Best cheap comedy shows

Get the best bang for your buck at these local gigs

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Performers may frown on cheap laughs from the stage, but for audience members, they're the best kind. This list features some of the choicest budget comedy shows in the city, many of which regularly get visits from the best up-and-comers around—and they won't set you back much more than $5.

RECOMMENDED: Best comedy in NYC


Big Ups

  • Price band: 1/4

This show, hosted after-hours in a coffeeshop by comics Taylor Clark, Jaqi Furback, Owen Straw and TJ Young, prides itself on a speakeasy vibe.

  1. Little Skips 941 Willoughby Ave, at Myrtle Ave
  2. Thu Dec 25
More info

Myrtle Comedy

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Locals gratefully welcome Larry Murphy and Greg Johnson, the delightful, familiar faces behind this new weekly stand-up show.

  1. Splitty 415 Myrtle Ave, between Clinton and Vanderbilt Aves, 11205
  2. Thu Dec 25
More info

Alpha & Omega Comedy Show

  • Price band: 1/4

Hadiyah Robinson and Omar Ruffin invite a mix of comics to the stage on the first and last Fridays of the month.

  1. One and One 76 E 1st St, at First Ave, 10009
  2. Fri Dec 26
More info

The Gadget Hour

  • Price band: 1/4

This weekly variety show includes not only an improv set from Gadget—a troupe made up of an assortment of performers, including the boys of BriTANick—but sketch and music from NYC regulars.

  1. Write Act Repertory Theatre 309 E 26th St, between First and Second Aves
  2. Fri Dec 12 - Fri Dec 26
More info

Made-Up Musical

  • Price band: 1/4

After a long conversation with a notable New Yorker, John O’Donnell and a rotating cast of singing improvisers create a new musical on the spot. The city's great go-to improv pianist, Frank Spitznagel, accompanies the action.

  1. Magnet Theater 254 W 29th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Until Fri Dec 26
More info

Off the Top of Our Heads

  • Price band: 1/4

In this weekly show, running for 10 years, a cast of performers gets broad and wacky during a series of quick improv games.

  1. Gotham City Improv 158 W 23rd St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves, second floor
  2. Fri Dec 12 - Fri Dec 26
More info

The Stepfathers

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Seven of the theater’s best players create smart, patient improv in this flagship show.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 307 W 26th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Until Fri Dec 26
More info

Thursday Night Out

  • Price band: 1/4

Come early for the 7pm mixer, during which anyone can perform. Longtime house teams hold down the 8 and 9pm slots. At 10pm, directors get their pick of Magnet performers to enact a specific improv form. And Inspirado at 11pm pits two teams against each other in theatrical combat. Seven bones covers the whole evening.

  1. Magnet Theater 254 W 29th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Thu Dec 25 - Fri Dec 26
More info

Airwolf: Let's Go Back to Your Place

  • Price band: 1/4

The eight members of this improv troupe operate quickly: After interviewing an audience member about his or her worst living situation, they spin through scenes with a speedy viciousness that rivals the armed chopper after which they're named.

  1. UCBEast 155 E 3rd St, between Aves A and B, 10009
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sat Dec 27
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Big Black Car + The Baldwins

  • Price band: 1/4

Two improv teams share this hour: First, the quick-and-dirty players in Big Black Car have the ability to disappear down a comedic rabbit hole with impressive agility.Then, the Baldwins are notable for the number of competent actors with a yen to play slowly and thoroughly.

  1. Peoples Improv Theater 123 E 24th St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sat Dec 26
More info

Grandma's Ashes: We Won't Tell

  • Price band: 1/4

A crop of experienced UCBT improvisers collects anonymous secrets written by audience members and delivers fast-paced play suitable for the late-night Saturday crowd.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 307 W 26th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sat Dec 27
More info

If You Build It

  • Critics choice

After years of running this popular weekly show–featured as part of the 2014 New York Comedy Festival–Girl Code writer and Broad City contributor Kara Klenk showcases her favorite stand-ups.

  1. UCBEast 155 E 3rd St, between Aves A and B, 10009
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Sun Dec 28
More info

ASSSSCAT 3000

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

NYC’s long-form improv royalty (including UCBT and SNL folk) play pickup-game style in this famous long-running show.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 307 W 26th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Sun Dec 27
More info

That Comedy Show

  • Price band: 1/4

Chris Cotton hosts this show, named after what you'd probably end up calling it, and introduces up-and-coming comedians before they're too big for a $5 show.

  1. Laughing Devil Comedy Club 47-38 Vernon Blvd, between 47th Rd and 48th Ave, 11101
  2. Tue Dec 16 - Mon Dec 29
More info

Night Train with Wyatt Cenac

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This weekly offering, hosted with a cool head and a warm heart by former Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac, welcomes great young New York comics and noteworthy out-of-towners.

  1. Littlefield 622 DeGraw St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Mon Dec 28
More info

Harold Night

  • Price band: 1/4

Three of the UCBT’s heralded house teams perform fast-paced long-form improv for only $5 in front of packed houses of students and fans.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 307 W 26th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Tue Dec 23 - Tue Dec 30
More info

Sweet

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Seth Herzog's weekly mainstay, which has settled back in its longtime home at the Slipper Room, still features scads of downtown stand-ups and, quite often, Herzog's mother.

  1. Slipper Room 167 Orchard St, at Stanton St
  2. Tue Dec 23 - Tue Dec 30
More info

ComedyJuice

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This revered weekly show features lots of worthy local stand-ups and often one or two big names, thanks to the draw of the top comedy giant.

  1. Gotham Comedy Club 208 W 23rd St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Tue Dec 23 - Tue Dec 29
More info

Dan + Joe + Charles Show

  • Price band: 1/4

Dan Licata, Joe Pera and Charles Gould host this variety show consisting mostly of stand-up with some jazz and one-act plays thrown in the mix.

  1. UCBEast 155 E 3rd St, between Aves A and B, 10009
  2. Thu Dec 25 - Thu Dec 31
More info

Lasers in the Jungle

  • Price band: 1/4

With a nod to NYC patron saint Paul Simon, hosts Dan Wilbur, Sean Crespo and Katina Corrao welcome stand-ups to this weekly show.

  1. UCBEast 155 E 3rd St, between Aves A and B, 10009
  2. Thu Dec 25 - Thu Dec 31
More info

Megawatt

  • Price band: 1/4

A rotating crew of house teams, curated by theater director Armando Diaz, improvises a variety of long-forms.

  1. Magnet Theater 254 W 29th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Wed Dec 24 - Thu Jan 1
More info

North Coast

  • Price band: 1/4

This spirited improv troupe weaves beat-boxing and freestyle verse into its long-form. Expect more raps about office life than thug life.

  1. Peoples Improv Theater 123 E 24th St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sat Mar 28
More info


Users say

2 comments
Joseph S
Joseph S

Best Comedy in NYC is a tough one! There are so many great comedy clubs and it really depends on the night. When I want to see comedy I always check out Best Comedy Tickets which has the most up to date schedule and its super easy to buy tickets here is a link  http://www.bestcomedytickets.com/schedule I highly recommend using them as they are the original comedy promoters in New York City. 

Kevin Gootee
Kevin Gootee

Hi, We do a free show at the Grisly Pear every month and this sat 23rd at 7:30. It's the good cop/bad cop show and you can find us on FB at GoodcopbadcopNYC. on Twitter @Goodcopbadcopny. Kevin Gootee

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