Countless suggestions were offered during our time in New York City, but the three that stood out were all comedy related. So, over the course of three days we attended three different comedy shows.
First stop – The Upright Citizens Brigade for some sketch comedy. Located at W 26th street, The UCB is all about offering quality comedy shows and classes for a good price (even the beer is affordable at 3 bucks a bottle!). When you think of sketch comedy in New York City, you probably think of Saturday Night Live, but if you want to see the writers and performers just before they go on to work for SNL (Amy Poehler was one of the founders of the UCB) without having to stand in line for hours on a Saturday night, you should definitely check out this theatre. Though the show suffered from the odd awkward unsuccessful joke here and there, the writing was generally clever, the actors were confident, and the venue was (in Luke’s words) “groovy”.
On day two we managed to get tickets for a taping of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. These tickets are free, but the hitch is that you have to stand in line for over two hours in order to secure your reservation. This wasn’t actually a problem for us, as it was a beautiful day and we met some great gals from New Jersey in line (hi Susan and Jill!). Attending a show taping is an experience in itself, and it’s certainly a different way to take in comedy. It was all done in a single take, and though they had a staff member waiting in the wings to force it out of you, our laughter was completely unprompted because The Daily Show is incredibly well written and Jon is a delight. All in all, it was a fun and novel way to spend an afternoon in New York City.
Finally, on our last evening in the city we went down to Greenwich Village for some stand-up at the Comedy Cellar. A more traditional way to take in some comedy, stand-up in the village is relatively inexpensive ($10 cover plus two drinks), much more intimate, and not a good place to take a mistress (as the ring-wearing German business man sitting next to us learned when the comedian started questioning him about his date). If you are lucky, you can catch really big names at the Comedy Cellar. Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Wanda Sykes, Dave Chappelle (you get the point) are all names that have been on the Comedy Cellar roster, and sometimes they just show up for a set unplanned. This place has mastered the stand-up comedy formula: great atmosphere, two shows a night, impressive talent, all located in a great NY neighbourhood.
In between our comedy experiences we walked the city, sat in the park, had a few celebrity sightings, took in some art, enjoyed some world class window browsing and ate lots of good food. Your food suggestions were great – in fact the two times we didn’t take a suggestion for food we had terrible experiences – lesson learned. We will have a video up soon showing snippets of the rest of our time in the Big Apple.
Thanks to everyone for your NY NY suggestions!