In need of a few laughs? Aren’t we all. But there’s no need to dole out the big bucks for the big names, because like the best things in life, Brooklyn stand-up also happens to be cheap—and sometimes even free. Whether you come out for the free food or some much-needed catharsis, there’s a comedy show worth seeing nearly every night of the week. And even better than seeing your favorite comedians, is discovering an up-and-comer you can say you followed on Twitter before they made it big. No need to enter the search engine madness looking for likely laughs in your area; here’s a list of the best recurring comedy nights in Brooklyn.
Dive Comedy, 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month @ Freddy’s Backroom, 9pm (Free)
Notable comics Brooke Van Poppelen and Giulia Rozzi have been hosting this bi-monthly show for over three years, and they still manage to have consistently funny line-ups. You’ll probably see familiar faces from Comedy Central, Conan, and MTV. And if stand-up isn’t all you’re looking for, well then you’re kind of greedy, but you’re also in luck, because there’s a musical act at every show.
Cheap Date Comedy Show, 2nd Tuesday of every month @ Union Hall, Doors 7:30pm/Show 8pm ($5)
Exactly as advertised, this show is the perfect cheap date. It isn’t dinner and a movie, but this’ll take a significantly smaller chunk out of your wallet. While you munch on free snacks, enjoy stand-up from some of the best new comics in the biz. Past performers have included Judah Friedlander (30 Rock), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers). It’s enjoyable even if you’re going stag, promise.
VSPOT Comedy Show, 1st Thursday of every month @ The V Spot, 10pm (Free)
Few offer mealtime entertainment, but V Spot, the Latin-American vegan eatery in Park Slope is serving the patrons more than food. Restaurateur and stand-up Alex Carabaño hosts a comedy show once a month mostly featuring established comedians along with those that are new to the scene. Their happy hour is from 9-10pm, so get a table, an empanada, and $3 beers and $5 cocktails before the show starts at 10.
Punderdome 3000, monthly @ Littlefield, 8pm ($6-$7)
This pun competition is not improv or stand-up, but it’s likely the most literal representation of wordplay. It’s been on hiatus for the past few months, but it’s kicking off again in August and its cult-like following is schticking around. Get there early and be one of the first 18 pairs or individuals to participate. If you’re there to observe, prepare to join in, because you’ll all be judges for the evening. Don’t forget, it’s all pun and games until someone wins.
Comedy Night w/ Hannibal Buress, Sundays @ Knitting Factory, 9pm (Free)
It’s first come, first serve at this free stand-up show, but it’s well worth a shot of witnessing the comedic styles of Hannibal Buress in person. He’s written for Saturday Night Live and had guest spots on Louie, Broad City, and more, so he’s sure to rake in some of the people he’s encountered along the way. Legit big names like Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and Sarah Silverman have made appearances, so you never know who’s going to stop by. Get to the bar early and have a few drinks because the place fills up quickly.
NYC Broken Comedy, every Monday @ Bar Matchless, 9pm (Free)
It’s a party here every Monday night because you never know who is going to stop by. The likes of Jeff Ross, Aziz Ansari, Nikki Glaser, and Mike Birbiglia have all made appearances. There are only nine actual seats, but that makes being part of the inevitable crowd all the more fun.
Myrtle Comedy, every Thursday @ Splitty, 8pm ($5)
This weekly comedy show is on summer break until September, but it’s totally worth mentioning because it’s coming back soon enough. Hosts Larry Murphy (Bob’s Burgers) and Greg Johnson are bound to curate a solid evening of comedy. Past performers have included Jessi Klein, Adam Newman, and Dan St. Germain whom you should all totally know from Comedy Central.
Alligator Lounge Comedy, every Tuesday @ Alligator Lounge, 9pm (Free)
They don’t necessarily have the biggest names in the biz, or an actual alligator for that matter, but there are more perks to be had like free pizza. Yes, free pizza. With every drink you purchase, you’ll get a complimentary personal pie. Enough said.
Big Terrific, every Wednesday @ Cameo Gallery, 8pm (Free)
For over six years, this show has been a staple of the Brooklyn comedy scene. Two thirds of the original hosts, Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman, are off doing some seriously cool things like being in the new movie Obvious Child, but Max Silvestri is still holding down the fort. Nearly all of Big Terrific’s past recurring comics are also busy with their new ventures in Los Angeles, like Pete Holmes and Kamail Nanjiani. So, if you’re looking for the next comic to leave Brooklyn and make it in Hollywood, this is the show for you.
Night Train w/ Wyatt Cenac, every Monday @ Littlefield, 8pm ($5-$8)
Though the title includes his namesake, Wyatt Cenac has stepped aside for guest hosts to take over as temporary conductors of the Night Train. Besides a line-up that often features Saturday Night Live cast members, you might be lucky enough to also catch a featured musical guest like past performer A.C. Newman of The New Pornographers. Every night may not be full of surprise guests like Questlove and Zach Galifianakis , but this stand-up line-up is always worth the (train) ticket.