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Photograph: JT Anderson @jtcanshoot

The most amazing outdoor comedy shows to see in NYC right now

You don't have to wait for comedy clubs to reopen indoors to sign up for a night of hearty laughs.

By Collier Sutter
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New Yorkers—how much do you miss belly-laughing at a comedy show? While we cannot yet huddle inside some of NYC’s beloved comedy dens, comedy institutions across the city are taking their stages outdoors, and bringing back laughter to New York. While you can stay at home and stream your go-to stand-up comedians’ specials over and over again, you can also head out to hear the roar that erupts after a cheeky joke in person. From impromptu performances in NYC's sprawling green spaces to stand-up at a drive-in movie theater, here are all the best outdoor comedy locales you can visit for a good laugh right now. 

Outdoor Comedy

Central Park nyc
Central Park nyc
Courtesy Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY in the Park

Things to do Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

This small but mighty comedy institution on the Upper West Side, first opened in 1986 promoting big names including Robin Williams and Jerry Seinfeld. To keep up with the times, the comedy club has now taken its legacy (and stage) to New York's sprawling green spaces. Stand Up NY is currently doing three dozen comedic performances a week across NYC's parks. At a recent gig Derek Gaines took the stage, a NYC Comedian in The King of Staten Island alongside SNL's Pete Davidson.

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nyc
Photograph: JT Anderson @jtcanshoot

The Tiny Cupboard

News City Life

This Bushwick-based performance venue is bringing live comedy back with socially-distanced sets on its rooftop. The DIY rooftop comedy club is hosting 15 shows to laugh at each week, with three to four shows per day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Spectators are treated to a rotating roster of hilarious talent, with many on-the-rise comedians and established funny people on the mic. Some shows are free, while others are still affordable, costing $5, $7 or at the most 10 bucks. 

Best of all, most of their sets start in the early evening, around 6pm with nights ending around 11pm—which means spectators can laugh with the backdrop of Brooklyn and the Manhattan skyline during sunset.

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Photograph: JT Anderson/@jtcanshoot

Take it Outside Comedy

Take it Outside Comedy is throwing a variety of socially distanced shows in roving locations across the city multiple times a week from Fort Greene to Bed-Stuy and Lower East Side to Crown Heights. Keeping locations secret (unless DMed to attend) is a part of the thrill, too. The comedy initiative has advertised mostly via Instagram. Most nights are free, but you can courteously tip the talent and hosts on Venmo. 

nyc comedy
nyc comedy
Photograph: courtesy Arin Sang-urai/ Photo Juice

Now & Then Comedy

In the back patio of Now & Then Bar in Bushwick, producers Laura Sogar and Rachel Lander have been putting together live standup comedy nights, featuring comics seen on Comedy Central, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Ru Paul's Drag Race and MTV's Wild 'n' Out. Now & Then Bar is currently doing reserved seating only for shows, with tickets purchased in advance found here. Tickets run around 10 bucks. All guests are required to wear a mask.

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nyc comedy
nyc comedy
Photograph: @Photojuice

Last Show in Brooklyn

This backyard comedy series, produced by Osh Noam, Carina Marie Livoti and Sean Dunford, brings in on-the-rise comedians for an evening of hilarity. Masks are required and the “secret” address can be requested over direct message on their social media.

nyc comedy
nyc comedy
Courtesy Penthouse Comedy

Penthouse Comedy

Pull up for a set list of comics, put on by hosts Shafi Hossain and Jake Velazquez. Penthouse Comedy currently have two residencies in Bushwick, one in Haitian-inspired cafe Cafe Erzulie’s backyard, and the other on the Tiny Cupboard’s rooftop. 

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