If you say Bananas to a Dutchess County Native, a yellow fruit might not be the first thing they think of. A popular comedy club may come to mind first. Bananas Comedy Club on Rte. 9 was an institution in Poughkeepsie, bringing in A-list comedians every weekend. It's where Jimmy Fallon got his start, believe it or not. Sadly, Bananas closed years ago, as did the motel that housed the club.

Luckily, Arlington High School graduate and local comedian Dan McRitchie wanted to see to it that comedy remained in Dutchess County, so in 2015 he opened up a comedy room in Mahoney’s Steakhouse and Irish Pub in Poughkeepsie called Laugh It Up. The club did well and booked some top-notch comedians, but unfortunately had to close when covid hit.

During the pandemic, the site of the motel and Bananas Comedy Club was renovated and is now a beautiful new Holiday Inn. And Dan McRitchie is opening up the new Laugh It Up! Comedy Club in the very location where Bananas sat. This is exciting news for comedy lovers in the Hudson Valley. There will be two rooms, and you’ll be able to enjoy dinner and a show, plus there are several overnight packages available.

Laugh It Up @ The Holiday Inn opens on Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 with comedians Ken Krantz, Adam Izzo and Ritu Chandra, on May 7 and 8 it’s Gene Trifolo, James Mattern, and Kingston’s own Rich Shultis. And they’ve got great comedians booked through the end of June. For the full lineup, special packages, and more information, visit the Laugh It Up! website.

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