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Drunk Black History
Photograph: courtesy Drunk Black History

The best comedy shows in NYC this month

Find all the best stand-up, improv, storytelling and sketch-comedy shows in NYC over the next few weeks

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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New York City is where it's at for comedy. We have the best stand-up comedians and the best comedy clubs in NYC, but it's hard to know which shows to hit. Below you’ll find our picks of the absolute best shows happening this month, from improv to open mic nights and everything in-between.

RECOMMENDED: Complete comedy shows in NYC guide

Best comedy shows this month

  • Comedy
  • Lower East Side
Every Tuesday through the summer, Canary Club and Baby Shower Comedy are bringing live comedy shows to New York’s Lower East Side. There will be two live stand-up comedy shows at the Canary Club’s lounge, with seatings at 7pm and 8:30pm, featuring top NYC comedians as seen on Netflix, HBO, Comedy Central, and more. Tickets are available on Resy and Eventbrite.
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Circuses & magic
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West
Once a week, after closing time, 10 people convene at the city’s oldest magic shop, Tannen’s, for a cozy evening of prestidigitation by the young and engaging Noah Levine. The shelves are crammed with quirky devices; there's a file cabinet behind the counter, a mock elephant in the corner and bins of individual trick instructions in plastic covers, like comic books or sheet music. The charm of Levine's show is in how well it fits the environment of this magic-geek chamber of secrets. As he maneuvers cards, eggs, cups and balls with aplomb, he talks shop, larding his patter with tributes to routines like the Stencel Aces and the Vernon Boat Trick—heirlooms of his trade that he gently polishes and displays for our amazement.
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  • Comedy
  • Financial District
Ladies take over Route 66 Smokehouse and Comedy Club on Wednesdays. Hosted by Alia Janine, the show features a heavy female line-up featuring some of today's top and up and coming comedians! Past and upcoming comedians include Janeane Garofalo, Usama Siddiquee, Chanel Omari, Dan Soder, Francesca Fiorentini, and Chanel Ali. Food and drink specials are offered all night and there's a party afterward! Each ticket comes with one drink.
LAf DAnce SAloon
  • Comedy
  • Stand-up
  • price 0 of 4
  • Williamsburg
Whether you're visiting town and looking for laughs or a jaded New Yorker who needs a break, you can count on Jeffrey Emerson and Jill Weiner to deliver excellent comedy at this free weekly Williamsburg stand-up night. Join a wide range of diverse, accomplished comedians many of whom you've seen on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Comedy Central and Late Night with Stephen Colbert for a night of comedic revelry!
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  • Comedy
  • Lower East Side
Sesh Comedy is the only BYOB comedy club in NYC and features comics from Comedy Central, HBO, Colbert, Netflix, Amazon, and others. It's "Comedy Cellar if the Comedy Cellar was $10 and when you arrived they handed you a free drink!" That's right, you get a free alcoholic drink with your ticket (if you're 21 or older). BYOB is also encouraged.
  • Comedy
  • Stand-up
  • Astoria
Head over to Q.E.D. Astoria for stand-up each Friday night with the Transplants Comedy Show. As the name suggests, the comedians on stage are not originally from New York City, so they'll be telling jokes and stories about NYC and their hometowns. Hear from Katie Boyle,  Lindsay Theisen, and Nick Simmons in this night of comedy, stand up and crowd work.
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  • Comedy
  • Gowanus
Looking for a treat? Head to Ample Hills' Gowanus Scoop Shop rooftop for a comedy show hosted by Savannah DesOrmeaux (X Change Rate) and Jenny Gorelick (NY Comedy Festival) featuring a heavily female, queer, and non-binary line-up every Friday. Pizza and ice cream will be available for purchase at the show.
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  • Comedy
  • Improv
  • Lower East Side
As musical comedians, Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman have played just about every room in NYC, and at their beloved monthly show, they play your heartstrings. Watch as the manically inventive duo interviews a couple in the audience live about how they met, then spins their love story into an epic, totally-improvised musical extravaganza. 
Punderdome
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Comedy
  • Sketch shows
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.

Hit the best NYC comedy clubs

  • Comedy
  • Gramercy

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.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Music
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 2 of 4

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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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Music
  • price 2 of 4

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.

  • Theater
  • Long Island City
  • price 2 of 4

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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