Best comedy theaters in New York

Chortle to your heart's content at one of these great laugh spots.

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Where comedy is concerned, New York is very much a stand-up town; but there are still plenty of options for those with a taste for improv, sketch or storytelling. Here are a few of the dedicated venues sure to make you laugh any night of the week.

RECOMMENDED: Best comedy in NYC

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The improv troupes and sketch groups anchored at UCBT are some of the best in the city. Stars of Saturday Night Live, VH1 and writers for late-night talk shows gather on Sunday nights to wow crowds in the long-running ASSSSCAT 3000. Other noteworthy teams include Death by Roo Roo (Saturdays) and the Stepfathers (Fridays).

  1. 307 W 26th St, (between Eighth and Ninth Aves)
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Peoples Improv Theater

  • Price band: 1/4

After many years in Chelsea, this improv and sketch theater moved crosstown to a dramatic East Side location, with a warm proscenium stage, a black box in the basement and an inviting bar. Cheap shows and free jams keep the crowds young and lively; a full evening of free improv shows every Wednesday anchors the weekday schedule.

  1. 123 E 24th St, (between Park and Lexington Aves)
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Magnet Theater

  • Price band: 1/4

The community of house teams and solo performers at Armando Diaz’s upstart black box has grown strong, cementing the Magnet—the signature style of which is slower and therefore frequently more rewarding than other improv styles—as one of the best places to watch improv in the city.

  1. 254 W 29th St, (between Seventh and Eighth Aves)
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UCBEast

  • Price band: 1/4

The newest branch of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, which has replaced the old Two Boots Pioneer Theater, brings the same sort of cheap, raw and rowdy shows featured on the West Side, though this space focuses as much on sketch and stand-up as it does improv.

  1. 155 E 3rd St, (between Aves A and B), 10009
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The Creek and the Cave

  • Price band: 1/4

This burgeoning, multi-level comedy palace in Long Island City is the deserving gem of the Queens comedy scene. Owner Rebecca Trent programs shows seven nights a week, and at times you can catch up to five free shows on a busy weekend night. Among it's features: cheap, serviceable Mexican food, a ramshackle theater hosting larger events, a smaller space downstairs for intimate stand-up or storytelling shows and a bar with adjoining patio on which to ply friends for their opinions after the show.

  1. 10-93 Jackson Ave, (at 49th Ave)
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Users say

1 comments
PatBaer
PatBaer

UCBEast features very little sketch and a ton of improv. Wednesday and Friday nights are your best bet for great improv.