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Comedy Cellar (New York)

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COMEDY CLUB. 117 MacDougal Street, between West 3rd & Bleecker Streets. Tel: +1 (212) 254 3480.

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      12.05.2013 12:49
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      A great evening out in New York

      Having been to New York a couple of times before, I wanted to try something a bit different for latest visit. We are usually out and about during the day, so by evening after having a meal, we usually end up crashing out in our hotel room. As we've seen all the big sights now, we were more focused on things to do in the evening. After some researching it quickly became apparent that this is the best place to see comedy in New York. I was slightly worried as being British I just love British humour, and American humour I just often don't find funny. However, I was reassured after reading positive reviews of this place from other Brits so decided to give it a go.

      They usually have a couple of shows an evening, some nights there are three. It's best to reserve your place via the website, otherwise if you turn up you are put in a 'stand by' line and if there's space from no-shows then you get to go in. You also can't book in for groups larger than 8 people, they say it's because very large groups are often too noisy and disturb the show. They also mention several times not to try and get round this by making separate bookings as they do keep an eye out and if they find you've done this then they will refuse entry.

      We visited on a Tuesday night for the earlier show. We had reserved before hand and it was just as well, even on a cold, damp Tuesday night in February the stand by line was quite big! The doorman was quite abrupt, even more so than the usual New Yorker behaviour, making comments to my partner to take his foot off the step. Don't forget to take some ID as it will be asked for. I took our passports as I'm never sure if they'll take a UK driving licence over there. After carefully checking our ID and paperwork he ushered us through.

      I was disappointed when we were shown to our seats, we didn't want front row seats but we were sat to the side of the stage sharing a table with another couple. I'm used to being squeezed in New York, space is at a premium after all, though this was extremely cosy and my 6ft 4 fiance really struggled! Everytime one of us got up to use the toilet (sorry, 'bathroom'!) it meant after to move tables around and bending in strange positions just to get out and back in.

      There was a $12 cover charge and you have to order a minimum 2 items per person, but this can be anything off the menu including food. We'd already eaten at the Minetta Tavern so can't comment on the food, though others around us ordered food and it did look good. I had a couple of cocktails which were nice. There is also another rule that you can only order 3 alcoholic drinks per person. Probably to stop anyone becoming too rowdy.

      Once the show started though I didn't really stop laughing! Unfortunately I can't remember the comedian names (too many cocktails?) and I'd never heard of any of them. There was only one guy who came on during the middle that no one was really laughing at, and he did make a quick exit when he realised this. Of course there were a few jokes that we just didn't get as they were based on American culture or celebrities, but for the rest of the show it was just hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

      Service was good during the show. The toilets are small and only 2 cubicles so I highly recommend going to the toilet before the end, I went during the intervals, as when the show is over its a bit manic. The waitress brings over the bills, you pay and have your receipt stamped, which you must show to be carefully inspected on the way out (to that abrupt man again!).

      I will be coming back again next time I'm in New York, it was such a great night.

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