NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/25/15

May 25, 2015

Half-price tickets for It’s Only a Play, Big Dummy,
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,
and much more via Goldstar

TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 5/14);
John Cleese is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 4/28);
Kristen Wiig and Thomas Middleditch are
on Jimmy Fallon (repeated from 4/28)

Mike O'Brien, Scott Adsit, and Brian McCann

Brilliant comics Mike O’Brien, Scott Adsit, and Brian McCann are among the stars crashing improv into classic theatre scenes at Gravid Water

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Becky Krause, and Tracy Mull—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.) tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Ted Alexandro

7:00 pm ($5): In this unique show, improvisors make up a complete family & friends intervention based on an audience suggestion at The PIT upstairs theatre: Impro-vention

7:00 pm ($7): Two improv groups make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Gyre and Lack Lobser

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Nikki Glaser, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Keith Alberstadt, Jon Fisch, Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Pete Davidson, with all three shows 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 don’t mind standing): Brilliant improvisors Scott Adsit, Mike O’Brien, Brian McCann, and Michael Delaney stumble into rehearsed theatre scenes they know nothing about played by Broadway and/or TV stars Amy Rutberg, Jennifer Grace, Jonathan Kaplan, Julie Sharbutt, and director/host Stephen Ruddy at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Gravid Water

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A delicious blend of sketch comedy and dance from a highly talented three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s best movie performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience this comedic artistic trio at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($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) and Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast) performing stand-up, and Ann Carr (FX’s Louie, Comedy Central, VH1, Web series The Actress, stellar sketch group Legs For Days) performing characters, at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show: Myq Kaplan, Sabrina Jalees, and Ann Carr

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “Comics improvise scenes based on audience suggestions, and are systematically eliminated by audience votes during the show until only one player remains,” with tonight’s participants including Nate Starkey (Big Black Car), Chris Roberti (Big Black Car), Geoff Grimwood (Second City, Fake Church), Devin Heater (G.U.S.), Rachel Rosenthal (North Coast), and Jon Bander (Second City), plus improv piano from Mark Erenstoft (Avenue Q, 50 Shades! The Musical), all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Jim Robinson (Second City): BeerProv

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item food or drink min.): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Christi Chiello (Last Comic Standing), Rashad Bashir, Mahesh Kotagi, and Rae Sanni perform at The Village Lantern Downstairs Club (167 Bleecker Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan and/or LeClerc Andre: Unarmed and Dangerous Comedy: Aparna Nancherla, Christi Chiello, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Ace gal improvisors Megan Gray, Rosie Whalen, and more springboard an audience suggestion to create a terrible Lifetime TV movie (“come prepared to watch a live film filled with heartbreak, disease, violence, despair, hope, courage, sassy neighbors, murders, heroes, whores, assholes, dumb babies who take up all your time, revenge, love, sex, hate, and chocolate”) at The Magnet theatre: Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

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

9:30 pm ($5): Storytellers Harmon Leon, Lauren Maul, and Sharif Ali spin tales that are used as springboards for improv group The Spin Doctors to make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: TALESpin: Storytelling Meets Improv

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Paul Virzi, Crystian Ramirez, Casey Balsham, Danny Palmer, Jesus Trejo, Billy Bonnell, and Greg Santos performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Mike Lawrence, Monroe Martin, Chris Distefano, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

10:15 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

[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 typically hosted by the wonderful Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing): 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 theStand 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

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: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 5/24/15

May 24, 2015

Half-price tickets for It’s Only a Play, Big Dummy,
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,
and much more via Goldstar

Gary Gulman

Stellar wordsmith Gary Gulman performs at The Stand at 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm

Tracy Mull

…and if you enjoy improvising, go to one of the most fun open stages in NYC hosted by comedy dynamo Tracy Mull: Sunday School Short-Form Jam

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:

[$] 1:00 pm ($30): A 3-part series presented back-to-back—and probably running over four hours—that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage…with limited success. The costumes are fun, the cast is cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice is the best “special effect” in the show), but the script is too often flat, arbitrary, and juvenile, making it almost impossible to care about anything that happens, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. On top of that, the playwright also appears to mistakenly equate “annoying” with “entertaining”—which helps explain why he wrote himself one of the most gratingly irritating characters in the show. That said, Part 2 is an improvement over Part 1, largely thanks to the addition of Asia Kate Dillon as a charismatic female warrior. As for Part 3, I haven’t seen it, so there’s always a chance it gets way better by the end… While I can’t recommend this as art, at minimum it’s interesting as novelty theatre at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kapow-i GoGo

6:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Roman Rimer, followed by Roman and friends performing improvised scenes, at The Magnet theatre: Peace, Earthlings and Roman Rimer & Friends

[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

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm and 12:15 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, Lenny Marcus, Pete Davidson, Sean Donnelly, Zainab Johnson, Dov Davidoff, and Ricky Velez, with all four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[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 Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Magnet Artistic Director Megan Gray at The Magnettheatre: Kornfeld & Gray

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($48.50 & 2-drink min.): A former cast member of The Office, and star of the upcoming NBC sitcom Mr. Robinson based on his early days as a K-9 music teacher in Chicago, headlining one last night at theCarolines Comedy Club: Craig Robinson

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Evan Kaufman, Ashley Ward, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak & Micah Sherman:People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country;David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Sabrina Jalees, Pete Lee, and More

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Mike Recine, Noah Gardenswartz, Gilbert Lawand, Michelle Biloon, Toby Muresianu, Khalid Rahman, and Greg Santos performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of stand-up, improv, and theatre at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: A Night With Phantasm

8:30 pm ($5): Trio improv by Matt Barats and two friends, and then duo improv by real-life roommates Dylan Evans & Mike Breen, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Fiddlers Three and Boys of the Year

9:00 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups Julio Torres, Selena Coppock, Robert Dean, Grant Gordon, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) produced by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and Kenny DeForest and hosted tonight by Clark Jones: Comedy Night at the Knit

[TOP PICK] 9:30 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

9:30 pm ($5): Improv and/or sketch from Beth Hoyt, Anna Drezen, and duo Brian Fiddyment & Edy Modica at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Ana Fabrega: This Sunday is Saturday Part 2

[$] 10:00 pm ($15): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central specialPassive Aggressive), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Derek Gaines, Subhah Agarwal, and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Damien Lemon, and More

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): The spectacular Tracy Mull loves short-form improv games with a passion, and so is the perfect host for this jam that lets audience members—including you—put their names in a bucket. Tracy will then repeatedly pull out a name and a game and facilitate improv magic at The PIT upstairs theatre:Sunday School Short-Form Jam

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

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

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: 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 Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly atUCB 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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 5/23/15

May 23, 2015

Half-price tickets for It’s Only a Play, Big Dummy,
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,
and much more via Goldstar

Brunch Night! with Jamie LeeLo

Fun at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Sasheer Zamata & Jo Firestone are interviewed in togas at Jamie LeeLo’s Brunch Night!

Picture This!

…and then stand-ups including Sasheer are drawn by animators while performing their sets at Picture This!

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 ($5): Improv/sketch group Astronomy Club—which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock—kicks off a monthly show tonight with guest stand-up Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live) at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Astronomy Club at Night

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 6:00 pm ($11.50 via Goldstar [vs. $20 at the door]): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winningDavid Letterman writer) performs a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction andaudience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Passport, Becca², Suli, and Haxo performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

6:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Harmon Leon about his experiences going undercover at extremist subcultures atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Porn, Corn, and Body Slamming For Jesus

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn, Ted Alexandro, Dave Attell, Judy Gold, Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Jermaine Fowler, Nick Griffin, Lynne Koplitz, Robert Kelly, Sean Donnelly, Lenny Marcus, Zainab Johnson, Dov Davidoff, and Sherrod Small, with the 7:00, 8:45, 10:30, and 12:15 shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground(130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($5): An all-gal improv show mixing women from The PIT’s free improv nights with those on PIT improv house teams—and that includes powerhouse musical improvisor Rebecca Vigil—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ladies of the PIT

7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Women & Men will spin off scenes from the tales of a monologist at the UCB Easttheatre: Women & Men

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, James Mattern, Marc Theobald, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro, Janeane Garofalo, and More

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 ($5): House improv groups such as Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Improv Teams

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nathan Macintosh (Family Channel) tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Nathan Macintosh

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 in advance online; the latter is recommended as this might sell out): Two of NYC’s glittering comedy diamonds, Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live) and Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), are interviewed at a toga party (audience members are encouraged but not required to wear togas) at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Jamie LeeLo: Brunch Night!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, 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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Micaela Blei—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($48.50 & 2-drink min.): A former cast member of The Office, and star of the upcoming NBC sitcom Mr. Robinson based on his early days as a K-9 music teacher in Chicago, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Craig Robinson

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred on two seasons of Last Comic Standing; has performed a very popular Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; was a regular on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; was the first white comic on Def Jam; wrote for Chris Rock; played Lenny Bruce on NBC’sAmerican Dreams; was an unlikely guest on The View; and is a regular on the Opie and Anthony radio show, headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers Ophira Eisenberg, Adrienne Iapalucci, and Moody McCarthy): Rich Vos

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country;David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO,The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), 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), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Rachel Feinstein, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

8:00 pm ($8): “When the long-time owner of Ski Mountain dies, everyone expects the mountain to be passed down to his beloved daughter Jocelyn. However, his evil older son Ernest appears at the funeral and takes his lawful control of the mountain. Ernest’s first order of business is to fly in a Swiss mountain and stack it on top of Snow mountain…making a double mountain. While everyone loves the double mountain at first, it becomes clear that Ernest has ulterior motives when he continues flying in Swiss mountains, stacking them higher and higher. With a crisis on their hands, Jocelyn, a reclusive trailer rater named Bearnie, and the employees and residents of Snow Mountain must save the day” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Crisis on Ski Mountain

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 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): Improv group 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): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm & 11:00 pm ($10): A delicious blend of sketch comedy and dance from a highly talented three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s best movie performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience this comedic artistic trio at The PIT upstairs theatre, who tonight are performing the same show at both 9:30 pm and 11:00 pm: Cocoon Central Dance Team

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Nick Naney, Bill Stiteler, Matt Barats, Carmen Christopher, and Anthony Oberbeck at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Postmen

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy that describes itself as “a dramatized guide for navigating through everyday concerns such as the meaning of life, our goals & flaws, our sexual curiosities, and the inevitability of a slow death in our soul crushing cesspool” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Cliffnotes on the Human Condition

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): On this unique show, as stand-ups do their sets they’re drawn on the spot by animators Dan Pinto, Gabe Pinto, Dimitri Drjuchin, Mike Wechsler, Chrissy Fellmeth, Brett Hall, and Bryan Brinkman. Tonight’s comics are Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), John Early, Julio Torres, Michelle Biloon, Nick Rutherford, and Nore Davis performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Picture This!: Sasheer Zamata, John Early, Julio Torres, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($25): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country;David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO,The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), 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), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Rachel Feinstein, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Rojo Perez: Creek Cave 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 duo Trike

10:30 pm ($5): A screening of “Lurid sensationalism! Neon perversions! In a tribute to the midnight movie mayhem of the 70s and 80s, some of the strangest, darkest, sexiest, funniest videos from across the country” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Anthony Oberbeck: Video Massacre

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from group Parade Grounds at The PIT upstairs theatre: Parade Grounds: Big Lights, Bright City

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Anna Roisman (MTV; co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You), and Frank Liotti 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

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 Evans host: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran improvisors make up scenes with improv students from any school (selected by lottery) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Fishbowl

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 5/22/15

May 22, 2015

Half-price tickets for It’s Only a Play, Big Dummy,
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,
and much more via Goldstar

Cocoon Central Dance Team

A dynamite dance/music double bill at The PIT tonight, starting with Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani blending sketch comedy & performance art as Cocoon Central Dance Team

Rebecca Vigil

…and then Rebecca Vigil (above) and Evan Kaufman delivering world-class musical improv in Your Love, Our Musical

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, 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn, Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Jon Fisch, Gregg Rogell, Carmen Lynch, Russ Meneve, Keith Alberstadt, Lynne Koplitz, Jessica Kirson, Robert Kelly, Pete Davidson, Sean Donnelly, Lenny Marcus, and Dov Davidoff, with all of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Ted Alexandro (one of thevery finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, James Mattern, Marc Theobald, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro, Janeane Garofalo, and More

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a movie on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Movie Night

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

7:00 pm ($10): Two improv groups each make up a musical on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: [title of team] and Royals

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nathan Macintosh (Family Channel) tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Nathan Macintosh

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, wonderfully talented performers Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp do a show that tries to make a virtue of extreme, about gay twins who sing, dance, screw each other, and screw over everyone else. The results are mixed, because a script that merely goes relentlessly over the top isn’t enough to be emotionally satisfying, but there are scattered delights—especially a tuneful, show-stopping song about never giving up that’s by itself worth the price of admission: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp (above) switch gears from sketch to improv, creating scenes on the spot about “the Hole-iest Hump Day on the Vatican Calendar:” Ass Wednesday

[FREE] 7:30 pm: “A conference/retreat/life-changing experience for womyn. This herstorical night of female empowerment is filled with guest speakers, womyn-centric activities, bonding, mimosas, moments that last a lifetime, and a special appearance by the legendary feminist icon Chickadee Welbourn,” featuring Jo Firestone and nearly a dozen other female comics performing at B.H.Q.F.U. (34 Avenue A on the 3rd Floor) hosted by Ana Fabrega & Lorelei Ramirez: FEMx

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($48.50 & 2-drink min.): A former cast member of The Office, and star of the upcoming NBC sitcom Mr. Robinson based on his early days as a K-9 music teacher in Chicago, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Craig Robinson

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 (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “Each stand-up will do his or her set, and then host JoAnna Ross will conduct an interview about the comic’s dating life. Questions you always wanted to know will be asked: Where do you take a first date to get laid? Do you pay? Where do you take a date to break up with them? What bathrooms have you done it in?” and much more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Undateables

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Redefining our concept of dance are a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience them in April and May at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albumsComedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jim Florentine, and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, and More

8:00 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

8:00 pm ($8): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred on two seasons of Last Comic Standing; has performed a very popular Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; was a regular on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; was the first white comic on Def Jam; wrote for Chris Rock; played Lenny Bruce on NBC’sAmerican Dreams; was an unlikely guest on The View; and is a regular on the Opie and Anthony radio show, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers Ophira Eisenberg, Adrienne Iapalucci, and Moody McCarthy): Rich Vos

[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 Sebastian Conelli (2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy): The Friday Night Sh*w

[MEGA-TOP PICK]  9:00 pm ($10): Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her elegant partner Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—often with breathtaking skill—atThe PIT upstairs theatre: Your Love, Our Musical

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Connor Ratliff, Jordan Klepper, Don Fanelli, Silvija Ozols, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:00 pm ($10): Josh Patten, Dru Johnston, and Ben Rameaka perform improv at the UCB East theatre as trioPahjohnka Johnk

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch groups Soap and Teen Radio, plus comic Griffin Newman, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Soap and Teen Radio

9:30 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Carmen Christopher: The Juice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnet theatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albumsComedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jim Florentine, and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A whole bunch of NYC stand-ups perform at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv from group Tourist Trap, which consists of members from world-class group Baby Wants Candy and more, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Tourist Trap: The Improvised Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live) and Nicole Byer (30 Rock, Jimmy Fallon, Doppelganger) perform duo improv, and also screen the latest episode of their webseriesPursuit of Sexiness, at the UCB East theatre: Pursuit of Sexiness Live

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Gentlemen Party tonight plays with TV tropes, presenting “adorable alien buddies, BBC period dramas, politicos talking really fast, and at least one Olive Garden commercial…and that’s just the written half! The other half is improv” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party: White Teen Lake—The Series Finale

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group His Majesty, The Baby

11:30 pm ($5): A rotating pool of improvisors perform in groups of five at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Singles Motel

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): In this unique one-time show, 10 stand-ups are all given the same jokes and compete to perform them in the most original, entertaining ways at UCB East hosted by Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

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 theStand 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 forHappy Hour

[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

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of various Maude Night groups: Liquid Courage

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 5/21/15

May 21, 2015

Half-price tickets for It’s Only a Play, Big Dummy,
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,
and much more via Goldstar

Sasheer Zamata, Aparna Nancherla, and Dave Hill

Sasheer Zamata, Aparna Nancherla, and Dave Hill perform at the Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

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:

7:30 pm ($5): Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), NIck Stevens (former host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN), and Chris Lamberth performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include John Mulaney, Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Ryan Hamilton, Keith Alberstadt, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Jon Fisch, Lynn Koplitz, Pete Davidson, Lenny Marcus, Ricky Velez, and Dov Davidoff, 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Redefining our concept of dance are a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience them in April and May at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Comics Ginny Leise (co-host of The Shame Game), Angela Perrone, and Anita Flores share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Poop…and the City

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man meta-show by Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) which Joel declares is the last time he performs as a lowest common denominator Jeff Foxworthy-like character who he personally finds offensive so he can pursue higher forms of art—such as playing Werner Herzog having an existential crisis from ordering a burrito at Chipotle (which, Ironically, is actually a brilliant bit and show-stopper…). Joel doesn’t always hit the mark, but his production is so filled with ideas, energy, and verbal and visual jokes that you’re almost certain to have fun at American Weidl

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “a sketch comedy about nonsense, lies, and exaggerations” from other a dozen comics: That’s Bullshit!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Cast (long form improv about the behavior of a theatre troupe both on-stage and off-stage), at 10:00 pm by sketches from a team of writers performed by Adam Twitchell & Kate Emswiler in The Adam & Kate Project, 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

8:00 pm ($5): Jessica Delfino, Joe List, Dan Boulger, and Kenny Zimlinghaus performing stand-up or music at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Katie Haller & Corrine Fisher host this show consisting of almost all gal stand-ups at The PITdownstairs lounge: The Token Guy Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups, Salt and Gun Club, make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Salt + Gun Club

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.54 in advance online; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank onMystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), A. J. Jacobs (New York Times bestselling author), Bradford Jordan, Nat Townsen, and Rita Chinyere: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

8:40ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents,Totally Biased), Joel Kim Booster, Drew Michael, Stephanie McRae, Mike Gillerman, and Ashley Morris performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Franklin Bar and Lounge (739 Franklin Street) produced by Khalid A. Rahmaan & Mike Eltringham and hosted by Justin Williams: It’s Sooo Up and Coming

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Michelle Buteau (daily host of VH1’s Morning Buzz; FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), and Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host of Midnight Stand-Up) performing stand-up atUCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Something unusual (not announced) curated by sketch group Forever Dog at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forever Dog Presents

9:00 pm ($5): Improv from duo Phil Meister & Devin Bockrath, and also from group Mutual Slayer, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Meister & Bockrath and Mutual Slayer

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($10.18 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Interviews with Robert Klein, A. J. Jacobs, and Dale Seever at the Carolines Comedy Club: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[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 Non-Daily Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Two of NYC’s finest sketch/character comics, David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) and Katie Hartman (wonderfully brave and dark sketch comic; Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), host this show devoted to solo characters, with tonight’s superb guests Livia Scott, Becky Kraus, and Brett Davis performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Riled Up With David and Katie

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC magicians try out new material, with some stand-up thrown in, at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by mind reader Eric Dittelman (America’s Got Talent, Ellen):Amazeballs

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), and Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, book Tasteful Nudes, comedy album Let Me Turn You On) perform stand-up 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 Easttheatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Area 52 and Big Time compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelseain the raucous Cage Match

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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[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: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv groupJunior Varsity 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 theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [AMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A storytelling open mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Chris Booth:Bar Tales & Blowhards

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith 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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 Wednesday 5/20/15

May 20, 2015
David Letterman

David Letterman, one of the greatest and most seminal performers in comedy history, hosts his final Late Show at 11:35 pm on CBS

Borat

Rena Smaha and Her Monkeys

Matt Damon Does Matthew McConaughey

Cher, Part 1  Cher, Part 2

Sonny & Cher Reunion, Part 1   Part 2  Part 3

Sam Kinison’s First National TV Appearance

Harvey Pekar’s Penultimate Appearance  Harvey’s Final Appearance

Harmony Korine’s First Appearance  More Harmony Korine

Madonna

Drew Barrymore Flashes Dave

Dave’s October Surprise  Dave’s Follow-Up

Dave on 9/11

Most Recent Episodes

David Letterman

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—including Julie Sharbutt & Langston Belton as duoCoyote at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm-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

7:00 pm ($10): A monthly sketch show that takes you to “an alternative reality filled with unique characters, curious tales, and odd occurrences” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Blunderbuss

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nathan Macintosh (Family Channel) tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Nathan Macintosh

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the long form improv showcased on UCB Chelsea’s Harold Night is this weekly show of house groups at the UCB East theatre: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include John Mulaney, Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, Jessica Kirson, Seaton Smith, Sam Morril, and Sherrod Small, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Strong lineup of Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, book Tasteful Nudes, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star of the most recent season of Last Comic Standing), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedypodcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Mick Diflo, Kristin Manna, Erik Monical, and Brooke Arnold performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Lisa Corrao: Train Wreck Stand-Up: Dave Hill, Joe Machi, Justy Dodge, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you might be able to get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing): Ellie Kemper & Christina Gausas used to perform duo improv together. Tonight they do so again at theUCB Chelsea theatre: Kempsas

8:00 pm ($3, or FREE if you’re a gal and arrive before 8:15 pm): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Emmy Blotnick (staff writer for @midnight; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Yassir Lester (staff writer for HBO’s Girls), Nick Ruggia, and Matt Schwartzer performing stand-up, plus sketch group Package Deal, all at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Boris Khaykin, Corinne Fisher, Justin Perez, and/or Ashley Morris: Club Comedy

[$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): In this unusual show, stand-ups take suggestions from the audience and then make up a set on the spot, with tonight’s brave comics Janeane Garofalo, Jessica Kirson, Big Jay Oakerson, Matteo Lane, Anthony DeVito, Akaash Singh, and Casey Balsham performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Robby Slowik: Stand-Up on the Spot with Janeane Garofalo, Jessica Kirson, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Dan Wilbur, Frank Terranova , Liz Barrett, Chris Doucette, and Molly Austin performing for this free weekly show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) hosted by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, and/or Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 9:00 pm: It’s a very rare week off for Lucky Jack’s Pub, but Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons will be back as usual next week with 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 Doug Moe and/or Ben Rameaka:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea theatre, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

…and in the second half of this double-bill, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Stand-ups who’ve worked on and/or performed on David Letterman—Eddie Brill, Jon Fisch, Adam Newman, Pete Lee, Chris Distefano, Sean Donnelly, and more—do the sets from when they were on the show and also share behind-the-scenes anecdotes at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) followed by a viewing upstairs of David Letterman’s final show: Love for Letterman: A Tribute Show

[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): Improvisors pair up as scene-inventing duos for one night only at the UCB East theatre hosted by comedy giants Natasha Rothwell (staff writer for Saturday Night LIve) & Dan Hodapp (Jimmy Fallon, co-star of smash FringeNYC show Tail! Spin!): Couples Skate

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a monthly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible, hosted by the charming Jackie Jennings (The Chris Gethard Show, improv group Smalls): School Night

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 theStand 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

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

[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 each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3 1/2 minutes, at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Benel Germosen: Chocolate Wednesday

[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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 5/19/15

May 19, 2015

Half-price tickets for It’s Only a Play, Matt & Ben,
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,
and much more via Goldstar

TV Alert: Bill Murray is on on David Letterman;
Lisa Kudrow and Zach Woods are on James Corden;
Inside Amy Schumer‘s spectacular Season 3 continues with Episode 5,
“Babies & Bustiers,” at 10:30 pm & 2:39 am on Comedy Central

David Crabb: Bad Kid

Storyteller David Crabb celebrates the release of his memoir about his teen years: Bad Kid Launch Show & Party

Sara Benincasa

…and Sara Benincasa (above), Sasheer Zamata, and more perform with boyfriends or pals at In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: David Crabb performs scenes from his youth and signs copies of his new book about “the awkward moment in life when you are suddenly shoved from a safe and happy childhood into the terrifying realm of the teenager” at Brooklyn’s PowerHouse Arena (37 Main Street): Bad Kid Launch Show & Party

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free showthat lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nathan Macintosh (Family Channel) tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Nathan Macintosh

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include John Mulaney, Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Ryan Hamilton, Joe Machi, Nikki Glazer, Marina Franklin, Robert Kelly, Sam Morril, Dov Davidoff, Sean Donnelly, and Ricky Velez, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups: Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s guests are Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live) and Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit) = couple; Natasha Rothwell (writer forSaturday Night Live) and Dan Hodapp (numerous shows) = brilliant improv partners; Sara Benincasa (author ofAgorafabulous) and Jon DeVore (Internet Action Force) = couple; and Sharon Spell & Jill Anders = pals, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by real-life couple Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sabrina Jalees & Liza Treyger host this stand-up show with guests Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Langston Kerman, Courtney Maginnis, and Lil Freckles at UCB East performing in the Comedy Central Corporate Retreat timeslot: Down to Find Out with Sabrina Jalees & Liza Treyger

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Nicole Byer, Hadiyah Robinson, Alice Wetterlund, Mike Recine, Noah Gardenswartz, and Casey Jane Ellison performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Chris Laker: Cakeshop Comedy: Jo Firestone, Nicole Byer, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, Pete Lee, Monroe Martin, and Aaron Berg performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, Pete Lee, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from 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 CDsSmall, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), and sketch from Micah Sherman and four other comics who “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do” at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Jane Kehoe: Old School Sketch Show

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge from group Hot Buffet

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform sets—and you and the rest of the audience tries to answer trivia questions based on those sets! It all happens at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedy Pursuit

[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 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): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Sam Morril (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), and “surprise guests” performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from two groups at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the wonderful David Carl:Damn Family and Uncanny Valley

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC comics (typically announced around 1:00 pm) performing for 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Death By Roo Roo, Goat, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Performing stand-up sets in between Tony bits tonight are Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon; @midnight, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), and more, all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Naomi Ekperigin, Emmy Blotnick, and More

9:30 pm ($5): A one-man improvised musical from Stoddy based on an audience suggestion (maybe yours…) at The PIT upstairs theatre: A Stoddy Story

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Brendan Eyre, Paul Schissler, Scott Nossen, Alyssa Limperis, and Ashley Strand performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway:The Party

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): MIke Lawrence, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, Bonnie McFarlane, Derek Gaines, and Sarah Tollemache performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Alexis Guerreros & Mike Cannon: MIke Lawrence, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, and More

[TOP PICK] [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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

10:00 pm ($5): “A computer beeps at random intervals, might be 2 seconds, might be 10 minutes. Every time it beeps, and only when it beeps, the performers jump into a new scene. What happens when nothing you can do can make the scene go longer nor end sooner? When only this instant is guaranteed?” at The PIT downstairs lounge:/Switch/

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) and an opening musical act (also not announced) performing atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by the entertaining Mike Shvenderman: Shvendy’s Comedy Show

10:30 pm ($5): Christine Bullen (stellar character comic; sketch group Goodbye Handsome, one-woman show My Melonbasket), Alan Starzinski, Gary Richardson, Frank Hejl, and more perform solo comedic characters at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Unusual Suspects

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

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 theStand 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 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[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 walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[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

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv group Good Company to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

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 PITdownstairs 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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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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