Always in Stitches: The Best Places to See Comedy in New York

In a city that launched a thousand standups, these are our favorite places to find them

February 20, 2024 6:16 am
Man talking on a stage under a spotlight to a crowd of people, one of the places to see comedy in New York
Moses Storm at West Side Comedy Club
West Side Comedy Club

New York’s storied relationship to comedy has been well-documented throughout the last century, from the rogues of the Algonquin Round Table to Brooklyn’s alt comedy scene. It’s no surprise that on any given night you can walk into a venue and see some of the most talented comedians performing today. No matter the borough, television royalty or underground geniuses, venues with decades of comics behind them or those just opened, there’s no shortage of places to see comedy, either. Check out some of these exciting spaces below, including tips for getting the most out of your visit in terms of food, seating and even gifts. 


Comedy Cellar

First opened in 1982, the Comedy Cellar is easily one of the most respected comedy venues in the city and the country. The Cellar, as it’s known, has three shows a night at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. Each set in its MacDougal Street location is bursting with different, talented comics, from Colin Quinn to Marina Franklin and Dave Attell to Matteo Lane, and special surprise guests who often drop in. The shows do fill up quickly though, so if you can’t make it to MacDougal Street, there are also top acts at the Cellar’s other venues like the Fat Black Pussycat and the Village Underground. Pro tip: you can also see comedians hanging out in their natural habitat before or between sets upstairs at The Olive Tree Cafe (just don’t bother them, of course). 

117 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Comic Strip Live

Comic Strip Live opened its doors in 1975, making it one of the longest running comedy venues in the world. Drawing the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler, who both recently filmed work there, the Comic Strip’s comedians have appeared everywhere from Conan to The Tonight Show to Comedy Central and so much more. The Comic Strip is open every night for laughs at 8 p.m., with additional shows at 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus, if you’re a local and you’re feeling adventurous, they even offer comedy classes that run in eight-week sessions. 

1568 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

These Are the Best Bakeries in New York City
Our picks for the finest baked goods, from bread to cookies and everything in-between

The Stand

Opened in 2012, The Stand became so successful and its owners so respected they even became comedy bookers for The Tonight Show in 2015. The original Stand still holds court in Gramercy Park, but they’ve since expanded their operations to include events at the Chelsea Music Hall downtown. The Stand is also regularly called upon not just for great comedians — Sherrod Small, Sydnee Washington and Adrienne Iapalucci among them — but it also prides itself on its food and cocktails, which are well beyond your typical nacho and beer fare. It’s got a Northern Italian menu, and is also open for brunch. 

116 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003

West Side Comedy Club

Run by comic Felicia Madison, the West Side Comedy Club lives under California-inspired Mexican restaurant Playa Betty’s on the Upper West Side. Comedians from Al Franken to Zarna Garg have graced its stage, and every night (and even during the day on weekends!) you can stop in for stacked lineups or solo shows, plus fabulous food from the restaurant upstairs.

201 W 75th St, New York, NY 10023

Queens and Brooklyn


Over in Astoria, Queens, you’ll find one of the most quirky, genuine comedy and event venues in New York: Q.E.D., which stands for the Latin phrase “quod erat demonstratum,” or “that which is demonstrated.” Comedy in a variety of forms takes the stage at Q.E.D., whether it’s improv or standup or storytelling. Run by Kambri Crews, an author and comedy booker known for her work at venues like 92Y and Comix, every night is different at Q.E.D., which also functions as a space for classes, podcasting, rehearsals and more. Plus, check out their shop for a plethora of cool gifts like comedy books, art supplies and journals. Most shows are $15 or less.

27-16 23rd Ave, Queens, NY 11105


Park Slope’s Littlefield has been a Brooklyn staple since it opened in 2009, and in that time has become known for beloved comedy shows like Maeve Higgins, Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla’s Butterboy, which features special guests ranging from Joe Pera to Marie Faustin, among many others. Other nights you’ll find events like book release parties (Gary Gulman just celebrated his there), comedy dating shows (like the hilariously titled “Young Hot Sluts”), the raucous storytelling show Mortified featuring awkward tales from our youth, comedy album recordings, one-person shows and more. Tickets are usually under $35, though many are also under $20.

635 Sackett St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

The Bell House

Also in Park Slope, The Bell House is a faithful standby of Brooklyn’s thriving comedy scene — it was regularly the site of NPR’s Ask Me Another — but also brings in big touring acts like Rory Scovel, Michelle Buteau and Jerrod Carmichael. The glitter lasts all week, whether it’s a lineup of comics, improv or a solo performance. It’s a big venue, too — there are about 200 seats. Many events are general admission for mixed seated and standing, though, so make sure you get there early to grab a good spot.

149 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

The Tiny Cupboard

One of the city’s newest comedy clubs, The Tiny Cupboard quickly became known for its dedication to top-notch underground comedy in its famously welcoming and intimate quarters. It’s not one of those venues that’s too full of itself, and even its website features splashes of self-deprecating humor and staff reviews of each show. But The Tiny Cupboard has much to be proud of — it was named Time Out New York’s Best New Culture Venue in 2021. Its friendly atmosphere and affordable tickets have helped it have packed houses ever since.

10 Cooper St, Brooklyn, NY 11207

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.