It is this comedy fan's humble opinion that there are fewer men funnier than John Mulaney. I've watched all of his stand-up specials and was excited to sit down and watch his new interview with David Letterman on Netflix. What I didn't expect was for Mulaney to remember a Cedar Rapids comedy club that he visited decades ago.

'My Next Guest Needs No Introduction' is an interview-style program hosted by David Letterman and airs on Netflix. A typical show features a sit-down interview with a celebrity as well as visiting sites that were important to that star. On April 30th, a new episode featuring comedian John Mulaney premiered on the streaming service.

I'm a huge Mulaney fan and I never miss something that he is involved in. So imagine my surprise when during a segment of the interview, Mulaney talked to Letterman about figuring out that you could do stand-up as a career. He talked about friend and fellow comedian Mike Birbiglia touring and getting paid for gigs, including one you've probably heard of before!

John Mulaney randomly pulls out the name of Penguins Comedy Club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa during a Netflix special. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised! After watching the rest of the show, my thoughts turned back to Mulaney. Did he ever play Penguins?

I touched base yesterday with Jeff Johnson, who ran Penguins Comedy Club for years in downtown Cedar Rapids. The comedy club was a Cedar Rapids staple until the flood of 2008. The club returned in 2010, sharing space with The Piano Lounge, according to the Gazette. The Piano Lounge became The Vault in 2012, and in 2014 Johnson sold the club to the new Vault owners but kept ownership of the Penguins name.

"Mike Birbiglia: Thank God For Jokes" Opening Night
Bryan Bedder

In my conversation with Jeff, he confirmed that Mulaney had indeed played in Cedar Rapids. He opened for Mike Birbiglia in either 2005 or 2006. The club must have made an impression on him!

Johnson went on to name a few of the other big-name comedians who had made their way through Cedar Rapids including, Brian Regan, Jeff Dunham, Pauly Shore, Ron White, Jay Mohr, and Mitch Hedberg just to name a few!

While Penguins the club might be gone, Johnson is still booking comedy shows using the Penguins name and booking them at the Olympic Theater and The Ideal Theater in Cedar Rapids. You can check out a schedule of upcoming shows HERE.

98.1 KHAK logo
Get our free mobile app

Did You Know These Famous People Were From Iowa?

A Look Back at Lindale Plaza in Cedar Rapids

Lindale Plaza opened on Cedar Rapids' northeast side in 1960. Two decades later the plaza area was enclosed, resulting in Lindale Mall.

Gallery Credit: Lindale Mall

More From 98.1 KHAK