City Gardens: Jon Stewart bartended there

AmyWuelfing - Copy

Bet you didn’t know where Jon Stewart got his start. Amy Wuelfing, co-author of a new book on City Gardens, reveals that he started his stand-up career by bartending at that music club. Wuelfing, an ebullient redhead who is a VP at Caliper Corporation, brings her book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes, to  the Daily Show tonight (if you are podcasting, that’s March, April 25).

How did I know? My friend, Kate Newell, interviewed Wuelfing for U.S. 1 Newspaper for a fun article entitled No Slam Dancing and Definitely No Selfies.  Newell explains that City Gardens “was originally a late 1970s jazz club that opened in a old car dealer building on Calhoun Street and used the quasi-exotic moniker King Tut’s City Garden.” 

Maybe you were a regular on Thursdays at legendary 90 cent dance nights.  If so, you met Stewart, quoted in the book:  “I went there by myself — that’s what a loser I was. It was one of the few places you could dance by yourself. You could wear a brooch and no one would say anything. It was the ‘80s. We all dressed like Molly Ringwald and didn’t know why. Even the guys.”

Big name acts got their start here. Big name acts who could come only on Thursdays were turned down here — because they would interfere with 90 cent dance night!

Newell asks — “How did this all happen in a bunker-like building, in an economically obliterated city with nothing but flyers and word-of-mouth promotion?” And answers.

It’s an amazing and entertaining story. Here ‘s a link to the book, and here’s one to the article on

PS: Moms whose daughters are stage-struck or music-struck, there’s a lesson for you here. Your daughters can actually earn money AND follow their passion.




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