Eulogizing Mottley’s

Mottley’s comedy club was open for a short stint and it attracted the weird, the outrageous and the desperate. I spent many nights with the club, hanging around trying to get 5-minute sets to live and die by. I’d march through alleyways to the frontlines of Faneuil hall. The battlefield was a darkened basement, perfumed in stale beer farts and cabbage, where comics had the luxury to say whatever they wanted. How often do you get a job you love, you can say anything, and your bosses encourage your despicable behavior? That’s what Mottley’s was; it was unbolted, unbridled and willing to take chances. Shows like The Good Stuff with Tom Dustin, Chris Coxen and Nate Johnson’s character sketch show, and Erin Judge and Bethany Van Delft’s stylish Dress-Up Show. Going to these shows you knew anything could happen. The send-off shows for comics moving out of Boston like Shane Mauss helped instill a sense of community in the local comedy scene. When Shawn Donovan and Josh Gondelman were heading out on their first comedy road trip, Mottley’s let them do a good-bye show, only to give the boys extra money to help finance their travels.

The owners of Mottley’s Jeff Fairbanks, Jon Lincoln, and Tim Mcintire were generous, nurturing, and patient. They put this club together to give comics more than just stage time, an education. I learned not to drink alcohol and yell accusations at dart players, that and how to be a better comic. The debt I owe these men is something I can never repay. Thank you doesn’t seem to cut it. The stage is empty now, and the future is unwritten. But I have comfort knowing that the generosity and pure creative spirit of Mottley’s lives on.


Gary Petersen

Gary is a contributor for

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