If you’re a fan of comedy, New York City is the place to be. Some of the most successful, hilarious comedians have risen to fame in Manhattan clubs, but Brooklyn has a thriving comedy scene of its own. Several big names have gotten their start performing in Brooklyn venues, and the rising talent is endless. I spoke with Nooklyn’s resident funnyman, Brooklyn-based comedian and real estate agent Josh Carter to get the inside scoop on the best places to see a comedy show. Here are his top picks!
Their free weekly show, “Comedy Night at The Knitting Factory”, takes place every Sunday at 9pm and is known for having big names drop in. Josh says, “This show was started by Hannibal Burress years ago. Now it’s hosted by Will, Clark, and Kenny, three of New York’s upcoming artists — and former Nooklyn clients! Great hangout for comics from all over the city. It’s hosted by well known acts like Amy Schumer and Aziz Ansari. Robin Williams used to come catch this show from time to time.”
A cafe during the day and a bar at night, this cozy spot has a strong reputation among Brooklyn comedy fans. “There are a bunch of different local comics that throw shows here throughout the week. Lots of Brooklyn and Manhattan up-and-comers. There’s wine and beer and always a good crowd,” Josh explains. Got jokes of your own? Check out their open mic calendar.
Two Boots is a popular New York chain best known for their awesome pizza. Few people know that they’re also home to one of the best comedy shows in Brooklyn. “Knockin Boots Comedy”, their free Wednesday night show, is a favorite among Brooklyn comics. Christian Polonko, a veteran New York comedian, who hosts the popular podcast The Cooligans, started it about 3 years ago. According to Josh, it’s a great show to see some famous acts in an intimate setting. He says, “Past drop-ins have included Sal Vulcano (Impractical Jokers), and Ilana Glazer (Broad City).”
Littlefield, a performance and art space, has several comedy shows throughout the week. Their weekly Monday night show, “Butterboy with Jo, Aparna and Maeve” is a local favorite. Josh describes it as “One of New York’s best produced shows at one of New York’s best venues. Comics like John Mulaney, David Cross, and Wyatt Cenac drop in on a regular basis as surprise guests”
Not only is there a bocce court, but there are comedy shows almost every day. “Cheap Date Comedy”, hosted by Sharron Paul and Calvin Cole, is a monthly show and one of Josh’s personal favorites to watch and to perform. “This shows been going on for years, and I’ve performed a lot. A lot of New York’s best comedians have gone through like Michael Che, Reggie Watts, Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman just to name a few.”
Formerly The Bodega, Idlewild has tasty food, awesome drinks and some of the best comedic and musical acts in the area. “Great local spot that hosts great comedy and music. Show up for the weekly open mic or come to a showcase with a headlining set,”Josh says. You can catch Josh and other Nooklyn performers there at their Wednesday night open mic/cabaret.
Photo credits: 1) Photo by Morgan Shortell 2) Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Comedy Festival 3) Photo courtesy of the Platform 4) Photo by Doyle Murphy, New York Daily News 5) Photo by Debbie Klein Photo, for Littlefield NYC 6) Photo courtesy of Union Hall. 7) Photo by Nicholas Doyle, Nooklyn.com