Your Cart

Account

Cart

Checkout

The Night the Holy City Zoo Closed

The following article by Robert S. Wieder was culled from the San Francisco Examiner’s Sunday, July 1 1984 issue:

Robin Williams was there, of course, but didn’t much want to talk about it. It was a highly personal moment. He did his earliest stand-up here, met his oldest friends here, met his wife here. This is where he learned his craft, and it was a sad, melancholy night on June 19, 1984. The Holy City Zoo, a legend among America’s comedy clubs, the ultimate “comedian’s hangout,” folded after 13 years.

“I’m sad,” said Robin. ” We had wonderful times here, strange times here; this wasn’t a haven, it was a game preserve. I remember a big black guy who’d come in with a baseball bat and say ‘I’d like to audition.’ But a lot of that is in the past. So many changes.” Comic Perry Kurtz rented a chain saw to carve the stage wall into souvenirs. “I’d give (former Zoo manager John) Cantu’s right arm to keep this club open,” he said.

It ended at 2 a.m. with various comics onstage singing “Well Meet Again” and “Happy Trails.” Outside, Mike Pritchard sighed, “In the past month I’ve helped close the Open-Theater, hosted the memorial for Dave Allen, and now this.” A hand-printed notice on the back wall declared that a “New Zoo, better than ever will soon open elsewhere.” Nobody buys it. Nothing, all agree, can replace the Zoo. An era was over.

More Gourmet Blogage

from the shop

check out more designs in the shop »

Drop your email addy to subscribe to our occasional newsletter with a few blog posts, new designs, and even coupon codes and deals.

Pity Kitty

Pity Kitty figurines were made by the Enesco company in the late ’60s through the ’70s and were quite popular for some reason. It’s hard

Read More »
Psyne Co.