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The cast dances on stage in a kickline.
Photograph: By Carlos Perez / Courtesy of The Second City

Five things to expect at the new Second City comedy club in Brooklyn

It's the best comedy spot to open in NYC in a long time.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

Need a laugh? The Second City—the renowned comedy club with locations in Chicago and Toronto—just opened in Brooklyn, and you will definitely laugh out loud there. The New York City venue, which opened on the legendary club’s 65th anniversary, offers hilarious live comedy every single night of the week.

Some of the funniest names in comedy got their start at Second City. Just a few Second City alumni include: Bill Murray, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Amber Ruffin, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Aidy Bryant. You might just see the next comedy star on this stage. We got a sneak peek at the new venue this week and rounded up five things that you can expect there.

RECOMMENDED: The best comedy clubs in NYC

The audience at Second City laughs during a show.
Photograph: By Gregg Delman / Courtesy of The Second City

1. To laugh out loud

Most importantly, you're going to laugh at Second City's signature sketch shows and improv performances, which are hosted every night of the week. 

There's The First City Revue, an original sketch comedy and improv show, which runs about two hours. For the improv element, expect to shout out answers to the comedians' questions, and they might just make up an entire wacky skit based on your suggestion. That show runs on Wednesday-Sunday each week, with tickets ranging from $39-$116.

The venue's other show is called The Best of The Second City. This one presents some of the most gut-busting material from The Second City archives. Given the club's long legacy, its archive houses thousands of sketches written by world-famous comedians, and they've handpicked some of the best for this show. It runs on Saturday-Tuesday each week, with tickets ranging from $39-$59.

Shows are performed by the venue’s New York City ensemble, including Jackyln Uweh, Ashley Leisten, Ben Rameaka, Yazmin Ramos, Drew Reilly and Jordan Savusa. They’re directed by Jen Ellison, with Alan Kliffer as artistic director, Jeff Bouthiette as musical director, Matt Prigge as producer, and Kayla Freeman as stage manager, with technical direction from Kurt Cruz. 

Food and cocktails on offer at The Brentwood
Photograph: By Noah Fecks / Courtesy of The Second City

2. Actually good food and drinks

At a lot of New York City comedy clubs, the cocktails are so badly made and so watered down that bottled or canned drinks are the only palatable beverage on the menu. That's not the case at Second City, which boasts a full restaurant/bar called The Bentwood. There are about a dozen cocktails on the menu, including a few beverages with themed titles, like the Stage Left, the Brooklyn, and the Rave Revue. As for food, expect apps, burgers, other sandwiches, and cottage fries. 

Plus, prices aren't bad for NYC standards. On the drink menu, beers cost $7-12; wines go for $10-16; and cocktails cost $16-24. Burgers are the main feature on the food menu, which range from $12-24.

If you don't have time to eat at the restaurant before the show, there's even a vast in-show dining menu, and you can order right to your seat. Better yet? There's no drink minimum at Second City's theaters.

The exterior of The Second City.
Photograph: By Carlos Perez / Courtesy of The Second City

3. Beautiful design

Forget the dingy basement comedy scene. Instead, Second City offers an elevated experience in its thoughtfully designed space. You’ll walk into an open lobby with a bar decorated with pictures of famous Second City alumni (Tina Fey, Keegan-Michael Key, Amber Ruffin, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, and Tim Meadows). 

The main stage itself bears a cool sunburst decoration. But our favorite part is the theater's peacock-shaped lighting fixtures which look like relics from The Belle Époque but seamlessly blend into the contemporary design.

The women's bathroom at The Second City.
Photograph: By Rossilynne Skena Culgan for Time Out

4. Nice bathrooms

Yes, nice bathrooms get their own entry on our list. That's because typical NYC comedy club bathrooms can be so incredibly skeezy that finding one that's clean and beautiful blows our minds. With gorgeous marble, flattering lighting, and free menstrual products, Second City earns all our applause. Get this: There are even multiple stalls (!!!) to prevent long lines. On behalf of all New Yorkers' bladders, thank you, Second City. 

The Second City cast poses on stage.
Photograph: By Gregg Delman / Courtesy of The Second City

5. A training center 

In case you get bitten by the comedy bug, there’s a training center on-site. The complex includes seven studio classrooms spread throughout the two floors. Whether you're a newbie to the comedy scene or a more advanced performer, there's a class for you. To name a few, the venue offers classes in improv, writing, stand-up, storytelling, and public speaking. That public speaking class would help even if you don't want to be on the stage but you do want to nail your next presentation at work. Here's how to book a class.

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