Best comedy shows this month
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—and there isn't even cover! Stay sharp and look fresh—you're about to witness the best night of comedy in New York.
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 East Village stand-up night. Look out for some of our favorite all-star performers to hit up the low-key show.
Show up early and grab a seat for Fumi Abe and Michael Nguyen's always-stacked, always-packed monthly comedy jam. Count on an excellent lineup featuring some of the city's most intelligent comics, with February's bill boasting Gracie Canaan, Luke Touma, Subhah Agarwal, Eagle Witt and Reggie Conquest.
If you think about it, history is a bit like a word in a Rick Ross rhyme: It tends to repeat itself. That’s not the only thing history and rap have in common at this hilarious show, inspired by that other hip-hop musical. Hip-hop improv group North Coast invites audience members to suggest a favorite historical figure—be it Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bea Arthur or beyond—then performs a fully improvised and factually accurate musical based on that person’s life.
Tessa Skara takes leave of her duties as intergalactic hard rock superstar and rockets down to Brooklyn for this banging queer variety show. Blast off to life-affirming musical comedy from Skara's well-curated assembly of stars. This month's lineup is about as high-impact as it gets, with Marcia Belsky, Mila Myles, Zach Zimmerman, Fareeha Khan and DJ Open Relationship tearing up the stage. Geronimo!
Though Naomi Ekperigin has taken her brand of salty NYC stand-up to the West Coast, we can pretend she's ours again for one night only at Union Hall. The furiously funny comic is joined by fellow powerhouse Jo Firestone for a night of reliably stellar sets.
Leading a new generation of well-adjusted, no-drama comedians in NYC’s golden age are Jenny Gorelick and Addie Weyrich, two theater goons with hearts of gold and a trick bag of of dance moves. At this bonkers monthly birthday party, the frighteningly upbeat goofballs go all out with songs, costumes, schtick and guests from the worlds of stand-up, musical comedy and drag. For the outrageous clubbing edition, they're joined by Charlie Bardey, Jordan Jensen, Usama Siddique, Rachel Sennott, Patrick Davis and DJ Mamoudou N'Diaye.
Dating in New York isn't always as darling as it seems in the movies. Fortunately, the ferocious duo of Vanessa Valerio and Anita Flores have arrived to reclaim justice for survivors of grim Grindr encounters, pitiful Tinder dates and merciless ghostings. The February edition packs a killer lineup, with Calvin Cato, Chanel Ali, Arti Gollapudi, Gianmarco Soresi and Philip Markle sharing stories.
Though Larry Owens intends to musically break down some of your favorite ballads and bangers, it's likely he'll lose his mind giving you life at this totally lit stage bonanza. Along with guests Liza Treyger, Marie Faustin, Pooja Reddy, Marcia Belsky, Kiko and Tuna, and the band Heroine, the high-drama, unstoppable stage presence serves diva worship, dancing and wicked arrangements for his own entertainment. Owens could wake the dead with his god-given talent; he's certain to make a lifelong fan of you within seconds.
Lorena Russi Serna and Kyle Dacuyan welcome LGBTQ writers, performers and artists to share tales on a given theme at this well-curated storytelling night.
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.