‘Testing The Waters’: Comedian Joe Matarese Opens New Comedy Club In Scarsdale

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He’s appeared on America’s Got Talent and performed for the likes of David Letterman, Howard Stern, and Chelsea Handler. 

Now, comedian Joe Matarese is bringing “New York City’s best comedy” to Westchester County.

On Thursday, July 28, the 30-year veteran stand-up will mark the grand opening of his latest venture, B-Side Comedy Club, a 60-seat venue located on Garth Road in Scarsdale.

Joining Matarese on stage will be fellow comedians Nick Scopoletti, Pete Ungar, and Daniel Tirado.

But Matarese, who lives in New Rochelle with his wife and two kids, wants to make one thing clear: his club will not be the Joe Matarese Show.

Instead, patrons can expect to see a fresh lineup of hilarious “A-list” acts on a weekly basis. 

“I don’t want it to be your cookie-cutter comedy club,” Matarese told Daily Voice.

And he would know a thing or two about what audiences – and comedians – expect in a great laugh factory.

Matarese began “dabbling” in stand-up at just 19 years old, booking his own gigs in South Jersey and Philadelphia.

“That’s how you got stage time,” he said.

He later moved to New York City and landed appearances on late-night shows, including The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and Craig Ferguson.

“Unfortunately, social media didn’t exist,” Matarese said. “We just got on TV all the time and we had to hope people watched it while it was on because it didn’t exist once it was over unless it came on as a re-run.”

From there, his success snowballed to include regular appearances on Chelsea Lately, four performances at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival, and his very own comedy specials, including one on Comedy Central.

But Matarese said it was ultimately the COVID-19 pandemic that set the wheels in motion for him to open a comedy club in Scarsdale.

Like many businesses, Jackie B’s bar and restaurant struggled to stay afloat while adhering to state occupancy mandates and resorted to using outdoor tents to accommodate diners.

Owner Scott Weishaus agreed to let Matarese perform outside of the restaurant and it wasn’t long before he was doing two sold-out shows a night.

During the winter months, performances were moved inside to a vacant space adjacent to the restaurant. That’s when Matarese realized the place made for the perfect comedy club.

With Weishaus’ endorsement, and the help of comedy producer Greg Alprin, B-Side Comedy Club was born – so named for being next-door to Jackie B’s restaurant.

Matarese said the plan is to attract patrons with big-name comedians during the week.

“It’s not just a couple-a-night club in somebody else’s place,” Matarese said. “I’m probably going to do live podcasts in front of audiences and even some live music.”

For newbies interested in taking a crack at stand-up, B-Side will also host open mic nights on Tuesdays with free entry. The first open mic night is slated for Tuesday, July 26.

Matarese’s advice for novice comedians?

“I always tell people if you’re afraid to do comedy for the first time, go to an open mic night and watch, and you’ll realize most of these people are not good and you got nothing to be afraid of.”

For Matarese, opening his own comedy club is not an exercise in narcissism, but rather a chance to flex his entrepreneurial side. He likened himself to professional baseball players who also serve as manager.

“You don’t have to be out of the business to start a business,” he said.

The new club is also an opportunity to fill what Matarese describes as a void of comedy offerings in the area, noting that those hungry for a good show must travel to either New York City or Rockland County.

“I’m testing the waters in a small venue, seeing if Westchester will support a comedy club,” he said. “I want every comedian to leave and go, ‘woah, that was great.’”

B-Side Comedy Club is located at 28 Garth Road in Scarsdale. See the complete lineup of shows on its website

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