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The Best Places to See Comedy in New York City

August 1, 2019 by Michael Gioia
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Photo Credit: iStock

Whether you’re eagerly awaiting the third season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” or you’re just looking for a good laugh, we’ve got you covered. August is Comedy Month here at TodayTix, and you can get tickets from $5 to hundreds of shows across the city. There is no better place or time to catch the most hilarious comedians and best comedy shows in the city. From standout standups to hilarious improv shows created right before your eyes, here are 29 places guaranteed to tickle your funny bone.

The Peoples Improv Theater has seen such alumni as “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star Ellie Kemper and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Improv-based comedy shows play every night so you can see new material from heavy-hitters like Aparna Nancherla and Christian Finnegan, or merge your love of comedy with your love of horror at “Gas Station Horror“.

Broadway Comedy Club
Located in the theater district, the Broadway Comedy Club has a calendar full of standups. Find your favorite up-and-coming comic or attend an evening featuring the club’s all-star lineup with special guests from MTV, HBO, “The Tonight Show,” Comedy Central, “The Daily Show” and more. From IMPROV 4 KIDS to On the Spot, there are plenty of improv and comedy shows for everyone.

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
A downtown hub for stand-up comedians, the Greenwich Village Comedy Club includes solo shows as well as “The Week in Sex” podcast live onstage.

UCB Theatre
Cofounded by Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre has trained distinguished comedians such as Donald Glover, Kate McKinnon, Aziz Ansari and more.

Magnet Theater
Specializing in improv sketch comedy, the Magnet Theater is a great place for a completely made-up musical. Check out “Premiere: The Improvised Musical,” at which the cast creates a show based on audience suggestions, or the “Trike,” one of Time Out NY’s favorite improv duos.

The performance space in Queens offers shows and special events — as well as a bar and café — in Astoria. If you’re looking to take the mic, there are plenty of opportunities at Q.E.D.’s happy hour open mic events.

EastVille Comedy Club
Brooklynites rejoice! You don’t have to be in Manhattan to see some of the biggest names in comedy. Jeannine Garofolo is a regular here, and Phoebe Robinson also stops by frequently. Bonus: There’s no drink minimum.

Stand Up NY
If you’re looking for a laugh, Stand Up NY offers comic shows seven nights a week. Also featured this month is the Comedy Mob Festival, in which 60-plus comics will compete to win the third annual festival.

New York Comedy Club
Open since 1989, New York Comedy Club offers shows seven nights a week and even features a roast battle tournament, where comics go head to head to see who is the funniest — and the meanest — comic in town!

West Side Comedy Club
Located on West 75th Street, the West Side Comedy Club bills itself as the “brainchild” of co-owner Eugene Ashe and his wife Nina, who met at the iconic Caroline’s Comedy Club — and want to bring the magic of improv and stand-up from the 1990s with them. Check out the regular “MVPs” show and pro tip: the tacos and margs are delicious.

Thirst Trap Comedy
On Aug. 8, comedian Anya Volz will host her monthly edition of “Thirst Trap,” featuring comedians from Comedy Central, Netflix, HBO, MTV, and more at Gemini & Scorpio Loft. Get ready for an evening of laughs, games and shenanigans.

Think it’s funny to watch someone get paintballed or electric shocked? At BATSU!, four “warriors” compete in epic (and hilarious) competitions — and if they fail, they must pay the price.Drunk Shakespeare
The title says it all. One actor gets takes five shots before the performance, while their fellow performers attempt to usher them through the show. Bottoms up!

Come for the laughs, stay for a… date? The interactive theatrical experience examines the world of online dating. But make sure you come with a charged phone because you may be required to download the show’s app and start swiping!

LGBTQ comedians band together in “Gaylarious,” which features special guests from across the country joking about all things… gay!

BLANK! The Musical
Bring your thinking cap to “BLANK! The Musical” because these actors are starting the show with a clean slate. Audiences participate in the improvised musical, which is a completely new experience each and every night.

LMAO All Stars
At “LMAO,” comedians come together to create an interactive musical comedy with the help of the audience. Make sure you’re dressed to impress because you may be invited on stage.

Improv Asylum
The improv troupe offers weekly shows such as “The Hustle Showcase” and “Raunch” as well as special events.

Amateur Night at the Apollo
If you’ve always dreamed of performing on stage at the legendary Apollo Theater, “Amateur Night” is your chance. However, the audience can be tough, so come with a thick skin if you don’t plan on sitting this one out and just being a spectator.

“Jacqueline Novak: Get On Your Knees”
In “Get On Your Knees,” comedian Jacqueline Novak is making cracks about one thing in particular: blowjobs. Get ready for an evening of penis jokes in the show described as “part feminist outcry, part coming-of-age tale of triumph.”

“Stand Up and Take Your Clothes Off”
Featuring some of the funniest females in New York City, “Stand Up and Take Your Clothes Off” will welcome a slew of special guests and even some sassy burlesque acts. The lineup of top-notch comics will not disappoint.

Improvised Buffy
Buffy fans, this one’s for you! Although Sarah Michelle Gellar may not be there, “Improvised Buffy” has a cast of talented actors who create a live episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — on the spot!

“The Breakdown with Boris Khaykin”
At this late-night show, host Boris Khaykin interviews special guests and then their interview is “broken down” by some of NYC’s best improvisers. Plus, a beatboxer is also on hand to help with breaking down the evening.