It's a dirty joke! | Comedy club owners hit back after venues branded unclean © Google Maps

It's a dirty joke!

Comedy club owners hit back after venues branded unclean

Nottingham’s Just the Tonic Comedy Club has hit back after being named the second filthiest entertainment venue in the UK.

A study of reviews left on TripAdvisor found that more than one in ten visitors mentioned ‘dirtiness’ in their comments – leaving it second only to the Heaven nightclub in London.

However, the analysis by online betting guide OLBG took no account of the age of the reviews – including the fact the club has moved location over the years.

Indeed, just one person has left a comment about Just The Tonic in the past 12 months, and the last comment to mention the state of the venue came from 2016.

The report quotes one visitor saying: ‘The floor was so dirty that my shoes stuck to it’. However that was left more a decade ago, when the club was based in The Forum nightclub – which closed down eight years ago.

Club founder Darrell Martin told Chortle: ‘All this report shows is how stupid TripAdvisor is and how you can’t do anything with it even years after changes have been made.’

He added that analysing reviews from 12 years ago and assuming they are relevant today is 'similar to looking at photos of Britain in the 1970s and saying that all British people today seem to have really long hair, rather outdated flared trousers and drive Ford Cortinas'.

The club which most recently moved to the Metronome venue in 2019, has attracted a respectable 3.5 stars out of 5 on TripAdvisor.

Another visitor mentioned that ‘despite the toilets being filthy and the hand dryer broken, we had a good night.’

The Frog and Bucket in Manchester was named as second filthiest comedy club– which also rated 3.5 stars – but with 8.5 per cent of reviews mentioning keywords such as ‘dirty’, ‘unclean’ and ‘disgusting’.

However, the last comment to use the word ‘disgusting’ was commenting on a comedian’s ‘crude’ material, and the one before that referred to the behaviour of a drunk audience member.

Club boss Jessica Toomey said: ‘We have always received a five-star hygiene rating, including our most recent inspection on Monday this week.

‘We consistently get great reviews on Google that don't mention cleanliness, and find if any guests are refused entry or evicted they tend to go to TripAdvisor with falsities. 

‘We welcome thousands of happy customers a week, and have attracted thousands of positive reviews. I just hope like most, our cleaner doesn't read Chortle either or this will put her in a right bad mood.’

Third in the list was Up The Creek in Greenwich, South London, with 6.8 per cent of people mentioning the lack of cleanness, although that didn’t seem to affect people’s enjoyment overall as it rated 4 stars.

But because of the unscientific way the research was conducted, the club was also named the third CLEANEST comedy venue, with 3.4 per cent of visitors mentioning that.

Dirtiest comedy venues table

The Glee Club in Birmingham was deemed the cleanest comedy venue, and 19th cleanest entertainment venue overall, followed by the same chain’s Cardiff venue.

OLBG editor-in-chief Steve Madgwick said: ‘While most entertainment venues in the UK offer an exceptional service, there will always be a minority of visitors that leave feeling underwhelmed - and some may take to review sites to vent their frustrations.’ 

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Published: 11 Jul 2024

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