After more than a year of stand-up shows at the Fox & Hound in Quincy, Steve Sweeney officially will rechristen the room Steve Sweeney’s Comedy Den on Friday. He’ll perform with guests, and bring in headliners like Lenny Clarke, Christine Hurley, and Mark Riley monthly.
“We’re just kind of coming out of the closet,” says Sweeney, who also has a role in the Peter Farrelly film “The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” which opens Friday. “It was a function room and now we’re just making it a comedy club. It only holds 60 people, but I think, personally, an intimate setting is a great place to see a comedian. If they’re good.”
Sweeney won’t be at every show, but he’ll headline some shows and drop in sometimes. “I’m the house comedian, if you want to call it that,” he says. He has been collaborating with Collins Comedy Events on booking the club, but he has a history that stretches back to the ‘80s with a lot of the performers, including Clarke and Tony V. How many of the headliners are personal friends? “All of them,” Sweeney jokes. “Every one of them. And about half will admit it.”
Quincy has been Sweeney’s home for 30 years, and he’s happy to give the South Shore a cozy stand-up venue. With its smaller size and exposed brick, on first glance it reminded Sweeney of The Improv in New York. “It’s a really nice little room,” he says, “and feels like a comedy room.”
If things go well, the club at 123 Sea St. could expand the stand-up shows beyond one a month. Comedian Mike Koutrobis has begun teaching an “Intro to Stand-up” class at the venue, with plans to add a second-level course. And Sweeney imagines the Den could also host local fund-raisers and events.
“I started in theater,” he says, “and when a town has a theater or a city has a theater, it’s kind of part of the community. My concept is: Make it part of the community.”
Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at email@example.com.