Saving the Jukebox Comedy Club

Hi.  For those who don't know me, my name is Dan Conlin.  I live in Peoria, Illinois, a city of about 110,000 people on the Illinois River, midway between Chicago and St. Louis.   I'm a life-long Central Illinoisan - a Pekin High School, Illinois Central College and Illinois State University grad.  After working at one of the great radio stations, Rock 106, for almost 15 years, I started a new life as the owner of the
Jukebox Comedy Club in May of 2000.   I didn't have much money and very little clue what I was doing, but somehow we survived.
In fact, the Jukebox turned 30 years old November 12th.   We're the the 2nd oldest comedy club in Illinois and one of only twenty comedy clubs in the U.S. to reach 3 decades.    I was really proud of that milestone!   Getting there wasn't easy.   However, the expected laughter and 30th anniversary celebration were
non-existent.    We had to close again starting Nov. 4th - the 2nd Covid-19 shutdown. 

I love my family and friends, my girlfriend Holly and her babies, Parker and Allison.  I'm also crazy about animals,  respect the elderly and adore kids.
I've been hesitant to even start this Gofundme.   I've been thinking about it for weeks.   So many people are struggling, especially this year.   Why do I deserve your support?   I feel sub-par.   Beaten down by 2020.    

To be blunt, my finances have been devastated.   There has been very little help from the government.   During the first "shutdown," which started in March, we were closed for almost FOUR months.  The meager savings I had were gone by the end of June.   You see,  even when closed, expenses are nearly $9000 each month!   The $8700 received on July 5th from the Paycheck Protection Program didn't even cover ONE month of expenses but it did help us re-open.   

July 7th through Novmber 3rd, we were limited to 50 people in a comedy room that can seat 225.   Filling those 50 seats was difficult.   We followed all the guidelines but people were still worried.   Most stayed home.  
I don't blame them.   I have extremely high-risk friends and family.  I get it.  TOTALLY.    Staying closed and following the governor's and health department's guidelines is the RIGHT decision for me.   But it has come with a cost.

Our revenues for 2020 are down nearly 80% from 2019.
To say it's been BRUTAL would be an understatement.

Banks don't like loaning money to businesses that aren't open.   Grants have not come my way.    Desperation, however, has.   I have nothing left.

Friends and patrons have helped as much as they can by buying gift certificates through the website.   Those purchases helped pay a few bills.   For that I am
truly thankful. 

Unlike restaurants, I can't offer "curb-side comedy."  You can't call in for an order of Anthony Jeselnik with sides of Marlon Wayans,  Doug Stanhope and Tom Segura.   There's no Maria Bamford to-go or take outs of Norm Macdonald and Fortune Feimster.   But when we're OPEN at full-capacity,  those GREATS and hundreds more like them were dreams we realized MANY weekends!
It's a beautiful thing -- LIVE comedy -- in-person and up-CLOSE.   These national AND local comics are geniuses sharing a gift that few possess,  the uniquely-special  ART of stand-up comedy.

I hope to continue this journey until the day I die -- to hear the laughter here
forever in the hometown of Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison -- but I need your help.  

I humbly ask for your support.  Your generous donations will help pay tens of thousands of dollars in past-due and on-going monthly bills.   I do not expect it will be safe to re-open until the spring when vaccinations become more available in our area.  That's a really long time to hold out.

Each month there are two mortgage payments, two sets of real estate taxes,
SIX different insurance payments,  licenses due, utilities like electric, heat, water, sewer, security, phone, bookkeeping and more.   I also would love to help out
a couple of my employees who are struggling badly.       

Can you help?   It will mean the world to me.   I understand if you can't.

I will be forever grateful for each and every one of you who can. 

Thank you always!!

WEAR a mask.  Correctly. 



Donations (371)

  • Michael King
    • $11 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Tessie Bucklar
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $700 
    • 2 yrs
  • Samuel Getz
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs


Dan Conlin
Peoria, IL

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