Comic Marion Grodin (www.mariongrodin.com), daughter of famed actor/comedian Charles Grodin, has earned her own stripes working the comedy clubs in New York City. Here are her picks for a side-splitting evening out.
Most clubs have a cover charge and a two-drink minimum. (Prices range from $10 to $45, depending on the club and who is performing.) Also, seating is usually on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early.
The Best Comedy Clubs: 5 Places to Laugh
Gotham Comedy Club (208 West 23rd St.; tel. 212/367-9000; www.gothamcomedyclub.com) The lineup at this venue runs the gamut from top names (Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Larry David, Robert Klein, and Roseanne) to a New Talent Showcase.
Grodin: "For a comic, this is such a great room -- swanky yet intimate -- it's like performing in a Broadway theater."
Carolines (1626 Broadway, between 49th & 50th St.; tel. 212/757-4100; www.carolines.com) So many famous comics have performed or started out here (Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Rosie O'Donnell, and Jay Leno) that you can feel the vibe in the room. Carolines continues to present headliners along with upcoming new talent.
Grodin: "Carolines is a landmark, an institution of sorts. Here, a comic is on the 'big stage.' And, the fries are delicious!"
Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal St., between Bleecker & 3rd St.; tel. 212/254-3480; www.comedycellar.com) Comics come here to run through their material and try out new routines. On any given night, you might see Dave Attell, Darrell Hammond, Jim Norton, and Colin Quinn. Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld are known to drop by unannounced. (Recently, actor Robert De Niro was seen hanging out with veteran comic Jeffrey Ross.)
Grodin: "This is known as the comic's comedy club, meaning it's a no-frills room, where comics and 'civilians' go to catch the best and the brightest."www.theduplex.com) The legendary Duplex is known for its campy cabaret and piano bar, but it also has comedy and is famous for showcasing promising talent. (Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, and Joan Rivers, to name a few.) Pros and newcomers try out new material here.
Grodin: "The Duplex will always hold a special place in my heart; it's where I got my start."
Grodin: "This is the spot for comedy on the Upper West Side and a great place to hang with friends to see comedy any night of the week."
Keep an eye out at these clubs for Marion Grodin and her favorite comics: Michele Balan, Bob DiBuono, Marina Franklin, Erin Foley, Buddy Fitzpatrick, and Jodie Wasserman.
More Ways To Laugh
New York Comedy Festival (www.nycomedyfestival.com) This year's annual event takes place November 4-8, 2010.
Learn Stand-Up Comedy: Think you're funny? But are you brave enough to try stand-up? Get some tips from the pros: Carolines School of Comedy (www.carolinescomedyschool.com); Gotham Comedy Club - the Art of Stand-Up Comedy (www.gothamcomedyclub.com)
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our New York Forum.