NYC Comedy Calendar
Arts & Entertainment
by nycgo.com staff
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Every night, comedy clubs throughout the five boroughs host famous, soon-to-be-famous and hilarious-but-never-will-be-famous comedians performing stand-up, sketch and improv comedy. And this fall is an especially exciting time for the NYC comedy scene, with the New York Comedy Festival coming to town November 5–9. Top names include Bill Cosby, Amy Schumer and Bill Maher, and you can be part of the fun for free by attending a taping of Comedy Central's @Midnight, hosted by Chris Hardwick.
For a rundown of some upcoming headline sets—including New York Comedy Festival shows—along with popular recurring shows and classes, see below.
David Alan Grier
September 25–27, Carolines on Broadway
In Living Color star David Alan Grier has also done dramatic work and appeared in Broadway theater productions. During this stint at Carolines, he'll perform stand-up. For tickets, visit carolines.com.
October 9, Madison Square Garden
Aziz Ansari, recognizable from Parks and Rec and movies like Funny People, is a funny guy and—as evidenced by his gig performing an arena show—more popular than ever. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Tim and Eric & Dr. Steve Brule
October 11, Best Buy Theater
The kings of surreal sketch comedy with public-access production values bring their show to the stage. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
October 19, The Beacon Theatre
Need a Kevin James fix but can't wait for the April 2015 release of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2? Here's your chance to see him do his stand-up routine. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
November 3–5, ABC Television Studios
Chris Hardwick's Internet-obsessed Comedy Central show—known for segments like "Hashtag Wars"—spends a week taping in New York City as part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, which are free, visit nycomedyfestival.com.
November 6, The Town Hall
This comic—best known for delivering an emotional set after having been diagnosed with cancer—has also appeared on the likes of The Sarah Silverman Program and Conan. This show is part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Dane Cook. Courtesy, New York Comedy Festival
November 6–7, The Beacon Theatre
Dane Cook is among the more polarizing comedians of our time—having been accused of such crimes as joke stealing, arrogance and lack of wit—but he might also be the most popular. And, to his credit, he has addressed his alleged shortcomings head-on in an appearance on Louie that even the most dedicated Cook critics grudgingly admitted was great television. These shows are part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
November 7, The Town Hall
The cerebral Hannibal Buress—who has written for Saturday Night Live and made memorable appearances on 30 Rock—gets laughs out of subjects like pickle juice and the "fire SUV." This show is part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
November 7, Skirball Center
Best known for his WTF podcast and Maron on IFC, Marc Maron has also appeared on the radio (where he hosts The Marc Maron Show and other programs) and as a guest on other comedians' television shows (notably Louie, The Late Show with David Letterman and, most frequently, Conan O'Brien's various forums). This show is part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, visit nyu.edu.
Amy Schumer. Courtesy, New York Comedy Festival
November 7, Carnegie Hall
There are tons of positive things to say about Amy Schumer, who is at the center of one of the funniest sketch-comedy programs on television, but we'll just put all of our eggs in one basket and recommend that you watch her spot-on Aaron Sorkin parody. This show is part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.
November 8, The Town Hall
You may have seen Maria Bamford on Arrested Development, @Midnight, Louie or other television shows. Tonight, she brings her self-deprecating act to the Town Hall stage. This show is part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
Bill Cosby. Courtesy, New York Comedy Festival
November 8, Carnegie Hall
One of the most influential stand-up comics of all time—and among the most beloved television personalities, to boot—performs at one of the world's most famous concert halls. This show is part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.
November 8, The Beacon Theatre
Currently the host of Real Time and formerly of Politically Incorrect, Bill Maher is smart, funny and completely unconcerned about offending his audience's sensibilities with pointed political and social opinions. This show is part of the New York Comedy Festival. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.
If You Build It
Sundays, 8:30pm; UCB East
This stand-up show is massively cheap ($5, with no drink minimum), so it's no wonder it usually sells out. Hosted by local comic Kara Klenk, its lineups have included boldface names like Janeane Garofalo, Colin Quinn and Sarah Silverman alongside a worthy roster of up-and-coming comedians.
Sundays, 7:30 and 9:30pm; Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
Perhaps the most famous of all NYC improv comedy performances, this show often draws big names like Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz and others from Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and The Colbert Report. The 7:30pm performance will set you back $10. If you don't mind waiting in a long line and arriving very early, the 9:30pm show is absolutely free (tickets are distributed at 8:15pm).
Comedy Night with Hannibal Buress
Sundays, 9pm; Knitting Factory
The cerebral Hannibal Buress—who's written for Saturday Night Live and made memorable appearances on 30 Rock—hosts this free weekly stand-up showcase in Williamsburg. Special guests stop by every week, and many of them are famous. Don't bring the kids, though—it's 21-plus.
Comedy at Beauty Bar
Sundays, Beauty Bar
This stand-up comedy showcase may not have a reputation for bringing in huge stars, but it's a good, low-pressure (read: free) option if you're in the neighborhood and looking to check out some new comics. For more info, visit thebeautybar.com.
Free Stand-up Comedy
Every Sunday; alternating Tuesdays; Three of Cups
A lounge attached to East Village restaurant Three of Cups showcases up-and-coming comics. There are shows every Sunday and every other Tuesday. While casual fans may not recognize the performers, the price is right; there's no cover and no drink minimum. Plus, you never know when you'll run into the next Rory Scovel. For more info, visit threeofcupsnyc.com.
Mondays, The Stand
This (free!) weekly show already has some impressive talent lined up: December performers include Sean Patton, Judah Friedlander and Dave Hill. For more info, visit thestandnyc.com.
Mondays, 11pm; Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
This free stand-up showcase is hosted by Leo Allen (who's written for Saturday Night Live) and has featured sets from the likes of David Cross and Janeane Garofalo.
Mondays and Thursdays, Je'Bon Sushi
Experience the East Village's comedic Japanese game show that's full of entertaining consequences for the losers. It's guaranteed to be a one-of-a-kind outing. For more info, visit faceoffunlimited.com.
Tuesdays (starting September 16), UCB East
From the looks of its first lineup, which includes Michael Che (The Daily Show correspondent and Saturday Night Live writer) alongside Dan Soder and Mike Vecchione, this weekly free show could be one to keep an eye on. To make reservations, visit ucbtheatre.com.
Super Free Wednesdays
Wednesdays, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11pm; The PIT
Every Wednesday night, the improv comedy shows at The PIT are free to attend. It's a pretty attractive proposition for broke comedy fans.
Friday Night Sh*w
Fridays, Magnet Theater
Magnet Theater improvisers turn anonymous confessions from audience members into comedy sketches at this helpfully titled performance, which does, indeed, take place on Friday evenings. For more info, visit magnettheater.com.
Death By Roo Roo
Saturdays, 9pm; Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater is famous for developing sharp in-house improv teams, and this is one of the most popular. The 9pm Saturday show frequently sells out.
Every night, Carolines on Broadway
Unlike Comedy Cellar—which offers more of a comedy sampler smorgasbord—most of the marquee shows here focus on one performer, and you can choose whom you'd like to see far in advance. For a full slate of upcoming comedians, visit carolines.com.
Comedy Cellar Stand-up
Every night, Comedy Cellar
Every night of the week, Comedy Cellar hosts shows from a rotating cast of stand-up comedians, many of them well known. The venue is a favorite of Dave Attell, and such headliners as Dave Chappelle and Jerry Seinfeld have been known to drop by from time to time. For up-to-date lineups and showtimes, visit comedycellar.com.
Comic Strip Live Stand-up
Every night, Comic Strip Live
This is another place that hosts big-name acts seven nights a week. Comedians who have graced the Upper East Side venue's stage include Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Drew Carey, Chris Rock and Ellen DeGeneres. For a complete comedy calendar, visit comicstriplive.com.
Gotham Comedy Club Stand-up
Every night, Gotham Comedy Club
Gotham hosts stand-up shows every night of the week. The bigger names perform headline shows mostly on Friday and Saturday nights. Kids and parents, take note: the venue's occasional "Kids 'n' Comedy" show stars teenage graduates of the venue's classes, and the material is appropriate for ages 9 and up. For the full schedule of funny, visit gothamcomedyclub.com.
Laughing Devil Stand-up
Every night, Laughing Devil
This recently opened Long Island City club puts on live shows nightly, often featuring names you may know from television. For more info, visit laughingdevil.com.
The Stand Stand-up
Every night, The Stand
Every night, comedians—some of whom you may recognize from TV—perform at this Gramercy club. For the upcoming schedule, visit thestandnyc.com.
No one can teach you how to be funny, but the experienced instructors at NYC's comedy grounds can help you harness and shape the hilarity buried deep within. Here are links for those who'd like to hone their comedy skills (options include kids' classes—check the official websites and call the venues for details):