Laughing Derby employees raising money to buy the comedy club be - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Laughing Derby employees raising money to buy the comedy club before it closes

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A Louisville comedy club that’s been open since the 1980s could soon close if it doesn't find a buyer.

“We're in a position where we just can't keep it up anymore,” said Jamie Utley, part-owner of Laughing Derby.

The Laughing Derby owners announced it’s for sale last week. It didn’t take long for the employees to jump into action.

“This is literally a second home for me,” box office manager Diannea Comstock said.

Comstock and her co-workers are putting their heads and their money together to find a way to save the Highlands comedy club. They want to buy it.

If it closes, “then you're not going to have anywhere here locally in a 50 to 75 mile radius for anyone to practice their art. You're not going to have your next Seinfeld. They may be here. You just don't know it,” Comstock said.

They set up a GoFundMe account, and they’re hosting a fundraiser show on Thursday at 8 p.m.

The club already lost its liquor license last week because the owners couldn’t pull enough money together to keep it.

“Over the weekend, we did not have a liquor license, and we're working very hard to get that resolved today,” Utley said.

Workers say the comedy industry is actually thriving, but poor decisions made by the owners are causing the club to fail.

“Some of the main decisions are not made locally, so I think the staff will make a big difference because they understand Louisville,” Utley said.

The employees hope to scrape enough money together in the next 30 days to save their second home.

Comics like Jay Leno, Steve Harvey, Paula Poundstone, Paul Reiser, Sinbad and countless others have performed at the Laughing Derby at Mid City Mall that was once called Comedy Caravan. 

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