Comedy open mics in NYC and Boston?
December 5, 2012 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Are comedy open mics as awful and cringy as music open mics? Can I have some suggestions of good ones in New York City and Boston? At the moment, I just want to be an audience member, with thoughts of maybe getting on stage at some point in the future.

Not sure if it matters in this context, but some of my favorite standup: Steve Martin, Bill Burr, Paul F. Tompkins, Dmitri Martin, Maria Bamford, David Cross, Marc Maron, Zack Galifinakis.

posted by SampleSize to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I find them more cringey and awful, but I have mixed feelings about standup in general.

That said, in the Boston area scene, the open mike at the Middle East (in the Corner space) in Cambridge is good, and you can have yummy, reasonably priced food and drink. I have heard good things about the open mike at Sally O'Brien's in Union Square, Somerville.

If you haven't been to a Fresh Faces night at the Comedy Studio at the Hong Kong in Harvard Square, do go. It's not an open mike, but it's short sets from a bunch of newer comics, and it's a great way to track who's up and coming.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:37 PM on December 5, 2012

It depends on how traumatized you've been by music open mics. If, like me, you've bartended on open mic night at a small venue that is arguably the fourth-best open mic in town...

...well then, comedy open mics are pretty tolerable, though often boring and painfully unfunny. But hey, there are far fewer misguided attempts at experimental noise rock spat through a shitty amp cranked up as high as possible, so, y'know, there's that.
posted by desuetude at 9:52 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Tuesday-night open mic at the UCB East Village often features drop-ins by major alt-comedians. On almost any given Tuesday you're liable to see at least one phenomenal set (and definitely some cringe-worthy ones too).
posted by saladin at 6:17 AM on December 6, 2012

Yeah. MORE cringey and awful. Exponentially so.

Even local comics who are opening for a headliner can be terrible. We went to see a friend-of-a-friend perform and the openers were dismal.

But go. You'll learn some stuff.

One of the best things I ever went to was a thing at the Improve on Melrose in 1991. About 30 different comics came in and did 5 minutes apiece. When you have a talented person presenting their tightest 5 minutes, there's just nothing better. THAT was an education.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:37 AM on December 6, 2012

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