The New York Comedy Festival is in full gear this week with shows by top acts at big and small stages all over town. You can catch many of the shows at well-known venues like Town Hall, Upright Citizens Brigade, Stand Up NY and a host of others all over the city. To dive a little deeper into the comedy scene, we’ve come up with a list of under-the-radar comedy clubs that are worth checking out at any time of year.
The Creek and the Cave
Definitely off the beaten path, this Long Island City club is home to the best new comics on the scene, but has also quickly become one of the go-to spots for established acts to drop by to try out new material. Recent sightings have included Colin Quinn and Jerry Seinfeld. It doesn’t get much bigger than that. 10-93 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, 718-706-8783, creeklic.com
EastVille Comedy Club
With just over 100 seats, it doesn’t get any more intimate than this tiny room in the East Village. Top comedians like Aziz Anzari and Sarah Silverman have taken the stage in the past, but you’ll also find New York’s future stars entertaining the audience, especially on Tuesday and Wednesdays when there are special up-and-coming comedy showcases. Weekday open mic sessions also highlight true newbies. 85 E. 4th St., 212-260-2445, eastvillecomedy.com
The Bell House
This indie-rock venue beloved by Brooklyn hipsters brings in the most cutting-edge stars on the scene. Funny man Eugene Mirman put this club on the map with an annual festival and frequent shows throughout the year. Also keep an eye on the website, because you might be able to catch a last-minute gig by established acts like Janeane Garofalo and Reggie Watts for less than $10. 149 7th St., Brooklyn, 718-643-6510, bellhouseny.com
Even if seeing live sketch comedy isn’t your idea of a fun night out, this comedy hub just might change your mind. You can see some of the city’s funniest people take the stage for original musicals, wacky improv shows, and surprise bits from the likes of comedy legend Mike Myers. The theater even offers classes so you can work on your routine and then take the stage to show New York what you’ve got. 254 W. 29th St., 212-244-8824, magnettheater.com
This longtime cabaret and piano bar has been one of Greenwich Village’s most dynamic entertainment spots for decades. Although, there’s campy fun here every night, keep an eye out for the special comedy and musical shows including funny drag and musical performances. This is where iconic names like Woody Allen and Joan Rivers have appeared on stage, so the history is worth a visit alone. 61 Christopher St., 212-255-5438, theduplex.com
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