The Wide World of Comedy in the East Village
For a century, the East Village has been home to some of New York’s hippest cultural hangouts. The birthplace of both the Nuyorican and Punk Rock movements, the East Village is a place for self-expression and artistic experimentation, and nowhere is that culture more alive than in the neighborhood’s famous comedy clubs. Fans of stand-up view the East Village as the mecca of comedy, where up-and-comers share basement stages with famous comics every night of the week. Residents of the East Village luxury rentals at EVGB live within easy walking distance of some of the most famous comedy clubs in the world, so whether you’re a longtime fan or just looking for a fun night out, here’s our guide to exploring the East Village’s comedy scene.
The first club on our list barely needs an introduction. The Comedy Cellar, with its famous red brick backdrop and narrow stage, has been the premier venue for stand-up comedy in New York City since its founding in 1982, and many comedy legends got their start performing in the basement venue. Greats, including Kevin Hart, Jon Stewart, and Todd Barry, call the Cellar home, and each night, audiences have an equal chance of seeing a set by a rising star or a guest spot by a famous veteran.
One of the newest spots to gain a loyal following of comedy fans is the Original Barbershop, which is a hair salon by day and a comedy venue by night. Once a week, after the hair is swept from the floors, crowds line up for the “Live at the Barbershop” showcase featuring “killer comics from TV, special guest drop-ins, and amazing crowds.” Unlike most clubs, the Barbershop is BYOB, so there’s no waitstaff interrupting the show.
Another new comedy spot is injecting Japanese zaniness into the formulaic world of stand-up. BATSU! is a combination game show and comedy set where comedians/contestants compete to avoid punishments ranging from having an egg smashed on their head to being shot with paintballs, all set in a venue that seeks to recreate the tight back alleys of Tokyo, complete with authentic food and drink. This unique show is not to be missed.
Last but not least is the East Village location of the New York Comedy Club, another relative newcomer on the scene that boasts an impressive roster of regular stand-up performances each week. So, find your East Village home at EVGB and begin exploring this legendary comedy scene today!