NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/1/14

October 1, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: John Mulaney is on Jimmy Fallon;
Patton Oswalt is on Craig Ferguson;
Tim Allen is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Lena Dunham is on The Daily Show;
Wanda Sykes is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Nick Offerman, Jerrod Carmichael,
and Pete Correale are on Conan O’Brien;
Tom Lennon, Cameron Esposito, and
Daniel Sloss are on @midnight;
another genius episode of South Park at 10:00 pm on CC

Derek Jeter

A very over-the-top tribute to a Yankees hero from Brandon Scott Jones & Sean Hart: Goodbye to Derek Jeter

Scott Adsit and John Lutz

…and genius comics John Lutz & Scott Adsit form one of the greatest improv duos ever as John & Scott

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for brilliant improvisors Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Big Revival, Buchanan, and Astronomy Club: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): An over-the-top character show in which “Yankees (YES) Network announcer Michael Kay and Con Edison worker & fair weather Yankees fan Uncle Eddie host a night of tributes, gifts, and reflections on the greatest and classiest Yankee of all time, Derek Jeter, from the parking lot of Yankee Stadium. Expected guests include billionaire Donald Trump, disgraced Yankee Alex Rodriguez, deceased punk rocker DeeDee Ramone, America’s Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and WFAN’S Mike Francesa,” spearheaded by hilarious sketch/improv comics Brandon Scott Jones and Sean Hart at the UCB Chelsea theatre: YES Network Presents RE2PECT: A Goodbye to Derek Jeter—A Salute to Class—The Loss of a Captain

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Nick DiPaolo, Artie Lang, Judy Gold, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Nick DiPaolo, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and an especially strong lineup of Todd Barry, Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, and Dan Soder (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($40; no min.): A fundraiser to combat domestic violence featuring Janeane Garofalo, Ted Alexandro, Dan Soder, Michelle Buteau, Jena Kingsley, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Stand Up to Domestic Violence: A Fundraiser for the Purple Purse Challenge

8:00 pm ($10): Solo character comedy, sketch, and/or music from a variety of comics, with Jenn Dodd hosting this parody of a talent contest at The PIT downstairs lounge: Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Cory Kahaney (David Letterman, Bill Maher, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents, The View), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Joe Newman, Jabari Baraka Davis, Brooke Arnold, Jes Tom, and Meghan Hanley performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Brandon Scott Wolf, Missy Baker, Drew Michael, Sheba Mason, and Krystyna Hutchinson performing stand-up, plus improv from groups Jew Noir and The Unbelievers, at the Revision Lounge (219 Avenue B, between 13th & 14th Streets) hosted by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up teams from all over the country compete for laughs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen: Border Wars

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Alex Carabano (BET), Julia Johns (webseries Girls Are Roommates), and Gilbert Lawand performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teams up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live, and currently writes for Seth Meyers) to form a breathtakingly super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

9:30 pm ($10): Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Nate Fernald (Team Submarine), and David Agyekum performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Hosts Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here) & Sam Haft welcome comedic musical, sketch, and/or stand-up guests at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jessica Delfino’s Comedy & Music Extravaganza The Lemonade Stand

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

10:15 pm ($5): Randomly selected UCBT students perform with UCBT improv veterans at the UCB East theatre: The Lottery

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with its 90 minutes split evenly among the comics who throw their names into a bucket, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Eagle Witt: Amateur Night At The Mercury

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 9/30/14

September 30, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: John Oliver is on David Letterman;
Bill Burr is on Conan O’Brien;
Don Rickles in on Craig Ferguson;
Nathan Lane, Weird Al Yankovic, and
Garry Marshall are on Seth Meyers;
Mike Lawrence and Adam Newman are on @midnight;
Martin Short is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Jeffrey Tambor is on The Colbert Report;
Annie Lederman is on Carson Daly

Chris Elliott

Comedy legend Chris Elliott is interviewed at Inside Joke

Dustin Diamond

…Dustin Diamond (“Screech” on Saved by the Bell) is interviewed at Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

Dave Attell

…and Dave Attell tapes his Comedy Central late night show at 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm at the Village Underground

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:00 pm ($10): A comedic play about the effects that the moon has on us at The PIT downstairs lounge: Harvest Moon

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Greg, Grammer, and Higgins at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn, Nick DiPaolo, and Dov Davidoff at the 7:45 show; Nick DiPaolo, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Seaton Smith, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; SOLD OUT, but you might be able to get in for standing room if you show up early on the standby line): Comedy legend Chris Elliott is interviewed by Carl Arnheiter at the UCB East theatre: Inside Joke: An Interview with Chris Elliott

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell’s Comedy Central show Comedy Underground is getting taped tonight at 8:00 & 10:30, with this episode featuring Paul Mecurio, Brooke Van Poppelen, Joe List, and Dan Naturman performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[TOP PICK] 8:00ish pm ($8 at the door or $9.57 online): Dustin Diamond (“Screech” on Saved by the Bell), plus the cast of Saved by the Bell parody Bayside the Musical, being interviewed and/or performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Scott R.: Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Storytellers Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Champion and 18-time StorySlam Champion), Tim Manley (author of Fairytales for Twenty-Somethings), Amanda Melson (Last Comic Standing), Elisa Albert (author of The Book of Dahlia), and Alex Edelman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) telling true tales about My Summer Vacation at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned On My Summer Vacation

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Jim David, Graham Kay, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Kurt Metzger, and More

[FREE, plus FREE PIZZA while the slices last] 8:00 pm: Matt Wayne, Aaron Glaser, Dan Goodman, Alison Leiby, and Christi Chiello performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Lukas Kaiser & John Szeluga: Amazingtown

8:00 pm ($10): Staged readings of two spec TV pilots written by Joe Schiappa and Lucas Hazlett at The PIT downstairs lounge: Pilot Presentation with Joe and Lucas

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Morgan Miller, Sue Smith, Margaret Dodge, Bryan Cook, Andy Farnsworth, Aaron Kominos-Smith, Nick Mullen, Anthony O’Connell, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of stand-up and trivia game show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Via

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Tony Zaret (co-host of School Drools), Robbie Collier, and more performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Women & Men, Apollo, and The Enemy at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Writers and producers of The Daily Show perform stand-up at the UCB East theatre: The Daily Show Writers Stand-Up Show: An Evening of Political-ish Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her improv partner Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical at The PIT upstairs theatre: Your Love, Our Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Pete Davidson (newest cast member of Saturday Night Live; MTV’s Guy Code), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Pete Davidson, Christian Finnegan, Cipha Sounds, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Bill Stiteler, Matt Porter, and Pat Byrne performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis (playing a new character at every show): The Tuesday Special

10:00 pm ($10): Tracy Mull performs the uniquely difficult art of solo improv—and then performs it again in a competition against herself—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tracy vs. Tracy: Competitive Solo Improv

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell’s Comedy Central show Comedy Underground is getting taped tonight at 8:00 & 10:30, with this episode featuring Nick Griffin, Bonnie McFarlane, Kevin Brennan, and Louis Katz performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Typically superb stand-ups (not announced) performing at this new free weekly stand-up show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

11:00 pm ($5): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/29/14

September 29, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: : Michael Che is on Seth Meyers;
Jim Gaffigan is on Craig Ferguson;
Sara Schaefer is on Carson Daly;
Al Madrigal is on Conan O’Brien;
Martin Short is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Doug Benson, Hari Kondabolu, and Kyle Kinane are on @midnight

Scott Adsit

Genius improvisor Scott Adsit performs at UCB Chelsea at 7:00 in Adsit & Sagher and at 8:00 in Gravid Water

Kristin Parker and Gianmarco Soresi in <50%

…and it’s your next-to-last chance to catch rising star actress Kristin Parker and stand-up Gianmarco Soresi in FringeNYC 2014 Encore play <50%

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Genius improvisor Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teams up with Tami Sagher (superb staff writer for Broad City; former writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006) to perform duo improv at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Adsit & Sagher

7:00 pm ($7): “Improvisers spiral deep into amazing situations, characters, and worlds” at The Magnet theatre: Spin Cycle

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Kevin Brennan, and Marina Franklin at the 7:45 show; Todd Barry, Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, Kevin Brennan, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Joe LIst (hosting) at the 11:30 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Top improvisors—including Scott Adsit, Michael Patrick O’Brien, and Jon Glaser—and Broadway & TV stars crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), John Trowbridge, Filip Jeremic, Nathan Min, Julia Ogilvie, Zack Phillips, and more performing sketch character bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler and Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Will Miles, Chris Lamberth, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and upcoming Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from an upbeat group at The PIT upstairs theatre: Totally, Yes

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up auditions for a mysterious “industry” (might be Last Comic Standing) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Industry Showcase

8:30 pm ($7): Improvisors blur the line between fact and fiction, using true stories from their own lives to lead into a world of pretend and back again at The Magnet theatre: Story Story

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Kenny DeForrest, and Tim Dillon performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($12.75 online with discount code FES14): This unusual FringeNYC play is actually a drama, but is so twisty at blending autobiography with wish-fulfillment fantasy that some reviewers have been fooled into describing it as a romantic comedy with a happy ending. The truth is this is a show with lots of humor—it’s written and co-stars an NYC stand-up, Gianmarco Soresi—but is ultimately about matters of the head and heart that are poignant and quite moving. Soresi is dynamic and skilled at landing laughs. But the bigger discovery of this production is the luminous Kristin Parker, who delivers a transcendent performance as his girlfriend rich in nuance, making every moment of love, compassion, faith, and pain believable. Parker’s performance is among the very finest I’ve seen at this year’s fest (out of over 60 shows and hundreds of actors). If you’re a casting director, check out this rising star, whose website is KristinParker.com. And if you’re a comic, consider seeing this example of how to build a stand-up routine into a multi-layered story that ultimately hits all emotional buttons with surprising success. Huge kudos also go to director Max Freedman, both for his inventive staging, and his creating an environment that simultaneously lets Soresi go for comedy while Parker mines hearts. There are just two encore performances left—tonight, and Saturday 10/4 at 5:00 pm—at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street): <50%

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Ripley (which includes brilliant comedic writer Marguerite Spellman) and Absolutely (which includes stellar comic Bridey Elliot): Maude Night: Ripley and Absolutely

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Alingon Mitra performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) typically hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups share their process by trying out the freshest ideas from their notebooks at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Notebook Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min.): Booked open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic for this 2-hour show at Klimat Lounge (77 East 7th Street) hosted by Gregory Joseph. To get on the performance list for future shows, email Gregory at evgigglepit@gmail.com: East Village Giggle Pit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket and 5 minutes per performer, at the Slake Bar (251 West 30th Street) hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Story Hour (Open-Mic Storytelling) with Julia Wiedeman

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/28/14

September 28, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Deliver Us To Evil

Cyndi Freeman plays The Devil in a Halloween-themed burlesque play about temptation: Deliver Us To Evil

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal improv group Pin-Up Squirrels performs and hosts other improv groups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Play Date With the Pin-Up Squirrels

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Party. and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Award-winning NYC theatrical group Built for Collapse promises “an evening of freedom, chance, and reactionary tales of unfortunate proportions” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Theater for Your Sleeping Brain

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include a great lineup of Colin Quinn, Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, and Mark Normand at the 8:00 show; Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Colin Jost, Joe List, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): Cherry PItz (Cyndi Freeman) plays The Devil in this burlesque play: “As Halloween approaches, The Devil begins to creep into the Church, pitting Pastor Porkpie in an epic battle against an oncoming storm of sadistic sexiness. Will The Good Pastor save the Soul of Titillation, or will the Church be delivered to evil that very night, leaving Sundays possessed by Dead Sexy all October? You already know the answer…but won’t it be fun to watch it all go to Hell?” at the Church of Titillation (669 Eighth Avenue, between 42nd & 43rd Streets): Deliver Us To Evil

8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jeff Maurer, Brad Austin, Ryan Reiss, Kristin Rand, Tyson Karrasch, and Julia Johns performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Ben Asher and John Swan, characters from Tynan DeLong, sketch from Lana Schwartz, musical sketch from Pop Roulette, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Kareem Green, Subhah Agawrwal, Kenan Weaver, and hosts Amanda Seales (VH1) & Marc Lamont Hill performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Smart, Funny, and Black

9:00 pm ($7): “A multimedia musical kids show for adults that’s part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and part Sartre’s No Exit explores what happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring Lauren Olson, Douglas Widick, and more at the Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Charles Gould, Brian Parise, Joe Zimmerman, Joyelle Nicole Johnson, and Greg Stone performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors Natasha Rothwell (SNL), Micah Sherman, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Gethard, Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups attempt to “out-filth each other in this show where no punches are pulled and no topics are off limits” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The Dirt

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello: Lance Bass Space Mic

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/27/14

September 27, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Saturday Night Live returns for
its 40th season at 11:29 pm on NBC

David Alan Grier

Last chance to see David Alan Grier headline at Carolines

Heather McDonald

…and/or Heather McDonald headline at Gotham

Leslie Goshko

…and the spectacular Leslie Goshko mixes comedic storytelling & virtuoso piano playing at An Old-Fashioned Piano Party

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($10 cover plus $10 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319 because this will sell out): The multi-talented Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko) is a classically trained pianist. Tonight she blends comedy, storytelling, and music for an old-fashioned piano party, featuring everything from traditional standards to The Allman Brothers Band; plus special guest Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; music album Silly Jazz). This will almost certainly sell out, so make reservations ASAP at the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) for An Old-Fashioned Piano Party with Leslie Goshko

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, 12:15 am, and 1:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, Judy Gold, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, Wil Sylvince, and Judy Gold at the 7:15 show; Colin Quinn, Keith Alberstadt, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, Judy Gold, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Kevin Brennan at the 9:15 show; Dave Attell, Keith Alberstadt, Greer Barnes, and Judy Gold at the 10:30 show; Dave Attell, Keith Alberstadt, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Kevin Brennan at the 12:15 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Kevin Brennan, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 1:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, 11:15, and 1:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), James Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): A young all-guy troupe performs a mix of sketch and improv on the subject of middle school at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party: “Everyone Kisses!” A Middle School Odyssey

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Improvisors make up scenes revolving around their heroes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nicholas Feitel: The Hero Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.) A star from In Living Color who Comedy Central has named one of the 100 greatest stand-ups headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: David Alan Grier

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A regular panelist on Chelsea Lately and After Lately, and author of New York Times Bestseller You’ll Never Blue Ball in this Town Again, headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Heather McDonald

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 10:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

9:30 pm ($10): Dion Flynn, a talented impressionist who plays Barrack Obama on Jimmy Fallon, experiments with a currently very messy one-man show—but that has interesting moments and periodically shows off Flynn’s talent, even though it lacks understanding of how to structure a long work and make it memorable or satisfying—at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Only Brown Kid in the Trailer Park

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Tracey Wigfield (former writer for 30 Rock), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and more form an ace improv group at UCB East that won last year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left Live

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy trio Trike

11:00 pm ($10): An award-winning troupe that combines sketch, musical comedy, puppetry, and dance performs a show about sideshow freaks at The PIT downstairs lounge: City Hall

11:00 pm ($5): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): NYC comics Josh Rabinowitz, Liza Treyger, Matt Wayne, and Nathan Macintosh share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[$] 11:45 pm ($24 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and actor who’s appeared in feature films Grudge Match, The Longest Yard, and Spider Man 2, and on such TV shows as Children’s Hospital, My Name is Earl, and The Mentalist, headlines for this one performance only at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joey “CoCo” Diaz

Midnight ($5): Two relatively obscure sketch groups compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

[FREE] Midnight: Stand-up, sketch, and improv at this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Pinball

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evanshost: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/26/14

September 26, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Matthew Broderick & Nathan Lane are on Jimmy Fallon

Gary Busey's One-Man Hamlet

It’s your next-to-last chance to catch one of the funniest shows in NYC—which is now being discounted to just $9 per ticket via TDF: Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl)

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 pm ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, Judy Gold, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, and Judy Gold at the 8:00 show; Colin Quinn, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Judy Gold at the 8:45 show; Gary Gulman, Russ Meneve, Greer Barnes, and Judy Gold at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Keith Alberstadt, Kevin Brennan, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), James Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Kathleen Armenti & Douglas Widick perform duo musical improv at The PIT upstairs theatre: Welded

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” at The Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Brian McCann (writer & performer for Conan O’Brien for 17 years) performs a one-man show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Brian McCann’s Leisure Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.) A star from In Living Color who Comedy Central has named one of the 100 greatest stand-ups headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: David Alan Grier

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A regular panelist on Chelsea Lately and After Lately, and author of New York Times Bestseller You’ll Never Blue Ball in this Town Again, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Heather McDonald

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups aiming to slay audiences at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Phil Burke: Destroy All Humans

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm ($9 via TDF or $18 at the door): Rising star comic David Carl transforms into Gary Busey to act out Shakespeare’s greatest play using paper puppets, interactive video, lines from Hollywood action movies, an endearing childlike sense of wonder…and genuine comedic star power. This was my second favorite show at the recent FringeNYC 2014 (out of over 60); and is actually one of the funniest shows in New York, on any stage. (For my full review, please click here.) If you didn’t get a chance to catch GBOMH before, don’t miss this chance to experience it tonight at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, between 24th & 25th Streets): Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl)

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): In this unique variety show, “a bunch of daring comics get ballsy as each does something on stage he or she has never done but has always wanted to” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Peter Michael Marino (creator of SoloCon) and the brilliant & lovely Amanda Duarte (host of Dead Darlings; young): Cojones

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Davidson (newest cast member of Saturday Night Live; MTV’s Guy Code), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Big Jay Oakerson, Pete Davidson, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Arthur Meyer & David Young (Jay Leno), Megan Galley (MTV), Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp (ace sketch duo), and more performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

11:30 pm ($7): Improv groups, including host The Theme from Jurassic Park, each spin a wheel with different forms of improv on it (e.g., monoscene, reverse Harold, team TED talk) to determine what type it’ll be performing on the spot at The Magnet theatre: Wheel of Form

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Davidson (newest cast member of Saturday Night Live; MTV’s Guy Code), Crystian Ramirez, and Matthew Broussard performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Gethard, Todd Barry, Big Jay Oakerson, Pete Davidson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: “Old grudges are settled and new grudges are formed” when stand-ups have to fight before telling jokes at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Andy Sanford and/or Adam Sokol: Fight Mic

Midnight ($5): Justin Tyler, Cole Escola, Ben Warheit, and Molly Gaebe performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by superb sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp (GUMP): Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Midnight ($5): Staged readings of two TV comedy pilots written & performed by UCB comics—tonight featuring Big Law by Kassia Miller and Business Work by John Purcell—at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Katherine Maughan & Winston Noel: Active Development

Friday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/25/14

September 25, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jerry Seinfeld is on David Letterman;
Bill Hader is on Conan O’Brien;
Andy Samberg and Roy Wood Jr. are on Seth Meyers;
Ben Schwartz is on Craig Ferguson;
Nikki Glaser, Julian McCullough, and
Michael Kosta are on @midnight

Langan Kingsley

Rising star Langan Kingsley can’t understand why you’d even consider missing the final performance of her hilarious one-woman show at UCB Chelsea at 8:00 pm: The Dicewoman Cometh

The Reformed Whores

…and delightful singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame perform an hour-long set  in Brooklyn at 10:15 pm as The Reformed Whores

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Amanda Baramki, and Brian Parise performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Improvisors pretend to be from 1813 England at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Austen Family Improv Players

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Jon Laster hones a long set one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Jon Laster

7:30 pm ($10): A new episode of TV’s Power Rangers made up on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Morphin’ Time: The Return of the Power Rangers

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show, and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Kurt Metzger, Rachel Feinstein, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Langan Dice Kingsley establishes herself as a major UCB talent and rising star in this one-woman show demonstrating playful wit, a dancer’s grace, and vocal gymnastics that may make you concerned Langan hurts her voice (but you’ll want her to keep doing it anyway): The Dicewoman Cometh

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “With half their friends and family raptured and the Apocalypse in full swing, the St. Burlingame Yearbook Staff must chronicle student life, extracurriculars, and the rise of the Antichrist before the seventh trumpet sounds:” The Yearbook of Revelation

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno), Joey Diaz, Jena Kingsley, Derek Gaines, and Alingon Mitra performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Gethard, Gary Gulman, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), and John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm) performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Hello Laser and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blob (eight improvisors jointly contribute to the creation of two-person scenes, and then work to refine and morph these scenes together over time), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from star storyteller Ophira Eisenberg at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ryan Beck, Merrill Davis, Tom Cowell, and Clark Jones performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; HBO, MTV, VH1, TruTV; co-host of upcoming prime time show; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; co- host of Dive Comedy), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Matthew Broussard (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), James Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up new episodes of a TV classic at The PIT downstairs lounge: Saved by the Bell: The Lost Episodes

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Micah Sherman, Ken Reid, Jaqi Furback, and Kevin Townley tell daring personal tales on this month’s theme Crooked at The PIT upstairs theatre for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at A Non-Daily Show

10:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a 5-member dessert troupe at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bring Cupcakes

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Delightful raunchy singing duo The Reformed Whores (Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors) perform for a full hour at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: The Reformed Whores

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Leo Allen (Comedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die; writer for Comedy Central’s Review; former long-time writer for Saturday Night Live; former director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van; host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), and Simmons McDavid performing stand-up at this weekly show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Harold Night improv group The Enemy decisively said “no” to A Tribe Called Yes last week, winning by an audience vote of 89-49. Tonight it faces improv troupe Women & Men, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[$] 11:00 pm ($5): Audience members compete to show off their “weird talents” at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jenn Welch & Jay Malsky: The PIT Factor

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Joe Galan hosts a clowning workshop & open stage: “Clowns have only one true directive: To play! This is part workshop, part playground where we will use exercises geared towards exploring new voices, bodies and games. Either show off a piece in progress or jump onstage blind and ready to follow your sense of fun. Whether you’re interested in learning more about clown technique and physical comedy or just overcoming coulrophobia, this jam is a fun and safe environment to explore your onstage instincts” at The PIT upstairs theatre: No Make-Up: A Clown Jam

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


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