Comedy clubs in New York usually feature top-class comedy acts. Of course, this is mostly due to the fact that this is New York, one of the most competitive entertainment environments around, and a mediocre comedian isn’t likely to last long.
Potential customers might want to select comedy clubs based on characteristics other than the comic personalities who perform there. Other criteria for selecting comedy clubs might be seating capacity, location, cover charge, and the status of the comedy club itself. A plus for the guests of most comedy clubs are surprise superstar performers. Renowned comedians, like Robin Williams and Damon Wayans, can suddenly appear in a comedy club without the audience ever expecting it. The following are comedy clubs in the Manhattan area of New York.
By reputation, Laugh Lounge NYC has the award for Citysearch’s Best Comedy Club in New York for the year 2005. According to its website, Laugh Lounge was where stand-up comedy was started, in Vaudeville theaters. Cover charges vary per day from $10-$15, while happy hour is on Fridays from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
The Laugh Factory started in the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, but it also has a club in New York. It has been a performing place for famous and soon to be famous comedians, whose likes include Jim Carrey, Chris Tucker, Robin Williams and Adam Sandler. The website of the Laugh Factory says that the club prides itself as a place on being a club that caters to up-and-coming comics and helps them to develop their talent rather than exploit it. That’s good news, as comedians are allowed and encouraged to develop their skills freely rather than risk their creative expression for cash. The Laugh Factory club in New York is located in 303 West 42nd Street.
On 241 E. 24th Street, the laughing place is the aptly named New York Comedy Club. For aspiring performers, NYCC has an Open Mic night every Monday from 3pm to 7pm. Like Laugh Lounge NYC it also has cover charges ranging from $10-$15. The dress code is casual, and persons over 16 are allowed. NYCC also emphasizes their featuring Latino and African-American comics.
Despite its name, Chicago City Limits is located in New York City, between the 8th and 9th avenues on 318 West 53rd Street. It cites itself as •New York Cityfs longest-running comedy revue- as it was started in 1977. It was initially started in Chicago, but it moved to New York in 1979, and has had a run of over 8,500 performances. Aside from presenting comedy shows, the CCL engages in a diverse array of activities. It has a touring company that has performed at landmarks such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Super Bowl. It also has a training center for both beginning and experienced comedians. Outside of comedy shows, the Chicago City Limits hosts seminars for creativity and team building for corporations across the United States.
Like the Chicago City Limits, the National Comedy Theater has been running for more than 20 years and holds workshops across the US. Unlike the Chicago City Limits (or other New York Comedy Clubs, for that matter) the NCT specializes in clean and 100-percent improvised shows. By clean, it means that there are no profanities or content that would hinder families from watching, and by 100-percent improvised, it means that the NCT has no scripts. All shows are determined by audience suggestions. The National Comedy Theatre is located in 347 West 36th Street.