Comedy Club (no Russian title) is a highly popular Russian stand-up comedy show. The show began airing in 2005 and surpassed its 500th episode in December 2016; as of this writing, there are almost 530. According to the show’s website on TV channel TNT, “The residents’ jokes live in our consciousnesses … they are called the legislators of contemporary humor in Russia. Today, the regular army of the best humorists of TNT continues to work to improve the entire country’s mood each Friday.”

The show was, of course, founded by a former KVN team, the New Armenians (Новые армяне). The “comedy club” itself began in 2003, and then took to the airwaves a few years later. In 2007 the show’s leaders founded their own production company, and they now have their own TV channel that airs their various shows.

The show has one host, currently Pavel Volya (Павел Воля), who took over in 2015. He’s also a KVN veteran—he was on the team Valeon Dasson (Валеон Дассон). In addition to Comedy Club, he also hosts Comedy Battle (Comedy Баттл) and has his own one-man show, Improvisation (Импровизация). He’s had minor roles in a few major recent films and has released several musical albums.

There are also a number of “residents,” who appear and perform on most episodes, doing stand-up comedy, performing sketches, and interviewing guests. A few of the more familiar names are Aleksandr Revva (Александр Ревва), aka Artur Pirozhkov (Артур Пирожков), and Mikhail Galustyan (Михаил Галустян), both of whom perform sketches, or “миниатюры.” Musical groups also perform on the show from time to time, including United Sexy Boyz, or USB: they’re a pop parody group who claim to be banned all over Russia.

The show is quite beloved overall, but of course it has its criticisms, as everything in the genre does—that it’s too commercial, there’s too much toilet humor, there’s too much cursing. It’s even been said that the political satire is simply stupid. Despite this, though, it’s already become an institution in Russian comedy programming.

 

Producers: Artur Dzhanibekyan (Артур Джанибекян), Garik Martirosyan (Гарик Мартиросян), David Surmalyan (Давид Сурмалян)
Host: Pavel Volya (Павел Воля)
Production company: Comedy Club Production
TV channe: TNT (ТНТ)

 

The show’s official website , and their site on TNT.

 

The show’s official YouTube channel, with full episodes and clips.

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.