Bucket List item #359 – See a show @ Comedy Cellar
New York, USA
I’ve long fantasized about seeing a show at the Comedy Cellar. I’ve never been one to seriously follow comedians, but I love seeing them live. I’ve had this fantastical vision of a vibrant nightlife scene, teaming with energy, like you could feel the intensity just walking into the club. I used to fantasize about seeing a famous comedian there and after the show running into them at the Olive Tree Café. I’d magically be at the peak of my wit and regale them with hilarious stories and flirt and make this epic memory. Obviously, this little fantasy was farfetched, but it was mine, goddamnit!
Well, fast forward an ass ton and add a husband and not only was my fantasy farfetched, but it was also impossible and inappropriate. However, that didn’t make my first Comedy Cellar experience any less epic.
When you walk into the Comedy Cellar, the walls are lines with signed portraits of famous comedians. It’s inspiring to merely take notice of all the history in the space. And the seating is intimate. I can imagine a small audience like that must really make a show complicated for a performer. You can never tell who will be in your audience, and with so few people, a few wet mops could really fuck with your chi.
We went with out friend Jess while she was in town (who happens to be an amazing hairstylist in San Francisco with some outrageous coloring skills AND she styled my hair for the day, so just wanted to put a little link here just in casies) and we chose the Sunday brunch. I honestly can’t believe our stoke of pure luck with this performance. Let me give you the basics first. It’s a $17 cover and two drink minimum, brunch was legit delicious, and our service was great. We had a great lineup to start with; I discovered a new favorite comedian Joe Machi and it ended up being one of those random nights with celebrity comedians dropping in and out like it’s no biggie. Nimesh Patel popped in and then introduced Hasan Minaj! They did two little mini sets together in between other comedians and on the second one they introduced none other than Aziz Ansari. Can you believe it? He did an absolutely hilarious set that was over an hour long. I’ve never seen him so funny before and I’m already a fan. He must be about ready to launch something big before tour and was working out the kinks because it was so polished and totally in addition to what we were supposed to get. As he was wrapping up, we figured that was it until Jeff Ross materialized and did a totally unscripted set with the MC Cipha Sounds. With all the comedians we’d seen already (I think there were 5 before Aziz did his hour+ set, not including Nimesh and Hasan) we were there over four hours. Jeff Ross joked that the show was turning more into a hostage situation than a comedy show. It was just so cool and organic, and I couldn’t have ever expected this bucket list check to be so perfect. You read about these random drop-ins at the comedy clubs in NYC from time to time, but I didn’t think I would get to experience one. I’m grinning ear to ear as I type this remembering yesterday.
If you’re ever in NYC, you just have to go see a show at the Comedy Cellar. Add this to your bucket list now! Make a reservation ahead of time, but if the times you want are already booked then you can still drop by and see if others didn’t pick up their tickets or even do their sister location at the Village Underground, which is right around the corner. If that doesn’t work, then there are a ton of comedy clubs in the area. It’s just something you really need to do in NYC. I’ve seen plenty of comedy shows in my life elsewhere, but there aren’t many places you can experience the random excitement of a comedy club quite like the Big Apple.
Side note: I want to make a special mention for my scarf in the photo of me, as well as the shows and gloves you can’t see. I meant to take a full-length picture of my outfit, but the show ran so long that it was dark by the time it ended. This scarf, gloves and shoes (although I prefer the red plaid, but they’re currently unavailable) combo is my absolute favorite. It always make me feel so put together and the items are so cheap! The three items together are under $40!