By Sophie Yalkezian
Whether you’re on the hunt for weekend plans or have friends and family in town, going to a live comedy show is a great way to take in the Capital Region’s vibrant arts scene. Plus, barely any planning is required. Just grab a ticket at one of our favorite venues below, take a seat, order a drink, and make some memories alongside fellow comedy fans.
The Funny Bone - Albany, NY
Yes, this comedy club is inside the Crossgates Mall. But no, you don’t have to be a shopper to enjoy their wide variety of weekly and nightly stand-up shows. The Funny Bone is a well-known franchise that serves drinks and food along with big laughs. The Albany branch hosts local and touring comedians, which include Hannibal Buress and Anjelah Johnson. Get your tickets now for a night with SNL veteran Tim Meadows in September.
Mopco Improv Theater - Schenectady, NY
This theater is the Capital Region’s home for improv comedy: live, unplanned, high-energy comedic performances put on by a group of actors. Think Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, or TV shows like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Mopco’s renovated firehouse location is also home to classes and workshops, where you can learn the craft yourself. See one of their popular weekly shows on a Friday or Saturday night to get a taste.
The Comedy Works - Saratoga Springs, NY
To call The Comedy Works an institution would be an understatement considering it’s been making upstaters laugh for over 40 years. Through the ‘80s and ‘90s, legends like Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock all performed on its basement stage. The club has relocated to Broadway since then, where crowds enjoy local and touring talent from communal tables along with classic pub fare and drinks.
This isn’t strictly a comedy venue, but your chances of finding a joy-infused show are high. Saratoga Springs’ Universal Preservation Hall keeps a rotating calendar of music, comedy, magic, and theater performances. Lately, local talent Erin Harkes hosts a monthly series of female comics, cheekily dubbed “Women Aren’t Funny.” Next up is Kelly Macfarland in September.
North Country Comedy - Various Locations
Founded by veteran comic Mikael Gregg, North Country Comedy helps bring live comedy to lesser-explored regions of New York state, whether in a bar or restaurant, or something more unique like a firehouse, country club or community center. Check out their website for upcoming bookings to see what’s coming to your area.
Charles R Wood Theater - Glens Falls, NY
This black box theater in the southern tip of the Adirondack region is home to both the Adirondack Theatre Festival and the Adirondack Film Festival. Whether it’s a live musical, comedic play, game show or cabaret act, events at the Charles R. Wood Theater are bound to bring you some joy and laughter on any given night.
Bridge Street Theater - Catskill, NY
Bridge Street Theatre was founded by John Sowle and Steven Patterson with the mission to enhance the cultural life of the Catskills around it. They’ve achieved this by alternating both drama and comedy each season, from Hanna Moscovitch’s “East of Berlin” to a just-wrapped youth production of “Spamalot.” Their next comedy is the regional premiere of “I Am Barbie,” which runs from Aug. 31 to Sept. 10.