There's a fourth club, Cobbs, that's just about to open at this point, creating a roster of all-star talent incubators in the San Francisco Comedy Scene.
The show brings in a performance by the legendary Kevin Pollak, and then samples of performances by other comedians and talents of the time.
Alex Bennett was the missing element in the equation: "he was a big catalyst" to helping build the San Francisco comedy scene.
With open-mic nights, a bunch of Boston-comedians made the move to San Francisco... creating yet another influence in the movement. The San Francisco Comedy Competition was a big draw for many of them, "and if you did well, you're a star in San Francisco!"
Bobcat Goldthwaite talks about moving to San Francisco as a result of the competition and became a big star as a result:
"What changed for me is seeing my name on a marquee, which meant that people were coming specifically to see me...It meant I really was a comedian."
Other talents like Margaret Cho and Rob Schneider are brought into the mix and interviewed or excerpted. Ellen (yes, THE Ellen) was an opener!
Then things begin to change... "comedians are starting to take a page out of the Whoopi Goldberg playbook, and create their own shows."
You may have heard of 1991's "Defending the Caveman" - it was the first one of these types of shows.
Then as the comedy show scene began to contract, Mark Maron, Patton Oswalt, and other comedians started to come up through the ranks.
Patton talks about in a clip on the show and being genuinely surprised by how challenging performing at the Holy City Zoo was. And starting on May 5, 1992 - he was prompted to start writing new work.
And then in 1993, the Holy City Zoo went under. And then the Punchline?
Dave Chappelle got involved to try to help, although the fate of the club is unclear. But no matter what, stand-up is here to stay in San Francisco, and this episode is a fantastic look at it.
Looking forward to seeing what other cities in Season 2 of the History of Standup will be in store!