New York City is all about nightlife and entertainment. It is a melting pot for talent and some would even say the comedy capital of the world. Comedians seem to always back track and identify NYC as being the place they began their journey of chuckles.
There is certainly no shortage of comedy venues throughout the city, all claiming to be home and the launching pad for some of the most critically acclaimed comedic geniuses in the business. Well, we have finally done the research. We surveyed a combination New York natives, tourists, and new residents who thrive on searching for the right place for a good laugh in the city that supposedly doesn’t sleep. Here are the results.
#4 Comedy Cellar at the Village Underground
Home of DAVE ATTELL’S new “COMEDY UNDERGROUND” series on Comedy Central, and TIME OUT NY 2013 WINNER: #1 ON BEST NIGHTLIFE LIST: The new iteration offers wider aisles and more personal space. The Underground’s decor—brick wall, stained-glass signage, floral vase, piano—is visually identical to its precursor, but features upgrades such as video screens, tiered seating platforms that improve sight lines, a lower and smaller stage, and added speakers. The result is a more physically relaxed experience that emphasizes the brand’s dedication to professionalism while promising an air of unpredictability.
#3 Gotham Comedy Club
Native New Yorkers Chris Mazzilli and Michael Reisman opened Gotham Comedy Club in May 1996. Mazzilli, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, was roundly praised at that time for his top to bottom design of the original 3,300 square foot space. “It’s been ten years since a club of this magnitude opened in Manhattan,” said Mazzilli at the time. We felt that it was time for changes in the way comedy clubs have been perceived: all comedy and no ambiance.
Over the past decade, Mazzilli has proven himself to be a leader in the industry, bringing comics such as Dave Chapelle, Lewis Black and Colin Quinn (to name a few) to his stage. Gotham Comedy Club has become the backdrop for many TV shows and films such as Jerry Seinfeld’s 2002 Miramax film “Comedian” and Larry David’s pilot of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.
#2 Carolines on Broadway
The great demand for comedy brought standing-room-only crowds to Carolines, which moved to a larger space at New York’s historic South Street Seaport to accommodate the ever-growing audiences. There, business continued to thrive, and the club quickly established itself as the city’s top comedy venue. It also became home to the A&E Network’s highly successful series, “Caroline’s Comedy Hour,” which would eventually garner the prestigious Cable ACE Award for “Best Comedy Series.” In 1992, Hirsch once again relocated her club, this time to its grand setting on Broadway in Times Square, where the club continues to present the country’s biggest and best comedians in a sophisticated, state-of-the-art nightclub, bringing the live comedy experience to new heights.
Today, Carolines on Broadway continues to hold center stage in Times Square as one of New York City’s most popular and enduring hotspots and as the city’s only genuine nightclub.
#1 Comic Strip Live
Opened in May 1975, Comic Strip Live is the longest running showcase comedy club in the world. Seven nights a week top comedians you’ve seen on television and the silver screen take the microphone on our world famous stage and prove why New York Magazine calls us, “The most expertly booked club in the city.”
Many comedy legends have started their careers on our legendary stage including Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, and more. The tradition of nurturing new comedians continues with regularly scheduled open mics, new talent showcases, and stand-up comedy classes. The new comedians you see on our stage today might be the stars you see tomorrow!
Voted AOL City Guide “BEST COMEDY CLUB”, Comic Strip Live features a light menu, full bar and intimate showroom. A new 9-foot projection screen makes it perfect for private or corporate events, movie screenings, and viewing parties.
Call 212.861.9386 for more information.