So, you think you’re hilarious?
Why not put your money where your mouth is? Take a few classes – New York has a vibrant improvisational comedy scene, and loads of places to test your comedic chops and even be seen by industry elite.
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
307 W 26th St.
New York, NY 10001
Probably the most recognizable name of the New York improv scene. This studio, partially owned by Amy Poehler, offers classes not only in improv, but in writing, and stand-up. Having said that, improv is it’s bread-and-butter. The school prescribes to “The Harold” style of long form improvisation and has some of the most up-and coming comediennes teaching classes. Weekly shows often include appearances SNL cast members (past and present), famous funny folk, and TV writers.
Peoples Improv Theatre
54 W 29th St.
New York, NY 10001
Headed up by Ali Farahnakian, former Upright Citizens Brigade member and writer for SNL, The PIT has very homey feel to its classes, instructors are super nice, super funny, and like it’s competitor UCB, it offers classes in other forms of comedy, most especially varied types of writing; including screen writing, sketch comedy writing, and writing for television. The PIT house teams are less reliably hysterical-laughter inducing, but the school itself has a nice vibe.
254 W 29th St.
New York City, NY 10001
Owned by Chicago improv veteran Armando Diaz, the Magnet offers classes on par with UCB and The PIT, it’s a fairly ego free environment, and definitely caters to the improv-novice. If you’re feeling unsure about getting up on stage and making things up, The Magnet staff is pretty good at coddling your ego until you feel hilarious.
Chicago City Limits
318 W 53rd St., Ste 207
New York, NY 10019
One of NYC’s oldest comedy training grounds, this school differs a bit from UCB, The PIT, and The Magnet in that it has a more all encompassing approach to improv, and doesn’t prescribe solely to the long-form standard—translation, sometimes there are just short funny scenes. They also specialize in musical improv which is a whole different school of funny. A big draw for this school is their kid and teen programs and family friendly shows.