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Best Comedy Open Mic

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As with any comedy open mic, you think of a night at the Village Lantern like a trip to the thrift shop: You might find a total gem, or you might wind up with garbage. But the thrill of the search is what it’s all about. Tucked into the basement of a pub that’s more than worth the trip on its own, the stage attracts a true range of performers, from newbies to established acts. That the stage happens to be a low one — participants perform barely elevated from the crowd — makes their triumphs or failures all the more intimate. It’s a strange phenomenon, but even truly terrible comedy in a tiny club like this somehow manages to be exponentially funnier in person than it would be if you weren’t in the room. The location is also great, on still-pretty-hoppin’-if-tourist-choked Bleecker Street. If nothing else, check it out for who might wander in. Louis C.K. featured a stand-up set at Village Lantern in one of the first episodes of his TV series. 167 Bleecker Street, Manhattan 10012, 212-260-7993, facebook.com/villagelantern

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