10 New York City Comedy Clubs to Get Your Belly Laugh On

In a city where everyone is constantly on the hustle to get ahead, it can be nice to loosen up the reigns and let someone else do the heavy lifting for a night. Such is the case at so many of the comedy clubs that grace Manhattan's streets, drawing in unassuming patrons and turning them into participating audience members by the end of an act. 

At standbys like Carolines on Broadway or Comedy Cellar, visitors generally know what they're getting themselves into: it's rare to walk away from one of the greats with a frown on your face. 

However, much of the real comedy magic for many New Yorkers lies in the unknown. In places like Laughing Buddha, where up-and-coming hopefuls take the stage to try out new material, or out in Brooklyn where for just a few bucks, you can watch a different show each night at Union Hall

No matter the occasion, there's always a reason to crack a grin when you plop down in your seat at one of these comedy cellars. Not sure where to start?

Below, we take a trip to the 10 best comedy clubs in New York. 

New York Comedy Club


Locals say that the comedy at New York Comedy Club can be hit or miss, but when it's on, it's on fire. This snug club (read: no bad seats in the house) in Gramercy features top-flight comics, open mic nights and terrific sketch comedy each week....  Read More

Union Hall
Photo courtesy of Union Hall


If you're searching for a place that feels comfortable where you can toss back a few beers and maybe eat a chicken sandwich and some sweet potato fries while watching a great live show, Union Hall is a safe bet. A NY Mag "critic's pick" for best...  Read More

Lower East Side
Laughing Buddha


An underground comedy club conjures up images of a dark comedic underbelly running rampant under the city, and delighting brave patrons who dare to step inside. Laughing Buddha on the Lower East Side is no exception, though its name does add a...  Read More

Union Square


Named Best Comedy Club by New York Magazine, The Stand is part of a new wave of comedy clubs in the city. Not only do they feature top acts and rising stars, but their food and cocktail offerings are also on point. And unlike many other clubs in...  Read More

Carolines on Broadway
Photo courtesy of Carolines on Broadway


Not for the timid, Carolines on Broadway presents well-known acts performing down and dirty comedy. A two-drink minimum is strictly enforced, but rest assured that you'll need more than two if you sit close to the stage - comedians regularly...  Read More



Chicago-style improv is alive and well in the Big Apple thanks to the efforts of this energetic group of comedians. Indeed, founders Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh all hail from the Windy City, and their unique brand of...  Read More

Chicago City Limits
Photo courtesy of Chicago City Limits


Chicago City Limits boasts over 30 years of comedic entertainment on their website, which means they've been at this for a long, long time. That said, their tenure is far from the only reason you should go. This troupe consistently dazzles when...  Read More

West Village
Comedy Cellar


If the Village has a funny bone, this is where it gets tickled thanks to a star-studded group of alumni that includes Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, and Damon Wayans. Arguably the most famous comedy club in Manhattan,...  Read More

Gotham Comedy Club


A great place to catch stand-up acts any night of the week, Gotham has been on the scene since the mid-90s. The space's stylish red interior, designed by co-owner Chris Mazzilli, captures the magic of 20s-era New York, while the lobby walls are...  Read More

The Peoples Improv Theater
Photo courtesy of PIT


Hannibal Buress and Kristen Schaal cut their teeth at The Peoples Improv Theater, and every week, you can catch other comedic hopefuls on stage for pennies on the dollar of some other clubs. The PIT also has a rotating cast of regular shows,...  Read More


Meet Andrea Wien

Andrea Wien was bitten by the travel bug from an early age, and has lived in New York, Seattle, Cleveland and Sydney, Australia since 2007.

When she's not traveling or planning a trip, you'll...  More About Andrea