Comedy clubs in New York: 2012’s best newcomers

From downtown Manhattan to Queens here’s a peek at the latest stand-up comedy clubs and the comedians that fuel them.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: The Stand

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: The Stand

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: The Stand

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: The Stand

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: The Stand

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Greenwich Village Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Greenwich Village Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Greenwich Village Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Greenwich Village Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Greenwich Village Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Tribeca Comedy Lounge

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Tribeca Comedy Lounge

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Tribeca Comedy Lounge

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Tribeca Comedy Lounge

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Tribeca Comedy Lounge

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Tribeca Comedy Lounge

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Laughing Devil Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Laughing Devil Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Laughing Devil Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Laughing Devil Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Laughing Devil Comedy Club

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

NYC's best new comedy clubs: Laughing Devil Comedy Club

Though America may never again experience the boom of comedy clubs that it saw in the ’80s, new stand-up rooms have been sprouting up across the city in the past year. From Tribeca to Long Island City, here’s a look at some of the most notable spots that are opening, and the local comics you’ll see there.

RECOMMENDED: New York comedy 2012

The Stand

Critics' pick

Since 2004, the four partners behind Cringe Humor (cringehumor.net)—a blog turned event production company and talent management agency—have capitalized on an expanding audience for audacious comedy. After producing popular stand-up shows for years, it’s only fitting that they cofounded a venue in which to promote their favorite comics—think bawdy, raw and dark acts like Jim Norton and Dave Attell. This bi-level Gramercy spot, which opened last month, is already going full tilt, offering cocktails and embellished comfort food upstairs while shows take place seven nights a week in its long, narrow basement. The snug 75-seat room places the audience of frat guys and young professionals in close proximity to the performers, and they get pumped when one of their idols (Dane Cook, for instance) drops by.

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Midtown

Greenwich Village Comedy Club

Al Martin, the longtime owner of both the New York Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club, follows the same basic tenets in his new room—an intimate basement space below an Indian restaurant—as in his other ventures. Though a few pillars in the 60-seat room interfere with sight lines, the pub grub, extensive cocktail selection and long list of stars who just might do a spot while passing through town are drawing crowds every night. Regulars include staples Christian Finnegan, Marina Franklin and Tom Shillue.

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Greenwich Village

Tribeca Comedy Lounge

The atmosphere in this spot—not to be confused with the space’s previous occupant, the Tribeca Comedy Club—is a congenial one. Its brick walls and makeshift stage remind you that you’re in a basement, but the doting waitstaff, haute Italian menu from Brick NYC upstairs and roomy layout will please fans of creature comforts, or those too claustrophobic for the likes of the Comedy Cellar. Adam Strauss, the owner-booker and a burgeoning comic himself, makes sure that his programming is packed with next-wave talent (young, funny stars such as Sara Schaefer, Dan St. Germain and Kevin Barnett) while also saving stage time for himself.

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Laughing Devil Comedy Club

Last December, working comic Steve Hofstetter and business partner Jacob Morvay opened their shoebox of a club on a charming strip of Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. Since then, the pair have been able to draw big talent—smart, outspoken acts like Todd Barry and Ted Alexandro—away from Manhattan five to seven nights a week; he’s also created some ambitious projects such as the She-Devil Comedy Festival, a stand-up competition for ladies from across the country, happening Thursday 25 through Sunday 28. The club, a 15-minute ride from Times Square, features a winning Mexican-American menu, cocktails named after comedy legends and 14 beers on tap. Though the only thing that separates club from bar in this long, narrow room is a curtain, the clear views of the stage and friendly vibe make the place a cozy and relaxed alternative to some of Manhattan’s stuffier venues.

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Long Island City

Comments

2 comments

Did Tara Cannistraci make the list for 2014? She's fucking hysterical!!!!

Tara Cannistraci