Improving the Improv (get it?)

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Those in the comedy know might have noticed a slight change to one of the city's more well-known stand-up clubs: the New York Improv (located on West 53rd Street) recently had a name change, and is now known as the Broadway Comedy Club. The club still features its signature sketch-comedy shows—Chicago City Limits and ComedySportz—as well as stand-up showcases. The only difference is the name.

The change seemed sudden—in a span of literally 24 hours, the Improv's MySpace page went from active to deleted, and the club's website disappeared. Legal troubles have plagued the club as well—a fight between the Improv (the legendary club that opened in 1963, and has spawned a plethora of franchises) and the NY Improv over the right to use Improv has been brewing for years. But according to Al Martin, owner of the Improv (shoot—I mean the BCC), the change has been in the works for some time. "It happened as of November 15th," he says. "The time felt right for a change." Some interesting new media ventures for the club, TV and otherwise are apparently in the offing as a result of this change; of course, they're all very hush-hush. But rest assured: It's still the same New York Improv, but with this one slight adjustment. (Okay, so a name change isn't slight, per se; but the important thing is that's all that changed. Right?)

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