It’s no secret NYC offers some of the best entertainment around. From Broadway shows to live music concerts, to even hilarious comedy shows! And the hustle bustle of the city is a huge reason why most of the best comedians started out their careers in the Big Apple, right at these very spots!
Whether you’re looking for something new to do on a night out, or want to impress a date with a night of jokes, we’ve got some of the most iconic places to do it. Here are the best comedy clubs in NYC to visit the next time you need a good laugh.
1. The Comic Strip Live, Upper East Side
The Comic Strip Live opened in 1975, and is therefore the longest running showcase comedy club in NYC, and the world. The likes of Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld and more began their careers there, and even return from time to time to do new sets. They’re open seven days a week and work on nurturing the most talented up-and-coming comedians with regularly scheduled open mics, new talent showcases, and stand-up comedy classes!
Where: 1568 2nd Ave
2. Gotham Comedy Club, Chelsea
Housed in a 1929 building next door to the historic Chelsea Hotel, The Gotham Comedy Club is known for its design and ambiance as well as its fantastic lineups. They embrace a 1920s live theatre vibe so you feel like you’re being transported back in time to the golden era of live entertainment as you walk through the red carpeted halls. It has been featured in many TV shows and films such as Jerry Seinfeld’s 2002 Miramax film “Comedian” and Larry David’s pilot of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Where: 208 W 23rd St
3. New York Comedy Club, Gramercy
New York Comedy Club has that “classic” look with a brick wall behind the stage, a candlelit showroom and traditional drink menu. They’ve updated drinks specials since new owners came in 2014, but the same high levels of talent are there. Current comedians include Sherrod Small (VH1’s Best Weekend Ever), Yamaneika Saunders, and Andrew Schulz (Guy Code).
Where: 241 E 24th St
4. Comedy Cellar, Greenwich Village
The Comedy Cellar opened in 1982. Their Instagram is littered with drop-in shows from famous comics like Sarah Silverman, Craig Robinson, Jim Gaffigan, Ali Wong, Amy Schumer and more. They also now have a no-phone policy at all shows and will ask you to secure your phone/smartwatch in a pouch so everyone can fully enjoy the show!
Where: 117 Macdougal St
5. Stand Up NY, Upper West Side
Stand Up NY opened in 1986 and has harnessed the talent of top comedians like Amy Schumer, Artie Lange and Aziz Ansari over the years. If you become a super fan, there’s even an annual membership pass called the “Stand Up NY LaughPass” that includes access to unlimited shows, a free drink upon arrival, VIP choice seating, and more.
Where: 236 W 78th St
7. The Comedy Shop, Greenwich Village
The Comedy Shop (aka the former Lantern Comedy Club) is a bar, restaurant and NYC comedy club all in one! You don’t have to buy any tickets: the shows are completely free (with a one-drink minimum). You can reserve a seat online but you must arrive 20 minutes before the show or your seat will be given away. This is a great spot to catch more up-and-coming NYC comedians.
Where: 167 Bleecker St
8. Village Underground, Greenwich Village
The sister section to NYC’s iconic Comedy Cellar is Village Underground, which continually hosts the longest running and most prestigious open mic nights on Sundays. Although it used to also serve as a live music venue for bands too, Village Underground has transitioned into a 7-day-a-week comedy hub that boasts a blue-lit atmosphere surrounded by booths and candlelit tables.
Where: 130 W 3rd St
9. Caveat, Lower East Side
This cabaret comedy theater located deep under Clinton Street serves up cheap drinks and tons of laughs! You’ll find everything from typical comedy shows to “glorious nerds, pun-masters, West Wing speech writers, award-winning scientists, New Yorker cartoonists, powerpoint professionals and all-round hilarious people entertain you.”
Where: 21A Clinton St
10. The Grisly Pear, Greenwich Village & Midtown
This lovely comedy club doubles as a dive bar, and features a variety of New York based comedians on the daily! Their main location in Greenwich Village is their original flagship, but they also have a newly opened location in Midtown too. It’s cute for a date spot if you want something different, or perfect to stop by if you want a quick laugh!
Greenwich Village – 107 MacDougal St
Midtown – 243 W 54th St