NYC.com's Guide to New York City Comedy Clubs
If laughter is your thing, New York City's comedy clubs should definitely be part of your itinerary during your stay in the Big Apple. Our NYC.com Guide to Comedy Clubs below informs you about all the legendary comedy venues in the city as well as a list of popular comedy shows which are filmed in New York on an almost daily basis. Why not go to a live taping of one them while you're in Manhattan by clicking on the links provided below?
New York is the capital of comedy in America—and comedians here know: if they can make you laugh here, they can make you laugh anywhere.
Caroline's Comedy Club 1626 Broadway (212) 757-4100
Located in the heart of New York City's vibrant Times Square district, Caroline's on Broadway is widely regarded as "America's Premier Comedy Nightclub" presenting the live comedy entertainment seven nights a week, 365 days a year. In 2007, Caroline's on Broadway celebrated 25 years of keeping New York and the world laughing. Just steps from many of Broadway's most well known theaters, Caroline's on Broadway provides the same quality entertainment one has come to expect of New York's legendary Great White Way. It is a New York institution and one of the cornerstones in the revitalization of Times Square. The 300-seat club with an elegant décor received critical acclaim when it received the American Institute of Architecture Award for Best Interior Club Design and was featured on the cover of Interior Design Magazine.
Gotham Comedy Club 208 W 23rd St (between 7th and 8th) (212) 367-9000
Native New Yorkers Chris Mazzilli and Michael Reisman opened the original Gotham Comedy Club in May 1996 and it has proven to be a leader in the industry, bringing comics such as Dave Chapelle, Lewis Black and Colin Quinn (to name a few) to the stage. Gotham Comedy Club has become the backdrop for many TV shows and films such as Jerry Seinfeld's 2002 Miramax film "Comedian" and Larry David's pilot of "Curb Your Enthusiasm". In 2005 Gotham Comedy Club opened it's new 10,000 square foot flagship location providing New York with live performances from today's elite comedians. Located in a 1929 building next door to the historic Chelsea Hotel, the new Gotham Comedy Club draws upon the charm and ambiance of the 1920s to capture the spirit of an upscale theater environment. Comedy Central's Live At Gotham features the country's hottest comedians doing fresh stand-up here. Each week, a new host introduces up-and-coming comedians for an hour of original comedy. NBC's Emmy-nominated series Last Comic Standing brings dueling comedians to duke it out on Gotham Comedy Club's stage, the comedy venue where some of the nation's most notorious comedians began their careers.
Ha! Comedy Club 163 W 46th St (212) 977-3884
Located in the heart of Times Square, HA! Is a great place to spend a fun-filled evening, or to stop by for late night laughs after dinner or the theater. With up to seven shows nightly, this club offers the variety and affordability to meet anyone's entertainment needs. Their featured comics are nationally touring acts on TV shows like Comedy Central's Premium Blend, Saturday Night Live, and others. Family friendly stand up performances are the 7:30pm and 8:30pm show times, with "down and dirty" comedy performances as the hour grows later.
New York Comedy Club 241 E 24th St (212) 696-5233
Expect shock value from the witty performers at this popular comedy venue. There seems to be no room for politeness among the gutsy comedians who share their straightforward and hysterical thoughts on life. Audiences will enjoy an evening of edgy and insightful humor. Chris Rock, notorious for speaking his mind, got his start here. Damon Wayans of In Living Color and Rodney Dangerfield have also entertained these audiences. NYCC also features Latino Laughter and African-American Nights. Admission is $5 and two-drink minimum Sunday through Thursday, $10 and two-drink minimum Friday and Saturday. Their Sunday Night Live Show at 8pm features both up and coming comedians as well as those favorites you see on Comedy Central, VH-1, BET, and MTV.
Broadway Comedy Club 318 W 53rd Street (212) 757-2323
The Broadway Comedy Club in the Broadway Theater District and in the heart of Times Square features NYC comics who appear on Letterman, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, Conan O'Brien, HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, and BET. The Chicago City Limits comedy troupe performs here on a regular basis, as does Lose Control, one of New York City's hottest variety performance troupes.
Comedy Cellar 117 MacDougal Street (212) 254-3480
The Comedy Cellar is a famous comedy club in New York's Greenwich Village featuring the edgiest acts, the widest variety, and a club atmosphere second to none. The crowd is an eclectic mix of Village hipsters, yuppie types, agents, producers and TV bookers. Stars like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, or Robin Williams will sometimes drop by here to try out new material. Each week consists of two shows a night on Sunday through Thursday, three shows each Friday, and four shows on Saturday. The Cellar is located under and connected to the Olive Tree Café, where many of the comedians like to hang out after performing.
National Comedy Theater 347 West 36th Street (212) 629-5202
For two decades, the National Comedy Theatre has been entertaining audiences of all sizes and types across the nation with their unique brand of interactive improv comedy. The New York City National Comedy Theatre Show is a comedy competition between two teams of professional comedians who perform a series of scenes - all based on audience suggestions. No two shows are ever the same because they are all completely improvised. Furthermore, the shows are appropriate for all audiences. The NCT presents weekly improv comedy performances in New York City as well as thousands of corporate entertainment events and private shows all around the world.
Comedy Village 82 West 3rd Street (212) 477-0130
The Comedy Village is one of the premiere comedy clubs in historic Greenwich Village and features some of the funniest names in comedy, including celebrity appearances from Dave Chappelle, Tracy Morgan, Dane Cook, George Lopez and many others. They also host special events, fundraisers, comedy classes, prom shows, open mikes, new talent showcases and one of the best Weekend All-Star Comedy shows in New York City.
Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater 307 W. 26th Street (212) 366-9176
The founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade (Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh) came to New York, from Chicago, in 1996. After staging their award winning sketch comedy show, and introducing the long form improvised structure of the "Harold" to New York audiences the UCB soon began their training program.The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre opened February 4, 1999 at 161 West 22nd Street, the former home of the New Harmony, a strip club reported to be seedier than seedy. The UCBT quickly became the place for great, cutting-edge, comedy. Casting directors, agents, and journalists all began to flock to the 74-seat theater in Chelsea to see the best comic talent in the city. On April 1, 2003, the New UCB Theater opened its doors. The 150-seat theater at 307 West 26th Street continues to offer the best and most innovative improv and sketch comedy in the city every day of the week. The UCB Theatre produces over 25 unique shows a week, often 4 shows nightly, ranging in price from $8 to free. There is never a drink minimum and beer, wine and soft drinks are available for a moderate price.
The Comic Strip 1568 2nd Avenue (212) 861-9386
Comic Strip Live was born on a Monday night in May of 1975 by Richard Tienken, John McGowan and Robert Wachs. Originally the Comic Strip featured comics, singers, magicians and novelty acts, but they later converted into a 100% stand up comedy club. New York Magazine calls Comic Strip Live "the most expertly booked club in the city." Their first big star was box office legend Eddie Murphy. Eddie in turn discovered Chris Rock at The Comic Strip one night. Television Superstar Jerry Seinfeld also worked for many years at the Comic Strip. More major stars have started their careers at the Comic Strip than any other venue in the world. Some legendary examples include: Adam Sandler, Carol Leifer, , Colin Quinn, Susie Essman, Jimmy Brogan, Nancy Parker, Larry Miller, Angel Salazar, Sarah Silverman, and many more. Performance show time is at 8:30pm weeknights, with multiple show times every weekend.
Stand-up New York 236 W 78th St (212) 595-0850
Stand-Up NY is one of New York City's premier comedy clubs located on the Upper West Side. The club features great comics, as well as the funniest and brightest from the national and TV scene. "A handsomely appointed 175-seat club offers mainstream style and stand-up humor by rising talents," many of who have been on Letterman, The Tonight Show, HBO Showtime and Comedy Central. Many famous comedians will also stop by here unexpectedly to try out new material on delighted crowds and the club also makes a point of featuring new talent every week.
Laugh Factory 303 West 42nd Street (212) 586-7829
The Laugh Factory is owned by Jamie Masada, who opened the first club in a tiny storefront on the Sunset Strip in 1979. It's Times Square location is one of the best known comedy stages in the world and has been graced by such stars as Carlos Mencia, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, Paul Rodriguez, Dave Chappelle, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, Jon Lovitz, Roseanne, and many more. The repertoire of performances here range from stand up to Latino nights to quirky contests. Due to its Times Square location and A-list comedians this comedy venue tends to be pricier than others, but many would say it's definitely worth the price of admission.
Laugh Lounge NYC 151 Essex St (between Stanton and Rivington Streets) (212) 614-2500
Laugh Lounge presents stand-up like it was meant to be seen. Top comedy stars and original new talent perform in an intimate setting where the comics and the audience can really connect. Every show attempts to capture the electric excitement of New York City's street life. And since they're located on the Lower East Side, they couldn't be better positioned to tap into that energy. Check out their comics, their shows and the neighborhood of bars and restaurants, such as Pianos and the sleek sports bar, The Blue Seats on Ludlow, Schiller's Liquor Bar and Thor Restaurant on Rivington, or Alias Restaurant at the corner of Clinton and Rivington Streets.
Dangerfield's 1118 First Avenue (646) 403-3393
Dangerfield's features the best of the best comedians who have performed in leading clubs, motion pictures and on such TV shows as the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, The Conan O'Brian Show, and Comedy Central. HBO's most successful comedy television specials were taped at the club. Stars who have performed here include Jay Leno, Jim Carey, Tim Allen, Andrew Dice Clay, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and the list goes on and on. Surprise guest stars often appear in addition to the scheduled line up. Fine dining options in the immediate vicinity of the club include Angels Ristorante Italiano, Baluchis Indian-Pakistani restaurant, or drop by the Ritz Diner for lighter American fare after catching a show.
Lucky Cheng's Drag Cabaret Restaurant 24 First Avenue (212) 995-5500
Laugh to tears at the "All That Drag At The Fortune Cookie Cabaret" Dinner Show. Witty queens from New York team with Asian dragdolls from Singapore, Japan, India, China, Indonesia, Hawaii, and the Phillipines to deliver cabaret and comedy never seen before. When not holding your sides with laughter, traditional Asian dance numbers and stunning costumes take your breath away. You can see a show during a $32 3-course delicious Pan-Asian dinner served with attitude by outlandishly clad drag queens. Don’t miss their after-dinner Fortune Cookie Cabaret variety shows Sunday through Thursday. Doors open at 10:00, shows start at 10:30. In the downstairs Fortune Cookie Lounge, Sunday through Friday, live music every night from 8 pm. Live band Rock Star Karaoke starts at 11:30 on Saturday.
Comix 353 West 14th Street (212) 524-2500
Comix is New York’s hottest new comedy nightclub featuring headline comedians and established New York-area comics, the best of cutting edge alternative comedy, improv and sketch comedy as well as music and variety programming. Perfectly situated in Manhattan’s booming Meatpacking District Comix draws upon the rich experience of going to the theater uptown but brings with it a decidedly downtown attitude, not to mention a very hip décor. Comix fits the trendy neighborhood with its chic interior design cues -- metallic fabrics, copper and lots of mirrors and glass. Comprised of 14,000 square feet, including a 5,000 square foot showroom, every one of Comix’s 300 seats enjoys pure sound and clear sightlines to an expandable stage, and more than ample elbow room that allows patrons to spread out and indulge in delicious cuisine and cocktails.
Gotham City Improv 48 West 21st Street, 8th Floor (212) 367-8222
Gotham City Improv is a theater, school, and community of comedic actors in New York City and the sister company of the Los Angeles based improv company, The Groundlings. Their 60-seat theater New York's Chelsea district is home to some of the funniest performers in the city, nd nearly all of their shows go for a ticket price of $10 or less. If you'd like to combine comedy with a nice dining experience in the neighborhood you might want to book reservations for Spanish cuisine at Boqueria on West 19th Street, drink and dine in bed at the fabulous dining boudoir, Duvet, on West 21st Street, or for a couple of after show drinks and more lewd laughter, there's Porky's right down the street as well.
Chicago City Limits 318 West 53rd Street, Suite 207a (212) 888-5233
Chicago City Limits is New York's longest-running comedy revue, thrilling audiences for over twenty-five years with its unique style of improvisational comedy. Its critically acclaimed show, award-winning National Touring Company, and top notch theatre training program has made Chicago City Limits a New York landmark. Chicago City Limits was founded in 1977 in Chicago by George Todisco and actors participating in the workshop program at The Second City. In 1979, Chicago City Limits relocated to New York, performing regularly at Catch a Rising Star, the Improv, the Duplex, and other noted clubs. It established its own theater in the summer of 1980 and began a continuous run that is now over 8,500 performances. Visit their web site for the current schedule of their extremely witty performances.
Westbeth Entertainment 111 W. 17th Street, 3rd Floor 212-691-2272
WestBeth Entertainment is a producing organization that has successfully and consistently produced critically acclaimed, financially successful, ground-breaking entertainment for 30 years. From Eddie Izzard to Billy Connolly, Mike Myers to Lewis Black, Wigfield to Hedwig, WestBeth has been the creative catalyst, partner and producer of some of the most innovative productions to come in and out of New York. Formerly housed in the far West Village Westbeth Theater, the group now uses a variety of venues.
Comedy Shows Filmed In New York City
While staying in New York City visitors have a unique opportunity laugh out loud at an actual TV comedy show, which you normally only see from the perspective of your living room couch. The shows NYC.com lists below are the top-rated television comedy acts being filmed in studios here. In most cases it's not paying for the ticket that's the problem (many are free admission), the challenge is getting your hands on a ticket. For those interested in attending a live taping, click on the link below and we show you the way there: