The best comedy shows by women in NYC

The funniest women in NYC perform stand-up, sketch and improv every night. We break down the best shows by borough.
X Mayo, Shenovia Large
Credit: Photograph: Courtesy Rafael Rautha, Dayane Ohira
By David Goldberg |
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The days of schlubby male stand-ups in sweatpants complaining about their girlfriends are (hopefully) over, at least in NYC. Women-identifying, trans and nonbinary performers have taken over NYC's best comedy clubs, and we couldn't be happier. Whether you're looking for musical, sketch, stand-up or improv, we've got a show from you, from performers we adore like Sydnee Washington, Phoebe Robinson, Catherine Cohen and Justin Vivian Bond. Here's our handy guide for shows going down in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. 

The Best Shows in Manhattan

Amanda Duarte
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Sharkey
Theater, Comedy

Dead Darlings

Welcome to the cult of Amanda Duarte. The dark queen of satire assembles her own team of creative freedom fighters at this monthly forum for scrapped projects, cut pieces and lost art. For the September edition, head to the stunning Judson Memorial Church to catch one-time-only readings and rants from the matchlessly incendiary Duarte and a sharp lineup of guests. 

Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney
Photograph: Courtesy Amy Lombard
Comedy

Everybody Hates Us (But Not Tonight)

Betsy Kenney and Dara Katz have liberated themselves from the opinions of peers and friends, and at their unbeatable new show, they ask you to do the same. They welcome comedians, dancers and drag queens to share in some blissful, cathartic confidence-building, with liquid confidence from the bar’s menu of signature margaritas.

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Photograph: Courtesy Jenni Walkowiak
Comedy, Stand-up

Female Comedians (with Tits!)

Mary Cella and Janet Hyde take over Tip Top bar for a night of confident, uproarious stand-up with their very funny friends. Look out for bizarre prize giveaways, excellent drink specials and hilarious sets from Karolena Teresa, Andrew Collin, Tommy McNamara, Napoleon Emill and Mary Houlihan.

Photograph: Courtesy Antonia Predovan
Comedy, Stand-up

Golden Spiral Comedy

This free monthly show hosted by Katie Compa and Mindy Raf has a very nerdy premise: set lengths follow the Fibonacci sequence (five, eight, thirteen and twenty-one minutes). August boasts another killer show, with NPR darling Ophira Eisenberg. 

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Photo Credit: Phil Provencio
Comedy, Stand-up

Grin & Barrett Comedy

The fabulously funny Liz Barrett combines an incredible mix of pros and up-and-coming comedians at her long-running show. 

Ali Levin
Photograph: Courtesy Jonathan J. Loncle
Comedy

Melania's Day Off

Ali Levin gives the First Lady some much-needed razzle dazzle at this wild cabaret variety show. She'll go all out with songs, videos and sketches to sympathize with the Oval Office's most misunderstood character. Come for the White House shade, stay for Levin's go-for-broke performance. She's joined by pianist Paolo C. Perez and Jillian Green. 

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Peter Smith & Sandy Honig's Bongo Hour
Photograph: Courtesy Sandy Honig
Comedy

Peter Smith & Sandy Honig's the Bongo Hour

Every month, two of our most beloved comedic minds craft a mysterious new night of deranged performances at the legendary Slipper Room, leading us to ask...what madness awaits at the Bongo Hour? Smith and Honig are joined by silky-smooth musical director Ben Moss for this off-the-wall night of comedy, variety, music and dance breaks.

Wanjiko Eke
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy

Resistance is Fertile

icon-location-pin Henrietta Hudson, West Village
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Every month, Wanjiko Eke and Stef Dag invite their funniest queer friends to go off at the legendary lesbian bar Henrietta Hudson. 

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X Mayo and Shenovia Large
Photograph: Courtesy Rafael Rautha, Dayane Ohira
Comedy

Unsung Heroes of...

It's 2018 and late night comedy is somehow still populated with a bunch of straight white dudes in suits. Fortunately, the intrepid duo of X Mayo and Shenovia Large have arrived to blow up the game with this hilarious tour through comedy's great POC icons. Sit down and hush your mouth: School is in session!

Photograph: Courtesy Arin Sangurai
Comedy

Who Made The Potato Salad?

The unstoppable showcase presents you with a brand new musical comedy spectacular written, produced and performed in one day entirely by performers of color. Count on a stellar show, with bites, brews and music going all night. 

The Best Shows in Brooklyn

Addie Weyrich
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy

Addie Weyrich: Only Child Syndrome

Loveable loony toon Addie Weyrich looks back on the bizarro-world behaviors of a single child home at her new comedy roundup. She invites some of her favorite stand-ups and performers to go into their own familial mishegas at the January edition. 

Comedy

As If! Comedy

Anya Volz, Claire Parker and Blair Dawson team up every week for this totally nostalgic ’90s comedy show, featuring reminiscences on slap bracelets and jelly pens, trivia on cultural artifacts from Buffy to Xena, prize giveaways, and, of course, excellent stand-up. 

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Lacey Jeka, Kristen Buckels
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy, Stand-up

Between Two Bushes

Badass buddies Lacey Jeka and Kristen Buckels team up to support animal-rescue efforts and other nonprofits at their always-excellent variety showcase. 

Naomi Karavani
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy, Stand-up

Bitches Brew

icon-location-pin Halyards, Gowanus
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Halyard's brings you jokes from a bunch of very funny ladies at this free show brought to you by Naomi Karavani, Melissa Stokoski, Shelby Taylor and Erica Spera. 

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Marie Faustin, Sydnee Washington and Aminah Imani
Photograph: Courtesy Jenni Walkowiak
Comedy

Comedy at the Knitting Factory

icon-location-pin Knitting Factory, Williamsburg
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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. 

Dara Katz and Betsey Kenney
Photograph: Courtesy Sandy Honig
Comedy

Done! with Betsey Kenney and Dara Katz

On their gleefully salty podcast Done, best friends Betsey Kenney and Dara Katz call out the quotidian horrors of contemporary life that they just won't abide by. They bring the roast of modern society to Union Hall, where they're joined by fellow opinionated comedians Matt Rogers, Mike Kelton, Ziwe Fumudoh and Angelica Pasquini. 

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Girls with Brown Hair
Photograph: Courtesy Alex Schaefer
Comedy

Girls with Brown Hair

There's nary a sillier or sweeter duo in all of comedy than Sam Reece and Becky Chicoine, the sketch masters known as Girls with Brown Hair. Since 2011, the best buddies have torn through dozens of stages and hundreds of wigs in a peerless, fearless conquest of character comedy. They look back on their best (and most deranged) sketches at this special revue, featuring Amanda Giobbi and Kelley Quinn. Not to be missed!

Jenny Gorelick, Addie Weyrich
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy

Jenny's Birthday Variety Show

Like a hilarious retrograde amnesiac, Jenny Gorelick thinks it's her birthday...every month. Celebrate with the chipper performer, co-host Addie Weyrich and an excellent lineup of comedians at this frighteningly-upbeat show featuring pizza, pajamas and live music. 

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Comedy, Stand-up

Ladies Who Ranch

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Comedy Collective, Williamsburg
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We have good news. NYC's supreme sixsome of silliness—Kelly Cooper, Caitlin Dullea, Rachel Kaly, Maya Sharma, Caroline Yost and Sophie Zucker—are holding court monthly at the always-lit Brooklyn Comedy Collective. This month, the power posse throws a party chock-full of demented sketches, songs and sets, with an opening set from Meaghan Strickland. What's not to love? 

Sophie Santos and Jess Salomon
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy

The Lesbian Agenda

They're taking over. Get used to it. Ferocious comedians Jess Salomon and Sophie Santos invite their fiercest queer friends to shut down Union Hall with unapologetic woman-oriented sets. 

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Rae Sanni, Marcia Belsky
Photograph: Courtesy Mindy Tucker
Comedy

Misandry with Marcia and Rae

On their ferocious podcast Misandry, fireball comedians Marcia Belsky and Rae Sanni go in on the boobs, backlash and bullshit of our delightful little patriarchal terror state. For this special live edition, the pair goes all the way off, with Jaboukie Young-White, Jo Firestone, Larry Owens, Sydnee Washington and Mitra Jouhari joining in on the red-hot discourse.

Fareeha Khan
Photograph: Courtesy Arin Sang-urai
Comedy

OutCasts: A Comedy Show About Outcasts

We defy you to not gush over Fareeha Khan. The always-game, razor-sharp stand-up invites an diverse array of performers to join her at Union Hall and share stories and sets of feeling excluded, isolated and on the margins. 

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Julia Shiplett, Ben Wasserman, Emily Winter and Carolyn Busa
Photograph: Courtesy Jenni Walkowiak
Comedy, Stand-up

Side Ponytail

icon-location-pin Friends and Lovers, Crown Heights
icon-calendar

This free weekly getdown from Carolyn Busa, Julia Shiplett, Ben Wasserman and Emily Winter is a reliable night for solid laughs and surprise stars in Crown Heights. 

Becca Beberaggi
Photograph: Courtesy Jake Fromm
Comedy

So Many Problems

Sharp writer, comic and musician Becca Beberaggi welcomes a well-curated lineup of comedians to share sets on their biggest issues. We have a feeling they won't be running out of material any time soon. 

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NIR ARIELI
Comedy

Speak American

Israeli stand-up Noa Osheroff welcomes comedians who come from a vast range of backgrounds to share their experiences making it in America (and in the NYC comedy scene) at this darling monthly show. 

ThatShitRay
Photograph: Courtesy Bridget Badore
Comedy, Stand-up

ThatShitRay

Best buddies and very funny power duo Rachel Pegram and Rachel Joravsky return with another glorious tag-team show, this time at Union Hall. They're joined by Ana Fabrega, Sudi Green and Katie Hartman, with all proceeds benefitting Make the Road NY. You will laugh. You will dance. You will leave with two new comedy crushes. 

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Tinder: Live with Lane Moore
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Robe
Comedy, Improv

Tinder Live! with Lane Moore

At this popular and critically-acclaimed (or should we say, Super Liked?) show, host Lane Moore navigates Tinder onstage, messaging with help from other star comedians and writers. For this edition, Josh Gondelman, Jamilah Lemieux and Heben Nigatu assist Moore in her pursuit of love (by which we mean cringe-worthy moments and big laughs).

Arti Gollapudi
Photograph: Courtesy Dee Guerreros
Comedy

Yourself, Your Body

Poet and comedic maverick Arti Gollapudi takes aim at societal norms and body standards at her riotous monthly show. This time, the Handmaid's Tale: The Musical star is joined by Nore Davis, Milly Tamarez, Sophie Santos and Lena Einbinder for hilarious and creative sets and stories on self-image.   

The Best Shows in Queens

Comedy, Storytelling

Jenna & Aileen Think You're Great

Come through, queens! If your dreary day needs a shot of sunshine, look to the joyous duo of Jenna Marucci and Aileen Clark for a reliably good time at this monthly storytelling show. Each edition features a host of hilarious guests speaking to a new theme, like "Whitney Houston's National Anthem" or the Linda Belcher–inspired “Pass the Cranberry Sauce.” 

Comedy, Stand-up

MOIST

All hail Abby Feldman, the intrepid stand-up who doles out advice from her bathtub on her addicting podcast and video series MOIST. 

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Comedy

Truth Serum

The hilarious Zoe Yellen turns her late night talk show into a wild, boozy comedy get down, with drinking games, sketches and stand-up every month.  

Anita Flores
Photograph: Courtesy Lorena Russi
Comedy

The best comedy shows in NYC this week

Want to be in the cult of comedy? These get-downs at comedy clubs in NYC feature some of the city’s best and most diverse comedians taking the stage and doing what they do best. So whether you’re into regular open-mic nights or insane sketch comedy, we’ve got you covered. Some of the best NYC comedy podcast stars are known to make surprise appearances at these shows, so keep your eyes open…

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