We love the challenge of finding great stand up comedy across the U.S. and beyond. But it’s also fun to go somewhere like the Big Apple, where it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. It makes sense that the biggest, most vibrant city in the country would lead in comedy. Unless you’ve got the best clubs, you won’t attract the best comics.
Stand Up Comedy NYC: Lots of great choices (and plenty of crappy ones)
If you’ve spent any time in the New York comedy club scene, you know it varies. Just like any big town, there is plenty of great comedy. You just have to know where to look. And that’s why we created this guide. You might ask what qualifications we have to make these recommendations. Well, you’re the one reading them, so you tell us!
1. Gotham Comedy Club
First of all, this is just a really clean club. Some clubs around this town are, well, less clean. Not that this really has anything to do with funny, but it’s worth noting.
Fortunately, it has funny covered, too. This spot attracts some of the premiere stand up comedy NYC has in any given week. And everybody who’s anybody does tons of dates in the Big Apple. So if you want to see big stars in an upscale environment, Gotham’s your place.
2. Comedy Cellar
Okay, so maybe this one occupies a spot on the other end of the stand up comedy NYC scale. Like we said, cleanliness has nothing to do with funny. Not that the Comedy Cellar is dirty or uninviting. Actually, it’s always a lot of fun.
But it is called the Comedy Cellar, after all. And it feels a bit like a cellar. Kind of dark, really tight quarters and packed with laughter. That last quality is because big, small and rising stars are always trotting out hilarious sets.
3. Caroline’s on Broadway
You never know who you might find taking the stage at Caroline’s. But you can pretty much bet they’ll be pros who know how to kill a room. There is a very high threshold for talent at this club.
That means you won’t have filler acts like you might find elsewhere. These might be older comics, up and comers, or the biggest headliners you can think of.
4. Laughing Buddha
Laughing Buddha might be a bit of a dark horse in the chase for the stand up comedy NYC crown. But we think it deserves a spot among the top contenders. Not only does it host some really great comics, it also helps nurture new ones.
This is known as one of the best open mic clubs in the city. It has a very inviting atmosphere and gives comedians a great platform to try out bits. So if you want to learn how to be a stand up comedian, this is one place to learn the ropes.