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From Improv to Hypnosis: NYC's Best Comedy Alternatives

Make ‘em laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. Live, laugh, love. New York embraces this advice perhaps better than any other city in the world. In addition to our world-class stand up scene, you can also find some amazing alternative forms of funny here. Improv, hypnosis, magic, and even dance parties can be hilarious if you know where to look. New York has no shortage of entertainment, and these five alternatives to traditional stand-up comedy are proof of that. 

Best of NYC Comedy Alternatives: Hypnosis at LOL Times Square Comedy Club (Midtown West)

Every Friday at 9pm, LOL Times Square Comedy Club presents Warren Thackeray’s Mechanics of the Mind, a hypnosis show. Why sit back and watch the action happen, when you, your friends, and your family can all be a part of it. Hypnosis never fails to please and let lose the imagination of the everyone in attendance. Watch audience members shed their own personalities and do the outlandish in a jaw-dropping, laugh-worthy performance. (You can find traditional stand up, family-friendly comedy shows, and magic here as well!) 711 Seventh Ave., 212-643-6557,

Best of NYC Comedy Alternatives: Improv at UCB Theatre (Chelsea)

UCB Theatre is famous for its origins with well-known founders, such as Amy Poehler, who was a member of the namesake Upstanding Citizens Brigade comedy troupe. Today, UCB offers training in improvisational comedy and shows for the public to enjoy. The improv at UCB is both affordable and easy to fit into even the busiest schedules, as they have several performances each night. Additional location the East Village. 307 W. 26th St., 212-366-9176,

Best of NYC Comedy Alternatives: Steve Cohen’s Chamber Magic (Midtown East)

You will laugh with the glee of a little kid when you see Steve Cohen in action. This critically acclaimed magician brings joy and awe to every interactive magic show he performs. Let yourself be absolutely baffled by the tricks and slights of one of New York’s best magicians. Tickets can be a bit pricey, but if you’ve got the budget, this is a show that’s well worth the cost. Performances are Friday and Saturday nights, and there is also a Saturday matinee. 455 Madison Ave., 866-811-4111, 

Best of NYC Comedy Alternatives: Nothing Important! (Brooklyn)

Nothing Important! is stand-up with a twist. The last Friday of every month at Friends & Lovers, the doors open at 7:30pm for seating to watch the show. Comedians come from places you’d recognize like Conan, CollegeHumor, The Daily Show, and Comedy Central to name a few. What makes this different from traditional stand-up? After the show, the showroom turns into a dance party. Laugh, dance, and be merry at Nothing Important!it’s sure to be an experience unlike any other. 641 Classon Ave.,

Best of NYC Comedy Alternatives: The Peoples Improv Theater (Flatiron)

Peoples Improv Theater is a great place for a laugh while discovering the latest talent in comedy. Show prices range from around $5-$10, and the performances happen at different locations around the city, so you don’t have many excuses to miss out on the hilarity. In addition to regular shows, the company also hosts festivals, jams, and open-mic nights. Stop by and laugh until your sides hurt, or if you’re feeling bold, try your hand at performing a little of your own comedy. 123 E. 24th St., 212-563-7488,

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