11 Concept Shows in New York Putting a Twist on Stand Up

comedy with twist concept shows

Mike Feeney is a New York City based comedian from Long Island, New York. Mike has been featured on Fox’s “Laughs” and Food Network’s “Restaurant Stakeout”. He has also been a part of the New York Comedy Festival, Cape Fear Comedy Festival and Laughing Devil Comedy Festival.

Stand-Up With A Twist

A big part of being a comedian is taking risks. From stepping foot on stage to pushing your material as far as it can go and everything in between, it’s like playing a game of Operation with a blindfold on. But that’s half the fun. Which is why comedians generally enjoy doing shows that challenge them to step outside of their comfort zone. For both them and the audience, it breaks up the monotony of the typical stand-up comedy show. New York City residents have access to literally thousands of comedy shows every year. Here are some of the best shows in NYC where comedians perform stand-up with a twist.

See You in HEll

See You In Hell!

Two hilarious comedians with one amazing concept: Put comedians through hell. Matt Wayne and Doug Smith give comedians a unique “hell” to go through while performing their set. From Freestyle Hell – which involves the comedian stopping their set when the beat drops and busting out freestyles, to Yoga Hell – doing specific yoga poses when instructed throughout their set, to the now infamous Whiskey Bear Hell – dressing the comedian up in a bear suit and having them doing five shots of whiskey before their set is over, there’s something for everyone! They are constantly adding new hells to put comedians through, which further entices audiences to return month after month. This type of “rub your belly and pat your head” type show is always hilarious and the comedians are top notch.

Next show: March 5th at 8 PM at The Creek and The Cave.


on the offensive

On The Offensive

Host Mike Feeney invites the city’s best comedians to combine stand-up and off-the-cuff riffing on popular Internet videos. Each comedian does their stand-up set up top and then makes fun of a unique video afterwards. The videos range from funny to painful to weird to downright disgusting but it’s always a great time. The show highlights comedian’s ability to come up with funny commentary on the spot.

Next show: February 27th at 8 PM at The Creek and The Cave.



Picture This!

Brandie Posey and Sam Varela have something very cool going on here. They have created a comedy show where comedians have their jokes drawn live by animators, cartoonists, and other artists as they are performing. The results are organic, highly entertaining and often times hilarious.

Next show: February 26th at 8 PM at Union Hall.



Late Late Breakfast

If you have ever wanted to check out an awesome, weird Saturday afternoon comedy show, this is the one to go to. The show a fast-paced, mixed-format show was created by Tyler Jackson and Danny Maupin in Chicago, and now has a NYC branch, hosted by Peggy O’Leary and Lindsay Boling. Every show is a totally different experience and features comedians telling jokes while facing random challenges. Some passed challenges included: having an impromptu puppet show, a pie fight, giving a guided tour in a trolley car, smashing fruit like Gallagher and pitching in a baseball game involving the entire audience. It’s wild. It’s crazy. It’s a must-see.

Next show: February 27th at 2 PM at The Creek and The Cave.


The mashup show

The Mash-up Show

Hosts Luis J. Gomez and Adrienne Iapulacci take two comedians with very different personalities and put them on stage together to see what happens. The audience is witness to a completely unique show that cannot be duplicated. It proves to be a great experiment with unpredictable and hilarious results.

Next show: February 25 at 8 PM at The Stand.


Paid or Pain

Paid or Pain

If you have ever watched bad stand-up comedy, you know it’s like torture. This show gives the audience the power to inflict some of that pain back onto the performer. Hosts Lisa Ann and Jay Nog invite some of the hottest rising comics from around the city to compete to either get “paid” cash for their performance or receive “pain” from the dominatrix. If the audience votes for a comedian to receive “pain,” they must pick a card from the “Deck of Pain” and the dominatrix will administer whatever the card says. Most comics try really hard to have a great set, while others are indifferent and see it as a way to take advantage of their fetish for free.

Next show: February 19th at 11:15 PM at New York Comedy Club


Hard Lonley and Vicious

Hard, Lonely & Vicious

Hosts Peggy O’Leary & Lucas Connolly invites comedians to partake in stand-up comedy and drinking games. Comedians will start by participating in classic drinking games like “Never Have I Ever” or Flip cup and then perform a set for the audience. The show feels like a house party and makes for a fun time for both comedians and audiences alike.

Next show: March 12th at 8 PM at The Creek



Stand-Up On The Spot

Originally created in L.A. by Jeremiah Watkins, this improvised stand-Up show has recently started a monthly branch in NYC run by producer Amy Hawthorne and comedians Robby Slowik and Casey Balsham. Comedians go up with no prepared material, ask the audience for suggestions, and create Stand-Up on the Spot based off of those suggestions. Improv and stand-up collide at this awesome show that is definitely worth checking out.

Next show: Check for upcoming dates – www.standuponthespotnyc.com



Dicking Around

Host Kyle Ayers is no stranger to unique shows. His show “First Comes Love” is a must-see, but that’s for another post. On this show, Kyle invites some of his favorite comedians to perform stand-up accompanied by a few bizarre concept bits. Some examples include: Boast Rattle (a roast-style compliment competition), Historic Events Retold by YouTube’s Closed Caption Robot, Children’s Books Rewritten by Famous Authors, and more! The lineups are always strong and the energy is always great.

Next show: Check for upcoming dates – http://www.unionhallny.com



The Only One Tripping

If you have ever wondered what it was like to watch someone perform stand-up comedy while they were rocketing through space and time, this is the show for you. Host Evan Jones runs this show where every comedian on the lineup is tripping on psychedelic mushrooms. Comedians try to hold it together long enough to win over the audience in a test of mind and body over psilocybin.

Next show: Check for upcoming shows – http://creeklic.com/events/the-only-one-tripping/


The Naked Show

You know in public speaking when they say “If you are nervous, just picture everyone in their underwear”? Well the creator of this show really misinterpreted that phrase. Originally started in Boston by Andry Ofiesh, the show has started another chapter right here in New York City. Host Alison Klemp invites comedians to perform au naturale. Comedians run their sets completely naked in front of a usually packed audience (who is also encouraged to get naked). Vulnerability is at an all-time high for these brave souls who bare all for the sake of comedy.

Next show: March 11th at 11:45 PM at The Creek and The Cave

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Mike Feeney

Mike Feeney is a New York City based comedian from Long Island, New York. Mike has been featured on Fox’s “Laughs” and Food Network's "Restaurant Stakeout". He has also been a part of the New York Comedy Festival, Cape Fear Comedy Festival and Laughing Devil Comedy Festival.

Latest posts by Mike Feeney (see all)

Mike Feeney
Mike Feeney
Mike Feeney is a New York City based comedian from Long Island, New York. Mike has been featured on Fox’s “Laughs” and Food Network's "Restaurant Stakeout". He has also been a part of the New York Comedy Festival, Cape Fear Comedy Festival and Laughing Devil Comedy Festival.