Best free comedy shows in New York

Laughing is great, but it's even better when you don't have to pay for it.

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NYC can bleed your wallet dry with a quickness, so it's nice to know that the understanding (and often cash-strapped) members of the comedy community are looking out for your well-being. The stand-up and variety shows on this list offer a quality of entertainment fans would be happy to shell out for—but fortunately, they don't have to.

Whiplash

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Leo Allen hosts top local comics in the newest incarnation of the UCBT’s popular late-night Monday slot.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 307 W 26th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Mon Sep 1 - Mon Dec 29
More info

Comedy at the Knitting Factory

  • Critics choice

The smooth and delightfully understated Hannibal Buress hosts fellow stand-ups.

  1. Knitting Factory 361 Metropolitan Ave, at Havemeyer St
  2. Sun Aug 31 - Sun Dec 28
More info

Get It Out There

  • Critics choice
  • Free

BAM and IFC team up for the first time, working with comedy producer Caroline Creaghead to put together a free stand-up showcase of bold locals in BAM's atrium café.

  1. BAMcafé 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St
  2. Until Thu Apr 24
More info

Comedy as a Second Language

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Sean Patton and Chesley Calloway welcome stand-up comics to the stage in this weekly show.

  1. Kabin 92 Second Ave, between 5th and 6th Sts
  2. Thu Aug 28 - Thu Dec 25
More info

The Chris Gethard Show

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This beloved, bizarre talk show from improviser and storyteller Gethard moves its dares, roughhousing and general awkwardness to public access, with a live studio audience. Tickets for the live show are first-come, first-served; e-mail zerolaughs@gmail.com to get on the list.

  1. Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) 537 W 59th St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. Wed Dec 18
More info

Big Terrific

  • Critics choice
  • Free

New-breed darlings of the alt scene Max Silvestri and Gabe Liedman typically draw big names to their warm show in Williamsburg.

  1. Cameo 93 North 6th St, between Berry St and Wythe Ave
  2. Until Wed Dec 31
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 Aug 31 - Sun Dec 28
More info

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