God I got my first pair of skis [at Paragon] in 1980.”

“It’s not just a show — it’s an event,” Levine famous, including that they attempt to supply audiences not simply stand-up in unusual places however all-in-one evenings of leisure in areas which can be intrinsically, inseparably a part of the material of New York City.

Often, admission comes with on-theme perks to match: Tickets to the Paragon pageant additionally embody Joe’s Pizza.

paragon sports comedy festival
People ready in line to see an Underground Overground present at Paragon Sports on October 11, 2023. Will Devito/
paragon sports comedy festival
Roy Wood Jr. carried out in entrance of a crowd in the ski division of Paragon Sports on February 23, 2023. Will Devito/

Now, the pair — who met as youngsters, on the P.S. 6 chess workforce — are leveling up with what can be by far their most bold manufacturing but and “our biggest event to date,” Mansoor instructed The Post.

While they’ve completed separate reveals on each ground of Paragon over the course of the eight reveals they’ve hosted there since final February, their upcoming laugh lineup can be a feat of scheduling involving units occurring on each ground concurrently.

So far, their first fest is off to begin: Within days of tickets for the May 15 and 16 reveals going live on April 17, all 1,200 had bought out at $65 a pop — and with out followers even realizing who’s slated to carry out.

The lineup secrecy is typical of Levine and Mansoor, who keep away from utilizing expertise to supply their reveals, as an alternative counting on their repute for parading out large names — together with “Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. and “Saturday Night Live” solid member Marcello Hernandez — and providing a singular expertise in an surprising, nostalgia-rich setting. 

paragon sports comedy festival
Behind the bar at Paragon Sports on January 31, 2024. Will Devito/
paragon sports comedy festival
Ethan Simmons Patterson performing in entrance of a crowd in the ski division of Paragon Sports on February 23, 2023. Will Devito/

Paragon stated they’re excited to be concerned and lend their sprawling sq. footage and iconic New York model to a goal past retail.

Ever since making it by COVID, the corporate has tried particularly arduous “to create unique events that bring in new customers,” stated Zachary Blank, Paragon’s fourth-generation CEO, whose great-grandfather began the enterprise in 1908.

Working with Underground Overground has, up to now, been a “phenomenal experience,” Blank added. “They bring in an awesome crowd. Everybody’s super nice and extremely polite on the way out, which doesn’t always happen.”

paragon sports comedy festival
Paragon Sports’ tennis room, proper earlier than the present began on January 31, 2024. Will Devito/
paragon sports comedy festival
Cipha Sounds carried out in entrance of a crowd in the cross-country part of Paragon Sports on October 11, 2023. Will Devito/

With their venue host excited, all their tickets bought and pre-press secured, Levine and Mansoor don’t have a lot left to do for the pageant however wait — and fear that one in all their headliners will get last-minute comps to sit down courtside at a Knicks sport and drop out. 

“We can’t blame them,” stated Levine of any comedian who cancels with such an excuse, “‘but I’ve been praying that the Knicks lose.”

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