A look inside the new Parlor Live Comedy Club Seattle.

It’s not exactly the insanity of standup boom of the 1980s, but the comedy has been on a major upswing in recent years. Thanks to Twitter, podcasts, and other new media outlets, people are more connected to comedians than ever before. It’s a time for growth and Parlor Live is taking advantage of the uptick interest. The Bellevue-based comedy club is now making its way across the 405 and opening Parlor Live Comedy Club Seattle. The new downtown venue takes over at the former Fox Sport Grill location on 6th Avenue between Pike and Pine (1522 6th Ave). The comedy club officially opens this week with standup by comedian Kivi Rogers on June 12–14.

The club looks to bring in top touring standup talent that previously didn’t have a great spot to perform in Seattle, either because they were too big to play at spots like Comedy Underground or didn’t want to perform a singular theater date. The type of comedy that the club seeks to bring downtown also slightly differs from their Eastside offerings. “In Seattle, we can obviously book a little more edgier, more progressive comics,” says Boone Helm, Parlor Live’s marketing director.

The scheduled lineup at Parlor Live Seattle already looks impressive. Russell Peters headlines the slate when he comes to town for a weekend of shows next month (July 10–12). While he’s not necessarily a household name in the States, he’s arguably the biggest standup comedian on a worldwide level, having sold out venues like London’s O2 Arena. The upcoming calendar also features Seattle native Jeff Dye, Saturday Night Live impression master Jay Pharoah, alt-comedy favorite Brian Posehn, Jon Lovitz, David Alan Grier, and 24’s Mary Lynn Rajskub. Ther are also plans to start up a weekly comedy open mic at the club in short order.

The actual comedy club resides in the building’s lower level. The space can seat up to 400 people in single seats and VIP booths and the stage sports a cool, glacial backdrop. At least at the onset, the main floor for shows will be general admission seating. Like its Bellevue counterpart, Parlor Live Seattle will feature pool tables outside the comedy club (six total) for additional entertainment. The upper floor of the space is the Escape Lounge and Grill, which features a massive 27-foot video wall for watching games and waterfall behind the bar. In addition to the comedy club, the lower level features a full restaurant (entrees running roughly in the $20 range) and bar. Dinner and a show packages will be offered for comedy fans who want a one-stop night on the town. There’s also a private event room available for rental and the entire space can be rented out for private and corporate events and parties, which should occur frequently due to its extremely close proximity to the Washington State Convention Center.

While there isn’t a great distance between the two Parlor Live locations, there doesn’t appear to be any fears of oversaturating the comedy market.  “A lot of people don’t cross the bridge,” says Helm. “We found most people that come to Bellevue are from up and down the 405 corridor. Only about one in five of patrons in Bellevue are from Seattle. So hopefully there want be too much cannibalization (between the two clubs).” If all goes right, Parlor Live Seattle has a chance to not only bring in great touring acts, but also help bolster the Seattle comedy scene as a whole.

Russell Peters
July 10–12, Parlor Live Seattle, $40–$50

Jay Pharoah
July 17–19, Parlor Live Seattle, $25–$35

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