Comedy

Backdoor Comedy Club Will Move to a Bar in Richardson

Linda Stogner performing at Backdoor Comedy Club during its last weekend at the DoubleTree.
Linda Stogner performing at Backdoor Comedy Club during its last weekend at the DoubleTree. Barry Whitewater


It's the end of an era as Backdoor Comedy Club says goodbye to its DoubleTree location.

This past weekend featured Backdoor's last shows in the Hilton Dallas on Central Expressway, as the hotel is expanding its bar area and pushing the comedy club out. Linda Stogner, co-owner of Backdoor, says the club will move to The Line Public House in Richardson sometime in mid-July.

Backdoor Comedy Club was at the Campbell Centre for 12 years and saw 12,000 comedians' sets, Stogner writes in a Facebook post.

This isn't the club's first move. Stogner says she and her co-owner, Jan Norton, have moved more than 10 times in their 30-year history with the club.

"We've been around for so long, and we've been through all kinds of places," Stogner says. "We were above a bowling alley and an adult disco at one point."

Stogner and Norton don't think moving will affect their club's success, because they believe comics keep coming back simply for the stage time.

"Being a female in this business and staying in comedy this long is a feat." — Jan Norton

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"Comics want stage time, and not to brag or anything, but we always put on a good show, and I think they benefit from it," Stogner says.

They chose the Richardson bar because they will have their own room and the owners of the bar were "really nice and welcoming."

"It's important for us to keep going," Stogner says. "We can't be down for any time because then you get the C-word — closed — and it's hard to bounce back."

Stogner and Norton have been in business together for 30 years, and they say the key to a successful partnership is having the same goals.

"The secret to all of it is the passion for stand-up comedy," Stogner says.

"Being a female in this business and staying in comedy this long is a feat," Norton says. "The fact that it's two women and it's a boys club ... you gotta prove yourself with the boys out there."

Aaron Aryanpur, a Dallas comic, says he's seen many phases of the Backdoor Comedy Club.

"I didn’t realize how emotional I’d be Saturday, though," he says. "I spent my comedy 30s there. When I think of the happier times in my stand-up life — performing with my up-and-coming friends, writing sessions, New Year's Eves — it’s all been at that club. It’s a real bummer to see that chapter close, but the club also seems stronger with each new version. We’re all better for having that stage time and being in front of so many different types of crowds. We owe a lot to Jan and Linda."
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner

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