Due to its close proximity to NYC, New Jersey comedy venues and shows attract top talent who also perform in NYC, or have chosen to live nearby in NJ.
While Comedy venues have not seen a return to their peak days in the eighties, many have been closed because poor business practices and the venues that have survived are well financed and able to attract headliners.
While there has been a substantial paring down of clubs in line with the supply of headliners, today the successful New Jersey comedy venues are well financed and cover the costs of headliners with cover charges.
At one point there were many more New Jersey comedy venues than headliners, and in order to survive, some clubs decided to start headlining people who weren't headliners and that had 50 minutes of time killing material. The audiences were quick to experience this tactic and quit coming to these clubs.
Many of these venues turned to alternative ways of filling their clubs by letting people in for free and making their money off the drinks.