NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–After her March 26 set at New Brunswick’s Stress Factory Comedy Club ended in boos and jeers, Margaret Cho returned to the Hub City on April 21 for a surprise “do-over” show orchestrated by none other than Jerry Seinfeld.
Seinfeld, one of America’s top comedians, had not previously performed at the club, which has been located in downtown New Brunswick since the 1980’s and attracted many famous acts to the Hub City.
According to the New York Times, Cho told Seinfeld about the bad set while filming an episode of the web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” and, in Seinfeld’s words, he wanted to see if they could “try to make things right.”
The New Brunswick comedy club was the scne of the March show, where Cho’s unflinching discussion of her rape, white privilege, racism, and the death of her close friend, comedian Garry Shandling, led to loud boos, angry yelling, and many disappointed customers.
A special affinity for the recently-deceased Shandling, also considered one of the most influential comedians in recent history, was something that Seinfeld and Cho shared, as evidenced in an episode of the web series titled “It’s Great That Garry Shandling is Still Alive.”
As Seinfeld wrote in an invitation to all ticketbuyers from the March 26 show, “At most workplaces, if there’s a problem on the job, there’s a conversation and usually some sort of outcome. But when a stand-up show doesn’t go well, the audience and the comedian both go home unhappy, sometimes not really sure what went wrong.”
The show began with a discussion, moderated by Seinfeld, between Cho and the audience, followed by a set by Seinfeld, and new material by Cho.
“This show is the first time anything like this has happened in this industry and I am proud to stand up for this club and give us another chance together,” Cho wrote.
According to the Asbury Park Press, the second-chance set went much better than the original, which pleased club owner Vinnie Brand.
“On my bucket list of performers who had never worked here, Jerry Seinfeld was one and I’m a big Margaret Cho fan,” Brand told APP’s Chris Jordan. “For me it’s a double win. I get my bucket list and Margaret gets to come back and do a little redemption.”
“For her to come back and redeem the set, that’s phenomenal.“