Will 'Hot Tub' Help Make Silver Lake L.A.'s New Comedy Central?

Hot Tub's Kurt Braunohler thinks so, now that the Brooklyn-based comedy show comes to the Virgil, starting Monday, Jan. 7.


"It's on a creepy weird corner and when you go inside there is an amazing space."

Comedian Kurt Braunohler is talking about the Virgil, the former Little Temple bar.

Now owned by the folks who run Venice's Del Monte Speakeasy, it's at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Virgil Street in the still emerging  neighborhood known as Virgil Village.

Starting tonight, Jan. 7,  Braunohler and his partner Kristen Schaal will launch a weekly version of their long-standing New York City variety show at the Virgil.

Hot Tub With Kurt & Kristen is a free-flowing mix of comedy, music and quirk that Braunohler hopes will attract top name comics as well as locals who want to walk to a venue nearby.

"The idea behind Hot Tub is that it's a place for people to come and work out stuff and for up-and-comers to wow the crowd," he said.

For that reason, critics also expect the show to quickly find a place in the pantheon of top L.A. stand-up and sketch comedy stops that also includes UCB's Comedy Bang Bang, the Steve Allen Theater's Tomorrow! With Ron Lynch and The Meltdown at Hollywood's Meltdown Comics.

During its seven or so years in New York, Hot Tub hopscotched through several Manhattan venues before landing in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood at a bar and performance space called Littlefield.

Braunohler says the show attracted top comics like Zach Galifianakis who would stop by to test out material and see rising stars. 

He's hoping the L.A. incarnation will attract a similar mix.

Hot Tub also helped make Littlefield a comedy destination on other nights too, adding foot traffic to still sketchy Gowanus. 

Braunholer is expecting that to happen at the Virgil too, given the recent comedy hot spot Silver Lake has become with venues like the Hyperion Lyric Theater, Echoes Under Sunset and even the Echoplex doing comedy now

"Silver Lake is where every New York comedian goes to transplant," he said. "And we wanted to have something for them."

Well, maybe not tonight.

The kick off Monday--featuring Red Bastard, now of Cirque du Soleil and an early Hot Tub regular--is already sold out.

According to Hot Tub's Facebook page, a few tickets will available at the door starting at 7 p.m.

Admission is $5, $8 at the door, with $5 cocktail specials available until 9 p.m.

The Virgil is located at 4519 Santa Monica Blvd. 90029

Click through for ticket information.


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