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Top 5 Free Comedy Shows in NYC


What is one of the main reasons you don’t go to comedy shows?  The price. After purchasing a $20 ticket and the two required drinks, you find your pockets empty.  Don’t despair.  If you’re a comedy aficionado, but don’t have a ton of money to blow, check out these five, free comedy shows:

1. Comedy at Knitting Factory.  At the top of the list is Comedy at the Knitting Factory with host, Hannibal Buress, comic and former SNL writer.  Not only is this show conveniently located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it always has a killer line-up of comedians.  Past talent has included Doogie Horner (2010 America’s Got Talent contestant), Jessi Klein (regular correspondent on The Showbiz Show with David Spade, panelist on VH1‘s Best Week Ever, and has appeared on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn on Comedy Central) Seth Herzog (Chappelle’s Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and VH1‘s Best Week Ever) and many more.  Get fancy with this free show every Sunday at 9pm at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Sundays at 9pm | Knitting Factory-Brooklyn | Front Bar | 361 Metropolitan Ave | Brooklyn, NY 11211 | (347) 529-6696

2.  Get Off Your Knees at Down South.  Sara Schaefer, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon blogger, hosts this funny, weekly show.  Her comedic guests have included a wide variety of comics and comedic writers, such as Wyatt Cenac, Adam Lowitt, and Patrick Borelli. You can catch this fabulous, free show at 8pm on Tuesdays.

Tuesdays at 8pm | DownSouth (downstairs at Southpaw) | 125 5th Avenue | Park Slope, Brooklyn 11217 | (718) 230-0236

3.  Insert Punchline at Mustang Grill.  Insert Punchline is hosted by Wilson McDermut, a regular at the Comic Strip Live.  This show is full of surprise guests and a pleasant mix of comics ranging from the unknowns to the well-knowns.  Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, it is only a couple of blocks from the Comic Strip Live.  Established and up-and-comers regularly drop in to do a set before their show at the Comic Strip.  Past guests include Jermaine Fowler, Nick Cobb, Jamie Lee and Josh Spear.  This show is completely free with no drink or food minimum.  It runs every other Thursday at 9pm from January through and until the end of October.  (On the off Thursdays, you can see the Anonymous Comics show, hosted by Curtis Parks and Rhodes Pierre, where they book “the best comics you’ve never heard of.”)

Every other Thursday at 9pm | Mustang Grill | 1633 2nd Ave | New York, NY 10028 | (212) 744-9194

4.  The Big Terrific at Cameo.  Hosts, Max Silvestri, Jenny Slate from SNL, and Gabe Liedman are as entertaining as their guests.  Their show introduces top-notch acts, that include Eugene Mirman (Flight of the conchords, Delocated), and Michael Showalter (The State, Michael & Michael Have Issues).  Don’t miss this show on Wednesdays at 8pm in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Wednesdays at 8pm | Cameo (through the Lovin’ Cup) | 93 North 6th Street | Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211 | (718) 302-1180

5.  Whiplash! at UCB Theater.  Whiplash!, hosted by Leo Allen, is a late night show that will make you bust a gut.  Whiplash! boasts the following recent acts: Janeane Garafalo, Sarah Silverman, Todd Barry, Marc Maron, Caroline Rhea, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Colin Quinn.  Always free and always on Mondays at 11pm.

Mondays at 11pm | UCB Theater | 307 W. 26th Street | New York, NY 10001 | (212) 366-9176