My city of Albany, NY got a little special attention on last night’s episode of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
So why were we featured? Was it a story on the recent election? A story on how the Governor is helping distressed New York City? A story on how Albany, the capital of New York State, is often overshadowed by the five boroughs downstate?
Nope – it was a story about strip clubs.
A local proprietor of Albany’s only all-nude strip club is trying to get out of paying taxes on the business, citing an exemption in the tax code for “musical and dramatic performances.” The strippers at Nite Moves, he argues, should be covered by this exemption. Basically, his case rode on his ability to convince the judges of the NYS Court of Appeals that exotic dancing was art.
I live in a nutty city.
Unfortunately, Colbert himself never came to town for the segment. The interviews were all done by segment producers. Featured in the clip was the arts editor of the local newspaper, who also writes one of my favorite blogs on restaurants and food in the Capital District. I don’t know Steve personally, but he’s a bit of a local celebrity so it was fun to see him on a national television program.
This isn’t the first time that the Albany area has gotten some love from the entertainment industry. Portions of the movie Salt (with Angelina Jolie) and The Other Guys (with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) were filmed downtown in the last few years and HBO was in Albany in May filming portions of their to be released biopic on Muhammad Ali. The area really got all worked into a tizzy when Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper were in Schenectady filming The Place Beyond the Pines last summer (to be released in 2013). Gosling sightings became an area pastime. You have no idea how mad I am that I never saw any of these people. To think that Brad Pitt was just down the street from my office. Sigh.
Last night’s segment on The Colbert Report is below if you missed it or if you are curious how the court case turned out. Funny stuff!