Best comedy shows this month
If you live in New York and haven't seen Catherine Cohen perform live...seek treatment. The comedy chanteuse had us mesmerized when she was singing in dive bars about boys; now armed with a full backing band at one of the city's best venues, Cohen is a total force of nature. She takes over Joe's Pub for a night of wickedly subversive musical comedy, fabulous looks and self-directed diva worship. She's joined by regular collaborator Henry Koperski at the keys.
Jo Firestone and her Rodney Dangerfield impersonator father, Fred, host this beloved competition, in which the first 18 individuals or duos to sign up at the door attempt to pun-up each other’s spontaneously-produced wordplay. Winners are determined by the Human Clap-O-Meter and go home with a Mystery Box prize. Get ready to laugh—and groan.
This long-running, hilarious hour of hastily written sketch comedy brings together some of the city’s most bold, batshit performers. If you’re looking for the definitive wild night at UCB, you’ll find it with this manic mash-up.
Abby Washuta invites you to this hang-out at New York Comedy Club East Village (every first Thursday) and at the Lantern (every third Thursday), where a solid line-up of stand-ups can always be expected. Look out for a raffle, and register early for a free margarita.
At this masterful showcase, Trump Lear actor David Carl takes his impression of the president to disturbing, mesmerizing new levels. At this epic gambit, he unleashes an armada of deranged characters, from Miss Piggy to Nick Nolte. Don't miss the daring mix of character sketches, games, challenges and beyond from the singular performer.
Forget Game of Thrones, forget laundry night, forget your dayjob in the morning: Sunday nights now belong to Marie Faustin, Sydnee Washington and Aminah Imani. The trio of stand-up supremes give you looks, life and a top-tier comedy showcase every week. Stay sharp and look fresh. You're about to witness the best night of comedy in New York.
When stand-up Zach Zimmerman embarked on a career in comedy, his mother advised him to keep it clean. His flagrant disobediance has led to quite a hot streak, with an opening gig in March for Alyssa Edwards and the release of his #1 album Clean Comedy in April. For this special World Pride celebration, he gives you some much-needed laughs in between the hard parties.
Hit the best NYC comedy clubs
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.
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.
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.
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.