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Stand-up comedians are performing at socially distanced drive-in movie theaters

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Drive-in entertainment is having a moment.

The Bel Aire Diner, which has recently experienced wild success with its drive-in movies, is not only reviving the retro film-watching format, but applying it to live comedy shows.

Less than a month after kicking off its drive-in series with a screening of “Grease,” the Astoria eatery hosted a stand-up show in its adjacent parking lot Tuesday. “Bel Aire was laughing out loud today when the comics came to town,” the family-owned diner posted following the event. “Such a fun and interesting evening out.”

For the comedy drive-in, a lineup of comedians with credentials including “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Comedy Central and Netflix’s “The Degenerates” stood in the bed of a pickup and delivered their lines to a lot of some 45 socially distanced cars. Audience members paid $32 a car to attend.

“This is like a Zoom show except there’s no delay on the laughter. There’s just no laughter,” one performer joked. The audience instead expressed their approval by honking, shouting and slapping the roofs of their cars.

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“It’s great to be back on stage” one comedian commented of the experience, adding that the new pandemic performance format would still take some getting used to.



For their sets, comedians leaned into the coronavirus theme.

“Face masks, I like it, everybody staying safe. If you have one in your car, please take it off,” joked a performer, to honking. “You don’t [have to wear one], in your car, unless you don’t trust the person you came with, and then, we got problems people.”

The diner has been blown away by the response to their events, which sell out within seconds of making tickets available.

“We’re like The Beatles now,” the Bel Aire’s manager, Kal Dellaportas, tells The Post. “I can’t imagine that after social-distancing guidelines are relaxed, it continues to be a thing.”

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