You’d be hard-pressed to find any comedy basement in the city that more closely resembles the classic, brick-lined institutions across New York. The Set Up at 222 Hyde St. has suffered through several changes as the street-facing bar has changed ownership a few times, but this version may be the best yet.
You can tell the guys who run it, Abhay Nadkarni and Richard Sarvate, really put their heart and soul into that show. It’s just a regular showcase style local stand-up comedy show but it’s really damn good. It’s almost too good.
On Hyde Street between Eddy and Turk is a weekly stand up show known as the The Setup. It takes place at The Basement every Saturday night; doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. There’s practically no stage and the comedians tell their jokes just a few feet from the crowd. It’s a great spot to scout talent at a cheap price—tickets to a show are just $12 each.
Nadkarni, who came to the United States from India in 2005, and Sarvate, whose parents immigrated to San Jose in the ’70s, are among a group of South Asian performers making their names in comedy stateside.
The Basement is a lounge that features comedy on the regular. It’s cool, though: with open mics on Thursdays and a mixed showcase of national and local talent every Saturday, it’s a fine spot to post up at. Think reclaimed wood whiskey bar with bonus points for its storied history as a former jazz club.
Truly a hidden gem! 90 minutes of solid stand up comedy -- great way to spend a Saturday night. Be sure to arrive early (maybe around 7:30pm) since seating is limited and fills up pretty fast. -Sabrina D.
Absolutely tremendous! We love comedy, go to a lot of comedy clubs and shows, and these were some of the funniest comedians we've ever seen. It was our first time at The Setup, and we can't wait for the next show! -Dana M.