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

Photograph: Courtesy Jenni Walkowiak
Comedy, Sketch shows

All Female Reboot

Liz Magee and her crew of very funny women give male-starring (and often overrated) movies their own spin in this hilarious and ingenious sketch show. Show up to watch some of the city's top comics rip apart beloved patriarchal films from every generation, with plenty of digs into the male buffoons of the current political and cultural era. What's not to love? 

Natalie Wall
Photograph: Courtesy Damon Scheleur
Comedy, Storytelling

Awkward Sex... and the City

Skip the dark comedy club and head to a stylish sex shop for Natalie Wall's always-dope, perfectly curated sex storytelling show, which offers cringe-inducing, heartbreaking and gut-busting tales every month. Joining Wall for some drinks and stories are Ophira Eisenberg and Nore Davis. Audience members get a 15% discount on Pleasure Chest merch—so the fun won't stop when the show is over.    

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Comedy, Stand-up

Comedy at Stonewall

icon-location-pin West Village
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The lovely duo of Chrissie Mayr and Oscar Aydin host this long-running showcase of dope queer and queer-appealing comics at the historic Stonewall. This month the show presents its third annual tribute to ladies who love ladies. On the lineup: Tina Barro, Whitney Chanel Clark, Claudia Cogan, Veronica Garza and Paris Sashay.

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. 

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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.

Photograph: Courtesy Jenni Walkowiak
Comedy, Stand-up

Female Comedians (with Tits!)

icon-location-pin Bedford-Stuyvesant
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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.

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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. 

Photo Credit: Phil Provencio
Comedy, Stand-up

Grin & Barrett Comedy

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

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Hot Box Comedy, The Unofficial Expert
Photograph: Courtesy Jenni Walkowiak
Comedy, Stand-up

Hot Box Comedy

Sydnee Washington and Marie Faustin— two of our favorite comedians in NYC and cohosts of podcast The Unofficial Expert—round up their funniest friends to dress up and get down at this stand-up showcase on the last Wednesday of the month. 

Comedy, Stand-up

It's Christi, B*tch!

A good performer bears her soul in an an honest and engaging way. A great performer does it while making her audience feel like family. Make no mistake: Christi Chiello is a great performer. The champion of crowd-work takes you through her personal saga of tempestuous lust, bizarre gigs and complex relations with Jesus. You'll be a happier person for seeing this show. 

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Vanessa Valerio, Anita Flores
Photograph: Courtesy Tine DiLucia
Comedy, Stand-up

Party of Two

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.

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

Peter Smith & Sandy Honig's the Bongo Hour

icon-location-pin Lower East Side
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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.

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Comedy, Stand-up

Samantha: Comedy at the Pleasure Chest

Liz Magee and Melissa Aquiles hold court at adult toy shop The Pleasure Chest in this dope monthly show. Bring a drink and catch sets by Addie Weyrich, Samantha Ruddy, Isabel Hagen, George Civeris, Rebecca O'Neal and Suzy Swygert. Prepare to walk out with 15% discounted goodies.  

Alyssa Stonoha
Photograph: Courtesy Sandy Honig
Comedy

Taste Flavor

As part of comedy trio Three Busy Debras—who took over Carnegie Hall in 2016 and will rule human civilization in an ideal future—Alyssa Stonoha has exhibited a brilliant eye for self-aware silliness. At this monthly night of nonsense, the bleak and brilliant creator curates comedians, singers and all sorts of wild acts on the UCB East stage.

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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. 

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Robin Gelfenbien
Cathryn Lynne Lundgren
Things to do, Performances

Yum's the Word

Robin Gelfenbien, the empress of salty storytelling, pairs all-star yarn-spinners with home-made ice cream cake at this popular monthly showcase. This edition features powerhouse comedian Gastor Almonte, three-time Moth Story SLAM winners Erin Barker and Colin Wilhm, Moth GrandSLAM champ Stacey Bader-Curry and, as always, Lactaid pills.

The Best Shows in Brooklyn

Comedy

As If! Comedy

icon-location-pin Bushwick
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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. 

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. 

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

Bitches Brew

icon-location-pin 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. 

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!

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Patti Harrison, Mitra Jouhari and Catherine Cohen
Photograph: Courtesy Sandy Honig
Comedy, Stand-up

It's a Guy Thing

You'll certainly be telling your grandchildren about the summer you caught Mitra Jouhari, Patti Harrison and Catherine Cohen live in Brooklyn—for only ten dollars. The untouchable, bi-coastal trio unites their powers of lacerating satire, catchy musical composition and astonishing self-awareness for this jumbo-sized event. Look out for subversive original songs, outrageous looks and a pantheon of hilarious guests. Snatch your tickets fast—you'll soon be out of chances to catch these three imminent icons on one stage. 

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

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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Lorelei Ramirez
Photograph: Courtesy Yoko Haraoka
Comedy

Not Dead Yet

Anything goes at this variety show, at which demented characters, strange songs and nonsensical stand-up sets abound. Artist, video maker, surreal stand-up and indefatigably chill host Lorelei Ramirez reigns over the dark tidings, with comedy, video and music performances that you won't soon forget. 

Fareeha Khan
Photograph: Courtesy Arin Sang-urai
Comedy

OutCasts: A Comedy Show About Outcasts

icon-location-pin Park Slope
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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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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. 

NIR ARIELI
Comedy

Speak American

icon-location-pin Crown Heights
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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. 

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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. 

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).

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Arti Gollapudi
Photograph: Courtesy Dee Guerreros
Comedy

Yourself, Your Body

icon-location-pin Park Slope
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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

icon-location-pin Long Island City
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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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