Comedy walk

Everyone you'll meet on this Saturday night tour of the city's best comedy spots is laughing with you, not at you. Until you get up onstage.



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  • Comedy Cellar (Photo: Carolyn Voagen Nelson)

  • Comedy Cellar (Photo: Carolyn Voagen Nelson)

  • Olive Tree Caf (Photo: Carolyn Voagen Nelson)

  • Olive Tree Caf (Photo: Carolyn Voagen Nelson)

  • Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (Photo: Carolyn Voagen Nelson)

  • Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (Photo: Carolyn Voagen Nelson)

  • Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (Photo: Carolyn Voagen Nelson)

  • Outside Saturday Night Live (Photo: Michael Alexander)

  • Outside Saturday Night Live (Photo: Michael Alexander)

Comedy Cellar (Photo: Carolyn Voagen Nelson)

Start: 117 MacDougal St
End: 30 Rockefeller Center
Time: 6.5 hours
Distance: 3.4 miles

1 Start with the Saturday 7:30pm performance at New York’s best showcase stand-up club, the Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal St between Minetta Ln and W 3rd St; 212-254-3480,; $18 plus two-drink minimum, reservations required). If there’s a bachelorette party somewhere in the cozy basement room, approach the hens before the show. Find the girl drinking a pia colada ($7.50) and tell her, “I am not into yoga; I am into champagne.” You are hilarious.

2 Afterward, head upstairs to the Olive Tree Cafe to throw back a couple of shots and gawk at any star comics who might be seated at “the” table in the back right corner. This is where Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock hang out when they drop by. Young stand-ups must endure years of psychological hazing before earning a seat. In other words, do not approach. Instead, sit with your friend on a barstool and listen intently for any comment that might warrant a rousing “That’s what she said!” Works every time. 3 Back on MacDougal Street, you have a choice: You can hop the C or E train from W 4th St to 23rd St, or walk up there, trying out the jokes you just heard on any drunken packs of bridge-and-tunnels you pass. Either way, as you travel to Sixth Avenue, you will most certainly pass a “barker,” a representative from one of the many comedy clubs in the Village. When he asks, “Do you like comedy?” respond with, “I guess so, ’cause I like your face!” Then force him to high-five you. You’re on a roll.

4 Switch comedy gears: At 10:30pm, catch one of New York’s best long-form improv teams, Reuben Williams, at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (307 W 26th St at Eighth Ave; 212-366-9176,; $10, reservations required). When the team asks for a suggestion at the top of the show, shout something genitalia-related.

5 You’re finally ready to get onstage yourself: Anyone can sign up for the midnight Mixer at Magnet Theater (254 W 29th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-244-8824,; free). The host organizes the improv groups, and the greenest players are typically matched with veterans, so you’ve got a good chance of doing a scene with one of the theater’s top dogs. Down a few PBRs ($2 each) to calm the nerves, then listen carefully to what your scene partner says and respond as you would in real life. Or, if that’s not possible, just squat and pretend you’re defecating.

6 Ride out your adrenaline rush on a quick walk from 29th Street to Rockefeller Center—or ride the F train from 34th St--Herald Sq to 47--50th Sts--Rockefeller Ctr. Crack up the other passengers with jokes about Dr. Zizmor. If your car is otherwise empty, draw boobs on an advertisement. You’re just paying it forward, man.

7 Wait outside of 30 Rockefeller Center (entrance on 49th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, by the NBC marquee) for Saturday Night Live cast members who’ll be exiting the building between 1:30 and 2am. Everyone else will be asking Andy Samberg for his autograph, but not you, superstar. You brought him a present: It’s your dick in a box.

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