There’s so much comedy in New York City that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with options. Luckily, I’m a real New York comedian who’s attended nearly every show in the concrete jungle. I’ve been searching all the way from Park Slope to just below Midtown for the best comedy in town. Whether you’re from out-of-town or just trying to have a fun night out, let me suggest these six shows. Heck, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even find yourself catching one of my very own trademark comedy sets!
6. THE LEGENDARY ONE THAT WON’T BOOK ME
Located at the coolest bar in the East Village – which is a bit of an oxymoron, for a Williamsburg hipster like me – this show has been running since Koch was mayor. It’s an institution of the New York comedy scene and frequently sees drop-in performances from A-listers including Seinfeld, Madonna (who frequently runs her incredibly loose 30) and Fatty Arbuckle’s ghost. It’s undeniably one of the best rooms in the city and perpetually packed. Seriously, ask any comedy fan and they’ll tell you You’ll Never Do This Show can’t be missed. That being said, I’ve never even been considered to perform on this show, so I must begrudgingly report that it’s only the sixth best in New York City and rapidly on the decline.
~You’ll Never Do This Show Every Saturday. 8:30pm at Gilmore’s Lounge~
5. THE COMEDY SHOW WITH WACKY SURPRISES
Produced by three NYU experimental theater program dropouts, this show asks, “What if comedy shows were about everything except telling jokes?” Every edition features no less than ten performers who claim to be Onion and Clickhole “contributors” embracing the unexpected. Last month’s show featured each performer riffing on their greatest childhood regret while a professional glassblower interpreted their material. What the comedians DIDN’T know, was that all of their high school guidance counselors were watching in the tech booth, waiting to throw month old cream cheese at them if they said the secret word (it was “bonanza” and nobody said it). I guarantee you’ll leave OMG! That Was Strange! as confused as you will be unwilling to travel back to Ridgewood for a comedy show ever again.
~OMG! That Was Strange Sporadic Tuesdays. 10pm (give or take two hours) at Dingy Black Box Theatre~
4. A BAR SHOW THAT BOOKED ME LAST MONTH
If you’re looking for a low-key, but reliably worse-than-average comedy show, I suggest “Comedy Show at Hunter’s Bar.” Highlighting some of the most mediocre open mic comedians in all of East Midtown, this show boasts a ramshackle PA system (when the hosts remember to bring it), two homeless hecklers you should “probably just ignore” and Hunter’s Bar’s signature ten-dollars-for-one-PBR special. Not to mention, you can really spread out in the sea of empty chairs – some of which aren’t even broken! All things considered, the two chubby white guys in their forties who run this show are probably not the worst people I’ve met in comedy. They let me do twelve minutes last month and promised me a spot “really soon” if I put them on this list. With that in mind, it’s obvious to me that Comedy Show at Hunter’s Bar is one of the best comedy shows in New York City.
~Comedy Show At Hunter’s Bar Every Monday, regardless of attendance. 8pm~
3. THAT ONE SHOW WITH AN OPEN MIC AFTER
Sure, this Williamsburg-area show at a DIY venue that violates all fire and health codes pulls in “good” lineups with “up-and-coming” comedians who have “television credits,” but that’s not why you should go. The real draw is the open mic that takes place after Joke McGrath (named after the show’s host who vaguely looks like Mark McGrath) where you can see real artists – who perform out of a love for the craft – try out raw, two-to-three minute bits that may just become the next “Seven Dirty Words!” Honestly, I would skip the booked show altogether and set aside about four-and-a-half hours to watch the open mic. It’s such a good time that I go every week. Trust me, nobody’s ever regretted watching an open mic.
~Joke McGrath Open Mic Every Wednesday after the Joke McGrath booked show~
2. A PRETTY QUALITY SHOW AND I’M NOT JUST SAYING THAT BECAUSE I WANT THE PRODUCER TO LIKE ME
This is a true comedian’s show. Once you’re booked on Legitimate Comedy, you’re practically handed industry representation. The hosts are legitimate comedy stars and the room is one of the best in the world. Everyone knows Legitimate Comedy is where the comedy stars of tomorrow showcase. Although, I haven’t done it yet, I imagine it’d be the biggest honor of my career. This is without a doubt, the second best show in the city and you’re hearing that from me, Harris Mayersohn (tape available upon request).
~Legitimate Comedy. Every Sunday at 9pm, which is a time I happen to be available~
1. THE SHOW I RUN
I’ll admit it seems suspicious that I’m putting the show I run with my friend Carl in the top spot, but once you attend Da Two Fartknockers, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. No joke, I’m not even being biased here. Da Two Fartknockers is a revolutionary mix of stand-up, sketch, character and, get this, video (at least, whenever we have access to a working projector). We are booking some of the best comedians in New York you’ve never heard of and trying to get email addresses for the ones you actually have. We’re not exactly packing in a crowd yet, but once we figure things out we should be filling at least half of the seats in the house. Plus, you’re guaranteed to see Carl and I do about 30 minutes up top and fifteen between each comedian. So believe me when I say, the show I run, Da Two Fartknockers is objectively the best show in New York City, and possibly the world.
~Da Two Fartknockers. We haven’t nailed down a consistent day, venue or time, but if you join my mailing list I’ll let you know~
The Higgs Weldon is an online humor magazine with funny articles, cartoons, and one liners. It was founded in the Los Angeles stand-up comedy community, but takes submissions from everybody. Please read and enjoy our jokes!