We know; we’re biased. But with venerable institutions such as Carolines on Broadway and comedy-club-and-restaurant hybrid The Stand, it’s hard to argue the fact that NYC remains the best place to see live comedy on the planet. In addition to big-ticket gigs, you can catch plenty of free comedy shows below—be it a night of stand-up delivered by some of NYC’s best stand-up comedians or an evening of readings at some of the best storytelling shows in New York City—without spending a dime.
RECOMMENDED: See all free things to do in NYC
This wildly popular weekly show, originally created by the delightfully understated Hannibal Buress (Broad City's Lincoln), is hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones and Kenny DeForest and features the funniest pros and up-and-comers. Past guests include Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Bridget Everett and Method Man.Read more
This weekly show started by Sean Patton takes place in the back of an East Village dive bar, but don't be deceived by appearances; it's home to some of the best up-and-coming comics and is frequently visited by the biggest names in stand-up. Guests including Louis C.K., Bonnie McFarlane and Murderfist have dropped by at some point.Read more
Brendan Fitzgibbons and Lance Weiss welcome comedy fans into the bar's basement every Wednesday for this friendly stand-up show. So friendly, in fact, that famous comedians including Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan and Todd Barry are known to stop by and try out new material.Read more