Club comedy is a quintessential part of New York City. It's a place where people come to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find a good laugh. But it's more than that. New York is a major hub for comedy, with shows happening almost every night in all five boroughs.
When it comes to improv, Chicago is the place to practice, but New York City is the best place to watch live stand-up. Here, you can see some of the biggest names in comedy on tour, as well as up-and-coming stars that are popular in the city. Caroline's in Times Square has been making people laugh since 1982, when it first opened its doors in Chelsea. This 300-person venue is produced by the New York Comedy Festival. Other clubs to visit in the city include Comedy Cellar, Gotham Comedy Club and Dangerfield's.
But it's not just New York that has a thriving comedy scene. The Moontower Festival in Austin, Texas is quickly becoming one of the most popular comedy events in the country. In its second year, this festival has attracted tens of thousands of eager audiences from all over the United States (with a few Canadians thrown into the mix). Jim Ritts, CEO of Moontower, agrees: "We have 10 to 12 comics on tour nationally who choose to live here in Austin.
And they've really laid the groundwork for creating an audience for comedy here in Texas."Kerri Lendo is one of those Austin comics. He moved to Capitol City eight years ago as a comedian and now tours with Maria Bamford. Last year's premiere featured a lot of familiar faces, but this year, like any good sequel, everything is bigger. On Thursday night, fans lined up around the block to see Dana Carvey and rising star Amy Schumer.
On Wednesday at Paramount, Bill Hader presented his own show with a variety of characters. Audiences have grown up watching comedies on YouTube and Netflix and are interested in watching comedy in whatever language it's performed in. Secret Improv Society is a great option if you're looking for chaotic hilarity while places like Punch Line Comedy Club offer more rehearsed comedy acts that are just as fun. The sharp-tongued Texan known for his unbridled criticism of American society, popular culture and politics was a comedian adored by his peers but little appreciated on the comedy club circuit. But there are plenty of other clubs worth visiting here such as Comedy Bar, Yuk Yuk's, Bad Dog Theater, Social Capital Theater and Absolute Comedy. So what is the comedy capital of the world? It's hard to say definitively, but it's clear that both New York City and Austin have thriving comedy scenes that are worth exploring.