Ricky Gervais has released a video calling for people to help the Nottingham comedy club where he made his stand-up debut.
The Just the Tonic night started at the Old Vic pub in Fletcher Gate in 1994, and now has venues all over the UK.
It was forced to close due to the coronavirus outbreak which has led to financial difficulties.
The Office and After Life star said the club gave him his stand-up break and he wanted to give something back.
Just the Tonic has lost the revenue from six weekly Saturday night shows across the UK and the cancellation of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where in 2019 it did 180 shows in 24 days.
It has left the club under threat and struggling to pay staff, once it is out of furlough in October, owner Darrell Martin said.
Ricky Gervais offered to make an advert to help, remembering the support Mr Martin had given him early in his career.
Between 1998 and 2000, the comic appeared on Channel 4’s 11 O’Clock Show, but had never done a stand-up gig.
Mr Martin invited him to perform in Nottingham after they met at a gig in London.
“I didn’t realise [we were] watching the first gig of the future biggest comedian in the world,” said Mr Martin.
“He was very funny. Trouble is, I was fairly drunk and remember very little except I think he spoke about polar bears.
“I remember thinking it was amazingly good for a first time. He had that confidence already.”
Ricky Gervais said in the Twitter video, in support of the club: “[Just the Tonic] were the first venue that gave me my first ever paid stand-up gig, so this is me giving something back.
“Not money, just this [expletive] little video. I want you to help.”