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-will-never-be-famous comedians performing stand-up, sketch and improv comedy.
For a rundown of some big upcoming headline sets, along with popular recurring shows and classes, see below.
May 16–19, Carolines on Broadway
Anthony Jeselnik's comedy is largely very, very dark and very, very unsafe for work. One thing is for sure: he does a killer Dane Cook impression. (Warning: not for the faint of heart.) For more info, visit carolines.com.
May 24–26, Carolines on Broadway
The controversial star of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock performs live. For more info, visit carolines.com.
May 30–June 1, Carolines on Broadway
One of Saturday Night Live's rising stars, Jay Pharoah is one talented mimic. He's taken on such personalities as Will Smith and President Barack Obama, but our favorite impression of his might be a dead-on Stephen A. Smith. For more info, visit carolines.com.
June 27–29, Carolines on Broadway
The great Hannibal Buress, friend to nycgo.com and host of a popular free weekly show in Brooklyn, performs a headline set in Times Square. For more info, visit carolines.com.
July 11–14, Carolines on Broadway
You may have seen Bronx-born comedian Todd Barry on such television programs as Flight of the Conchords, Delocated and Louie. For more info, visit thestand.com and carolines.com.
Free Stand-up Comedy
Every Sunday; Tuesdays, April 2 and 16; 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.
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.
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.
Creaghead & Company
Sundays, Union Hall
Eugene Mirman no longer hosts Union Hall's Sunday night comedy extravaganza (formerly known as Pretty Good Friends), but the folks there promise he'll still pop up frequently. The new show, hosted by producer Caroline Creaghead—who was behind Pretty Good Friends and the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival—has already booked Nick Turner, Jessi Klein and Dave Hill, so it's fair to say the evenings should be as funny as ever. For more info, visit unionhallny.com.
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—successful comic and Saturday Night Live writer—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.
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.
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.
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.
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):