A good sense of humor is practically required for living here—which may be the reason some of the country’s top comedy clubs are in NYC!
Most of the industry’s best comedians started in the Big Apple, at these very spots. 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.
Address: 1568 Second Ave New York, New York 10028
Tickets: $22.62, with a two item minimum purchase.
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.”
Address: 208 West 23rd St., New York, NY 10011
Tickets: $28-115, purchase on their website.
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).
Address: 241 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010
Tickets: $39, Purchase online.
4. Dangerfield’s, Lenox Hill
Named after iconic comedian Rodney Dangerfield, Dangerfield’s continues to live up to its high reputation. Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy, and Ray Romano all got their starts there. One of the best events to attend is their Thursday evening feature “CHARACTER FLAWED” featuring seven headliners from Comedy Central, Conan, The Tonight Show, MTV, VH1 and HBO along with up and coming comedians mixed in. If you’re an aspiring comedian, this is a very accessible event to participate in too!
Address: 1st Avenue & 61st Street, New York, NY 10065
Tickets: $20 plus two item minimum purchase, purchase online here.
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.
Address: 236 W 78th St, New York, NY 10024
Tickets: $15 weekdays, $20 weekends. Reserve a seat here.
7. Comedy Cellar
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!
Address: 117 Macdougal St #1267 OR at the Village Underground on 130 W. 3rd St.
Tickets: Make a show reservation on their website here, prices vary.
8. Carolines on Broadway
Carolines is right in the middle of Times Square, but don’t let that change your mind! It also opened in 1982, by lifelong comedy fan Caroline Hirsch. It started as a small cabaret club but turned into a full-fledged NYC comedy club through the ’80s as Caroline booked legends like Tim Allen, Billy Crystal and Rosie O’Donnell. It also produces the New York Comedy Festival every year.
Address: 1626 Broadway
Tickets: $18.00 – $92.50, see list of events here.
9. The Lantern Comedy Club
The Lantern 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.
Address: 167 Bleecker St. (rear showroom)
Tickets: FREE! No cover, $5 frozen margaritas. RSVP to upcoming shows on their website here.
10. Upright Citizens Brigade, Hell’s Kitchen
Okay, this is more of an improv theatre than NYC comedy club, we couldn’t not include Amy Poehler’s sketch show magic, the Upright Citizens Brigade. Their website rightfully declares they “defy category” with the best and most innovative improv, sketch, stand-up comedy, variety shows, and other “cool/weird stuff.” Perfect if you’re down for a unique but hilarious time!
Address: 555 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036
Tickets: $9-14, buy online here.
[Featured photo credit: Facebook / New York Comedy Club]