If you’re looking for a night of comedy in Brooklyn, your options are plentiful. Whether you want to check out stand-up comics at an under-the-radar bar or catch a big name in a larger performance space, here are six places putting out some of the best, most surprising and creative comedy acts in the entire city.
The Annoyance Theater (Williamsburg)
The legendary Chicago improv and sketch theater — a breeding ground for comedians such as Jane Lynch, Andy Richter, Matt Walsh, Aidy Bryant, and Vanessa Bayer — just opened up its New York space in a basement on Bedford Avenue. The shows put on here include improv, sketch, full-length plays, cabaret and full-length musicals, all programmed by artistic director and Annoyance founder Mick Napier. The Annoyance also specializes in improv classes for aspiring comics and actors.
“Lost” Party | Justin M. via Yelp
The Bell House (Gowanus)
Both big-name acts and up-and-comers grace the stage at this former warehouse, which is now a massive bar, theater, and events space. The comedy events, too, are varied. You can catch the hilarious “Ask Me Another” game show here (featured on NPR), as well as comedy tours and kooky events like the “Party Like its 1999″ dance party.
Point Break live | Littlefield via Facebook
This Gowanus performance venue, while smaller than The Bell House, also features diverse acts: jazz, hip-hop, art, comedy, film, you name it. Don’t miss the Night Train Show (hosted by Brooklyn-based comic and Daily Show alum Wyatt Cenac), which features comedy from the best local and international stand up comedians, as well as special guest performances. Or there’s Haunting Renditions, where vocalist turned comedian Eliot Glazer takes on pop songs and turns them into sweeping ballads.
Indoor bocce court | via Union Hall
Union Hall (Park Slope)
Union Hall is everybody’s favorite Park Slope bar, with cushy leather couches, library-like decor, and two bocce courts. But wait… there’s more! In the basement performance space you can catch regular comedy shows such as the Cheap Date Comedy Show (only costs $5), The Mehran Show (a weekly standup comedy showcase), and an event called Spark (which is billed as “music & comedy & seriousness”).
The front room | via Bar Matchless
Bar Matchless (Greenpoint)
Bar Matchless is a lively and popular North Brooklyn bar that puts on shows in its back room. Every Monday night you can see NYC Broken Comedy, where comics Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel host a showcase featuring a mix of big names and up-and-coming comics from around the country.
The Talk Show series with Steve Buscemi and Janeane Garofalo | Jason P. via Foursquare
Over the Eight (Williamsburg)
Over the Eight is a great local watering hole to grab a drink and some fun food — hot dogs, burgers and Mexican food served out of a counter towards the back — but the back room is where the action is. Every second Monday the bar hosts Side Ponytail, a free and very fun comedy show. Then there’s the Tuesday Special, billed as “a weekly wild variety show,” as well as events like ladies and gay men doing stand-up as straight dudes, or storytelling open mics hosted by comedians.