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Best Comedy Club New York 2011 - Peoples Improv Theater

Peoples Improv Theater

Peoples Improv Theater

123 E. 24th St.

New York, NY 10010

212-563-7488

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When owner Ali Farahnakian moved his Peoples Improv Theater from a tiny place on West 29th Street to its spacious new digs in Gramercy late last year, he made the seemingly impossible happen—he turned the PIT into a comfortable, hip space with a stellar nightly lineup and, miraculously, didn't have to raise ticket prices. Still as cheap as ever, the shows range from absolutely free to $10. (Hooray for no drink minimums!) The space, formerly the home of the Blue Heron Arts Center and Algonquin Theatre, features a 99-seat theater with excellent sight lines, a basement lounge for comics to test out new material, and a full bar and coffee shop that's open all day with free wifi for customers. Farahnakian certainly knows what he's doing: He's an alum of the Chicago–based comedy club Second City, a founding member of Upright Citizens Brigade, and a former writer for Saturday Night Live. (A wall of photos outside the main stage shows him hanging out with old SNL pals including Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, and Rachel Dratch.) A great night to go is Wednesday, when all the shows are free (and regularly sold out). Saturdays feature the outstanding PIT house team Big Black Car, which includes the lovable duo Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords) and Kurt Braunohler in its cast. And for those who get bit by the comedy bug, the PIT still offers its popular acting and writing classes with experienced teachers from The Daily Show, SNL, and elsewhere at its school on the West Side. 123 East 24th Street, 212-563-7488, thepit-nyc.com (10010)

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