Though we may live in the city that produced such comic geniuses as Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld, sometimes the comedy-club scene can seem a little pricey (high covers), touristy (anybody out there from Missoula?) and downright weird (hello, warm-up ventriloquist acts).
Good thing we've found these under-the-radar ways to see live, new and legitimately funny jokesters. No two-drink minimum required.
Tell Your Friends This recurring Tuesday night show at Lolita bar on the Lower East Side is the best way to see comedy writers (from the Daily Show and The Onion, among others) test out new material to fascinating and hilarious effect. We love the diversity of performers and all-ages crowd. Tuesdays at 8 p.m., Lolita, 266 Broome St. (at Allen St.); 212-966-7223 or tyfcomedy.com
Sweet At this East Village Tuesday gathering, host Seth Herzog regularly interviews his good-sport, Jewish mother in between outrageous sets from all-star comedians. We're particularly excited about the surprise lineup for the September 6 fall kick-off show; past performers include Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon. Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.), Ella Lounge, 9 Ave. A (at Houston St.); 212-777-2230 or ellalounge.com
Comedy Night With Hannibal Buress It's well worth the trip to Williamsburg for this free, weekly Sunday gathering hosted by a seasoned SNL and 30 Rock writer. But while many of Buress's guests (like Daily Show regular Kristen Schaal) may be big-time, it's also a great platform for up-and-coming talent. (Sundays at 9 p.m.), Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Ave. (at Havermeyer St.), Brooklyn; 347-529-6696 or bk.knittingfactory.com