Yelp (the review/ratings website) names more than 30 bars and comedy clubs (none with fewer than four stars) located in the heart of the Upper West Side, which flops about mainly between 72nd Street (1/2/3 Train) and 86th Street (1 Train), no farther from Broadway than Columbus Avenue, just two blocks to the east.
It’s a small area, which should make cruising it on foot your modus operandi—no cabs are necessary as every bar has a nearby neighbor.
Amongst all that are two comedy clubs; I prefer Stand Up NY, on 78th Street, a few doors east of Broadway. Its bright second storey neon sign is easy to spot. Stand Up NY feels like a proper theater as it has a street-level entrance (the other club is in the basement of Playa Betty’s at 74th Street and Amsterdam). The programming is mad extensive, requiring of its agents full in-the-loop awareness of who’s who in New York’s layered comedy scene.
The club’s website spells out its clear and fair sounding audition process which must place it on every aspiring comics’ radar, reinforcing that important in-the-loop awareness while ensuring a regular supply of talent.
Ticket prices vary depending on the act; the club imposes an $18 drink minimum once inside. There may be three separately ticketed shows per night. Doors for 17:30 performances open at 17:00.
Jerry Seinfeld began here. Now, he performs around the corner in The Beacon Theater for a six performance residency—rare status.
Some now say “I saw him when…”