If you’re broke and in need of a laugh, you’ve got an embarrassment of riches when it comes to comedy in NYC. On any given night, you can hit up some of NYC’s best comedy clubs to see sets from the city’s best rising comedians, along with well-established names. Check out our rundown of free shows in town, which will satisfy die-hard fans of improv comedy and even clue you in budding comics in on the best open-mic nights in town.
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Best free comedy shows in NYC
Jeffrey Emerson, Jill Weiner and Brian Moran host this weekly night of stellar stand-up featuring a diverse range of comedians, including known names like Matteo Lane and Farah Brook and newcomers like Menuhin Hart and Melissa Diaz. The May 15 edition features Sally Ann Hall, Chanel Ali, Ryan Mulholland, Ethan Hall, Cres Hernandez and Sonja Savanovic.
One and One hosts this local talent showcase every Friday, with Phil Stamato, Daniel Raderstrong and Fume Abe wrangling acts from across town to headline the bill. Past guests have included Myq Kaplan, Shane Torres and Aparna Nancherla. After the show, performers get the weekend started by joining the audience for a lively afterparty. This week features Brooklyn fan-favorites Alingon Mitra, Anna Drezen, Sonia Denis and Nick Vatterott.
Dive deep into the absurd with hosts Lorelei Ramirez, Tim Platt and Peter Mills Weiss at this night of improvised short plays. The lineup features Karolena Theresa, Moreno Monolo, Jennifer Vanilla and one of our faves, Difficult People’s ridiculously talented sketch madman Cole Escola. Count on this madcap bunch to deliver material that is as surreal as it is hilarious.
Get some free laughs at this new comedy showcase, going down monthly at Bushwick's rad social-justice-minded watering hole, Starr Bar. The inaugural night is hosted by Nore Davis and features Emma Willmann (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), Will Miles (The Chris Gethard Show), Yamaneika Saunders (Last Comic Standing), Sydnee Washington (The Unofficial Expert), Joel Kim Booster (Conan) and Sasheer Zamata (SNL).