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December 3, 2008 - by Ellis Whitman
New York City is nothing to laugh at, but there are plenty of laughs to be had at the many comedy clubs in the city. From Midtown to Downtown we’ve picked the best comedy clubs to visit during your visit to NYC. And if comedy’s not all you’re looking for, we’ve picked some excellent bars to stop at along the way.
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The city’s largest stand-up comedy venue, Broadway Comedy Club features top comics as seen on Comedy Central, Letterman, and “The Tonight Show.” Scheduled performers include James Smith, Frank Vignola, Al Ducharme, Mike Yard and many more. Showtimes are Sun.-Thurs., 9pm; Fri. & Sat., 9, 11pm, & midnight; plus the Industry Room Showcase at 7pm on Sat. 318 W. 53rd St. btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves., 212-757-2323; www.broadwaycomedyclub.com
Also in Midtown is Brendan’s Bar and Grill. This bar features turn-of-the-century architecture, and is easily one of New York City’s most attractive bars. And their food is excellent, with a menu that includes steak, seafood and pizza. 42 W. 35th St. (Fifth-Sixth Aves.), 212-564-5405; www.brendansbar.com
If you’re looking for a place that is a little more exotic to have a tipple, Sofrito’s hip Caribbean atmosphere, cuisine and drinks menu will surely please. Enjoy mojitos and sangria at their 100-foot bar while enjoying live music and timeless Puerto Rican classics like ropa vieja, garlic shrimp, paella, and more. 400 E. 57th St. (at First Ave.), 212-754-5999
Co-founded by Rodney Dangerfield in 1969, Dangerfield’s is the longest-running comedy club in the world. It features top comedians straight from other leading clubs, motion pictures, and TV shows such as “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” and Comedy Central. Stars who have performed here include Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Andrew Dice Clay, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and others. Dangerfield’s features no drink/food minimum that is rare for comedy clubs, making it an inexpensive place to get your laughs. 1118 First Ave. btw. 61st & 62nd Sts., 212-593-1650; www.dangerfields.com
Gone are the days of dirty, uncomfortable, cramped comedy clubs. Comix is New York’s hottest new comedy nightclub featuring headline comedians and established New York-area comics, the best of cutting edge alternative comedy, improv and sketch comedy as well as music and variety programming. Perfectly situated in Manhattan’s booming Meatpacking District, Comix draws upon the rich experience of going to the theater uptown but brings with it a decidedly downtown attitude…not to mention a very “now” décor. Inspired by modern artistry, Comix fits the trendy neighborhood with its chic interior design cues -- metallic fabrics, copper and lots of mirrors and glass. Comprised of 14,000 square feet, including a 5,000 square foot showroom, every one of Comix’s 300 seats enjoys pure sound and clear sightlines to an expandable stage, and more than ample elbow-room that allows patrons to “spread out” and indulge in superior cuisine and cocktails. On December 12 and 13 make sure to make David Alan Grier’s (from Comedy Central’s “Chocolate News”), performance. Comix is open seven nights a week: Mon.-Wed.,8pm; Thurs., 8 & 10:30pm; Fri.- Sat., 8, 10:30pm & 12:30am; Sun., 7:30pm. 353 W. 14th St. (9 Ave.), 212-524-2500; www.comixny.com
Located in Greenwich Village, Comedy Village’s nightly lineup includes comedians from Comedy Central, HBO, and more, with special guests often stopping by. Boasting strong martinis and hilarious acts, it’s been hailed as “a true New York comedy experience.” The show goes on every night of the week—Monday nights they feature a New Talent Showcase, Tuesday is Ladies Night, Wild Wednesdays feature the renegades of comedy, Thursday is open mic night for college students, and Friday and Saturday is when they have their Weekend All-Star Shows. 89 MacDougal St. (at Bleecker St.), 212-477-0130; www.comedyvillage.com
While downtown in Greenwich Village, head over to Broome Street Bar, in SoHo. With its mix of professionals and locals, Broome Street is a great place to stop in for a burger and a few beers. (Give the thick-cut fries and the taco salad a shot.) It’s also notable for its coziness, the lovely stained-glass portrait behind the bar, and a good beer selection. 363 W. Broadway (at Broome St.), 212-925-2086
Also in SoHo is Gatsby’s, where you can enjoy food, beers (they have 14 beers on draft, and over 40 beers from around the world), and a great atmosphere, as well as big-screen TVs. They have two bars, and an outstanding drink collection. 53 Spring St. (Lafayette-Mulberry Sts.), 212-334-4430; www.gatsbysnyc.com
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