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The 10 best holiday comedy shows in New York City

The greatest comedy clubs NYC has to offer are all putting on some festive shows—here’s our pick of the funniest, weirdest and silliest

By Nick Leftley

Bummed Thanksgiving is over? Don’t know what to do between now and Christmas? Take heart, holiday-loving New Yorker: Some of the city’s best clubs are putting on some seriously great comedy shows this month. We’ve got everything from John Waters to gun-toting Santas, so get ready to ho-ho-ho it up.

RECOMMENDED: See the complete guide to Christmas in New York

Bing Faithful's Very Merry Nondenominational Holiday Special

Comedy Sketch shows

Celebrating the spirit of old-timey Christmas specials, this show on December 12 at the PIT sees crooner Bing Faithful attempt to go ahead with his musical variety show after learning, just moments before he walks onstage, that all five members of his band have been killed in a horrific bus crash. There are tons of plot twists, but we won’t ruin them here.

Photograph: Rachael Wright

A John Waters Christmas


If you prefer flamingos to turkey at Christmas, or if you like your man in the red suit to have a pencil mustache rather than a white, bushy beard, head to City Winery for an evening with the one and only John Waters. The king of subversion is telling tales on December 14 at his sold out show, and superfans can shell out a little extra for a still available meet-and-greet ticket.

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels

Muppet Vault: Christmas!


It’s hard to say no to the Muppets any time of the year, but doubly so at Christmas. On December 14, this holiday edition of the monthly get-together—hosted by Muppet fanatics—screens classic Muppet Christmas moments, and features a sing-along of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.


Dan St. Germain's Christmas Spooktacular

Comedy Sketch shows

Looking for some more straightforward laughs? Head to Union Hall on December 16 for a show that’s festive without being overly complicated, that is, a bunch of super talented comics—including Kevin Barnett and former SNL-er Brooks Wheelan—taking the stage and making with the funnies.

Photograph: Mindy Tucker

A Very Special Holiday Haunting Renditions Live

Comedy Musical

Eliot Glazer follows up his well-observed Web series It Gets Betterish with Haunting Renditions, in which he transforms fluffy pop hits into grand, orchestral affairs. He is joined by his sister Ilana Glazer (Broad City).


Andy Rocco Presents: Santa the Gunslinger

Comedy Sketch shows

Those looking for an extra dose of weird would be wise to check out the Andy Rocco Show’s special Christmas edition at UCB on December 19, in which the audience will be treated to the story of Santa Claus doing his thing (or would that be “thang”?) in the Wild West.

The Dean Martin Christmas PITacular

Comedy Character

If you're missing the star-studded variety shows of yesteryear, this is the show for you. On December 20, Philip Casale stars as Dean Martin, valiantly trying to put on a Christmas Spectacular with his friends Carol Burnett (Jane Kehoe), Kim Novak (Tim Girrbach), Jimmy Stewart (Josh Krebs), Liberace (Chris Aurilio) and many, many more. This one is going to be gloriously ridiculous.


The 2014 IT SUCKED Awards!

Comedy Sketch shows

Eschewing the tradition of celebrating the best of 2014, the IT SUCKED Awards sees the team behind Night Late discussing all that was terrible this year. Haters of haters should probably stay home on December 22. Hosted by Aparna Nancherla.

Photograph: Brad Barket

A Very Jewish Christmas

Comedy Stand-up

For those looking for a reason not to spend Christmas Eve with their families, this is a comedy show worth converting for. Marion Grodin, Jared Freid, Louis Katz, Sam Morril and more bring their talents to the stage.

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