Friday, June 20, 2014

Ten Best Free Comedy Shows In NYC (Based On Bathrooms)

If you live in New York chances are that you’re a comedian. If you’re one of seven people in this city who isn’t a comic then hopefully you’re at least a comedy fan. New York is great for comedy both to perform and to take in. Which can be great. There are so many chances to perform, but just as importantly there are so many chances to see amazing comedy every night of the week. Most estimates conservatively put the number of free comedy shows every week at roughly 75,000. Given all those options it can be hard to figure out which show is the right one for you on any given night. Sure there are posts on the internet that’ll tell you which show has which comics. Which shows have the most surprise big shot drop ins and the like. And while all that is very helpful, these lists aren’t giving the whole picture one might need in order to make an informed choice for all their comedy needs.

I, like a lot of you probably, have a body that only uses only some of the food I put into for energy. The rest of what I eat and drink is discarded as waste. Given all these comedy shows and all this waste that needs to be discarded what is one to choose on any given night. There are some great shows, and there are some great toilets in this city, but are there shows that combine both? Until now there was no way to know what you were getting yourself into. That’s why I present the definitive list of comedy shows based on bathroom.

10. Comedy as a Second Language at Kabin 
Brought to you by Chesley Calloway, Rebecca Trent, and Sean Patton
Every Thursday at 9:30
92 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Now, this is only a top ten list. But this is by no means the tenth best comedy bathroom in the city. This isn’t even the ten billionth best bathroom in the city. I only put it tenth on this list as a warning. Watch what you eat before you head over to this show. I don’t ask for a lot in a bathroom. I do like a lock. Call me nuts, but when I’m using the bathroom, I want to be the only one using it at that time. Keep in mind that it’s not a large bathroom that’ll house multiple people. It’s made for but one person at a time. Some bros will consider this a challenge for some reason. I, like a normal person with a soul, when accidentally entering a bathroom that is already occupied will quickly say “sorry,” leave, and wait my turn. Some folks not so much. They enter as if not only did they expect to see someone else in there, but they’re downright happy they get to share a phone booth sized bathroom with a total stranger.

Lucky. There just wasn't a sink for a while. Don't even ask about soap

9: Any show at The Creek (the bathroom on the right)
Shows every night of the week at various times
10-93 Jackson Ave. LIC, NY 11101

There’s bunch of shows at The Creek. There’s mics, improv, solo shows, variety shows, all kinds of great stuff. The one thing they all have in common is that there's two bathrooms and the bathroom on the right sucks. For starters the door. Public restrooms should default to the “ajar” setting when not in use. That way there’s no questions as to whether or not they’re in use. There’s nothing worse than approaching a closed bathroom door and having no idea what’s going on over on the other side. Sure you can knock and press your ear against the door. Listen like a jackass for someone to say “just a minute.” More often than not while your ear is pressed against the door they’ll come out and run into your dumb head and you’ll look like a fool. Secondly there’s no ventilation fan. Listen, I don’t want to get too graphic, but occasionally I do things in the bathroom that requires “ventilation.” As do a lot of people it seems, because if a bathroom is gonna stink, it’s gonna be this one.

Is someone in there? There's no easy way to tell


8:  Hot Crowd at Over the Eight
Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday 
Brought to you by Jono Zalay, Taylor Ketchum, and Joe Zimmerman
594 Union Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211

What’s to like about this cramped piece of shit of bathroom? Absolutely nothing. Where to I begin, I think it might have to be the cardboard like stall making any kind of sitting down business a no-go. Not too mention the fact that the bathroom is so narrow if anyone decides they also need the bathroom they are going to bump the shit out of you (pun: intended and landed flawlessly) on their way to and fro. Add to all this a sink that is insanely powerful and right next to the urinal. Even though I’m pretty well able to handle it, most others do not. So as you are using the bathroom you’ll get sprayed by some jackass who doesn’t know the power of the sink he’s working with.
No glory here
Cramped and gross

See, any weirdo can just take pictures of you while you pee. Gross. 

7: Class Warfare Three of Cups
Once a month on Thursdays at either 7 or 8. It depends
Brought to you by Myka Fox and Evan Davis
83 1st Ave, Manhattan, NY 10003

Now this bathroom is pretty low on this list. Quick caveat though it might be one of the best bathrooms ever. I don’t know, I’ve never seen it! This bathroom has almost no lights. I am not in a place where I want to give this bathroom the benefit of the doubt. Chances are if you’re in a bathroom at a bar and you can’t see for shit, then you’re just doing whatever wherever. This is the kind of bathroom where I’m sure ignorance is bliss.
Come on

If the department of health can't see shit then they can't report you for anything
6: Barely Regal at Palace Cafe
Last Wednesday of every month at 9
Brought to you by Lauren Vino and Natalie Shure
206 Nassau Ave Brooklyn, NY

This is definitely a bathroom that belongs as a number six. Not gross or dimly lit enough to be down there at the bottom of the list, but definitely below average. Nothing really makes it stand out. But the folks over at Palace Cafe could definitely stand to put in a little extra effort to their bathroom. Maybe a little nicer lighting. Fix whatever it is that necessitates having a plastic hanger on the sink. It’s not really the fault of the Palace staff, but in order to be one of the greats I’m usually a bigger fan of a private bathroom. It took some getting used to. I grew up in the midwest. Where I was used to sprawling multi toilet bathrooms that stretched on further than a Michigan grocery store. That’s what I was used to. Now that I’ve been in the city a few years I can’t go back. I like a nice private one person bathroom. There’s a certain freedom to being in there all alone. Just you and your waste. My opinions may change depending on how badly I need to go and what the line situation is looking like.

Add caption
A little elbow grease goes further than potpourri spray can

5:  Lake Winnipesaukee Comedy Night at The Grey Lady
Mondays at 9
Brought to you by Dean Masello and Robbie Collier
77 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002

Here’s a bathroom situation that’s really trying. Multiple bathrooms. Which is a nice way to get around the problems with the lines. Generally pretty clean. Well lit. They try some unique shit that I see what they’re trying to do, and I appreciate the effort, but at the same time I don’t need any kind of jazzing up of the bathrooms. Keep it simple. Weird sliding doors to begin with. What’s the fuck with the weird sliding doors? What’s wrong a good old fashioned heavy American door? I don’t need a silly sliding door. Another thing that prevents this bathroom from being in the upper echelon is the shared sink. I don’t know if they the place could only afford one, but regardless shared sinks are not my idea of a Comedy Central ready bathroom. Though given the choice between one sink and four bathrooms or four sinks and only one bathroom I’ll take the latter every time. Solid effort Grey Lady.

Now we're cooking

That's not my beer. I do NOT support bringing drinks into the bathroom with you

4: Comedyology at Videology 
Brought to you by Daralyn Kelleher and Ross Parsons
3rd Saturday of every month
308 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11211

One of the newer bathroom show entrants on the list, but this is one that came out swinging. Showing up bathrooms that have years of experience on it. Among the newer bathrooms on this list, and it shows what happens when you build a bathroom from the ground up. Everything is nice and clean. Very bright. Plenty of soap and paper towels for clean dry hands. And to top it off a nice heavy door to keep outside noise outside. Aside from the poor bathroom to person ratio it’s a really solid setup, and I expect to these this bathroom on a lot of future best of lists.

3: The Wine and Cheese Comedy Show at Rest Au Rant
Every Tuesday at 9:30
Brought to you by Steve Forrest, Mark Chalifoux, and Jason Kanter
30-01 35th Ave, Astoria, NY 11106

Normally I’m a guy who likes a larger bathroom. But there is something to be said about a nice cozy space. You don’t always need to stretch out to feel home. Maybe it’s just a matter of it being that I’ve used this bathroom among the most on this list and I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for it. Plus a bunch of pictures of pretty ladies from back in the day can go a long way to make you feel comfortable. Biggest issue with this particular bathroom. Extremely tough flusher to get to. The lid goes all the way back in order to flush it you either have to put the seat and lid down like a lady or bend way down to reach under the lid to grab the flusher. If you keep your phone in your shirt pocket you need to be extra careful. You may loose it on the way to the flush.


Hard to flush. Watch you phone!

Hubba hubba

Va Va Voom

Something for everyone

2. Any show at The Creek and Cave where you use the bathroom on the left. 
Shows every night of the week at various times
10-93 Jackson Ave. LIC, NY 11101

Remember everything I said about the bathroom at The Creek lower on list, well THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW! I don’t know the story behind the two bathrooms here, but I can only assume that this one was built after all the negative feedback that was received from the first one. You know the door that doesn’t stay ajar? Well this one does. So you walk up knowing whether or not it’s actually in use. You want a ventilation fan? You got it. Go to bar area, have some fish tacos and well whiskey, and then go and ventilate until your heart’s content. If you find yourself there the bathroom on the left is worth the wait.


Well here we are. The top comedy show bathroom in the city. The pee de resistance. Number one on this list…

1. Comedy at Beauty Bar at The Beauty Bar
Every Sunday at 8:30
Brought to you by Nate Fridson, Brad Austin, and me
231 W 14th St. New York, NY 

The official story is that the Beauty Bar used to be a hair salon and that’s how they settled on the theme of a beauty salon styled bar because it used to be a beauty salon. Legend has it though that before it was a beauty salon it was an outfit that was a high end bathroom bar for the rich and famous of the city. That’s the only logical explanation as to why so many great bathrooms can be housed in such a small area. Most bars would be lucky to have one of these bathrooms. But this place has four amazing bathrooms, each one better than the one before. The two main bathrooms are each good enough to take the top spot on the list. But lets you’re the kind of person who likes a little variety in your bathrooms. There’s a third one waiting for you in the back. That’s three separate trips to the head without seeing the same one twice. Now, assume for a minute that you want to take in a comedy show. And also that you’re the queen of England. Surely none of these bathrooms are going to meet your high standards. Think again. That’s where the fourth bathroom comes into play. Nestled way back in the corner out of view of anyone in the bar. It may be the best kept secret in the city. Large, clean, well lit, and a flush that’d peel chrome off of a tailpipe. This is the kind of bathroom you could spend your whole life searching for. Well search no more. Because it’s at The Beauty Bar waiting for you every Sunday. So come out and give it a flush. You'll be glad you did.

From good to great, new locks!


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