NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/31/14

July 31, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is on David Letterman;
Ron Funches is on Jimmy Fallon;
Aubrey Plaza is on The Daily Show;
Mike Lawrence, Jen Kirkman, and Jermaine Fowler are on @midnight;
on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Joe Machi continues to be the only genuinely
compelling stand-up, but Jay Leno appearing tonight as a mentor
to younger comics might be interesting (either directly or ironically)

Ron Funches

Beloved stand-up Ron Funches headlines through Sunday at Carolines

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] 7:00 pm: One of the best stand-ups in the biz, Mike Lawrence (rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), performs for 30 minutes or more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Mike Lawrence

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

7:00 pm ($5): Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show and podcast Risk!, owner of The Story Studio), Greg Barris, Meghan O’Keefe, and Adam Mamwala performing stand-up or storytelling at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A delightful stand-up who’s performed on Conan O’Brien, The Kroll Show, and Chelsea Lately, and is a beloved regular on @midnight, headlines tonight through Sunday at theCarolines Comedy Club: Ron Funches

[$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Todd Barry, Ryan Hamilton, and Carmen Lynch at the 9:30 show, and Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Vic Henley, Dov Davidoff, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Stand-up from Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup andWe’re All Friends Here), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), and storytelling from Colin Nissan (The New Yorker, The Onion, author of Don’t Be That Guy) and Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Emily Winter, John Payne, and Janet Manley: BackFat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Story Story (improv that blurs the line between fact and fiction, using stories from the performers’ own lives to lead into a world of pretend and back again), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from Micaela Blei at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): A mix of improv, sketch, and stand-up celebrating The Boy Who Lived at The PIT upstairs theatre: Harry Potter and the Birthday Spectacular

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “With half their friends and family raptured and the Apocalypse in full swing, the St. Burlingame Yearbook Staff must chronicle student life, extracurriculars, and the rise of the Antichrist before the seventh trumpet sounds:” The Yearbook of Revelation
…and in the other half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from group BOAT

8:00 pm ($10): An energetic 9-member sketch group that focuses on “character-driven, movement, and theatricality” at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Nerds on Fire

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Adam Mamawala, Tim Dillon, Brittany Sherrod, and Saurin Choksi performing atPoco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street): FTH Comedy

8:30 pm ($5): Randy Liedke, Sean Donnelly (David Letterman), Nore Davis (Last Comic Standing), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): 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.), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village:Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelseastage to perform an all-improvised show at Seth Meyers Writers: Crate Night With Set Fires

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Lux Alptraum (Nerve, Fleshbot), Lynn Bixenspan (Relationshit), Sam Grittner (stand-up), and host Lane Moore (The Onion, McSweeney’s) explore the world of Tinder, “the hot new dating app that hooks up local singles based solely on physical attractiveness. With helpful and oftentimes ridiculous tips, tricks, and real-time swiping, if you’ve ever been on an online dating site, you need to see this show” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Tinder Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Gethard, Aparna Nancherla, and More

10:00 pm ($10): “Remember the happy, bouncy, Broadway-loving Rosie O’Donnell of the ’90s? Jody Shelton, Douglas Widick, and Sudi Green sure do! Come see them recreate the primarily color-heavy, Tom Cruise adoration-filled show that you loved watching with your mom,” with tonight’s mob of guests including Pop Roulette, Douglas Widick, Becky Chicoine, Kevin Avery, and Shaun Diston performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Rosie O’Donnell Show!

10:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Upstart improv group Jimmy Fedora (“New York’s smoothest improv team”) made another amazing win last week, beating super-group The Stepfathers by 90-78. Check out this phenom team tonight as JF defends its crown against improv group Smalls, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in 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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/30/14

July 30, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Mike Birbiglia is on Jimmy Fallon;
Dana Carvey is on Craig Ferguson;
Norm MacDonald is on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 5/21)
Emily Heller and Megan Neuringer are on @midnight;
and don’t miss Kumail Nanjiani’s & Jonah Ray’s superb new
stand-up show The Meltdown at 12:30 am on Comedy Central

Neal Brennan

Neal Brennan (above), Michael Che, and Ryan Hamilton perform at the 8:00 pm Comedy Cellar

Chris Gethard

…and Chris Gethard (above), Mark Normand, and Dan St. Germain perform at the 8:00 pm The Stand

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] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, including a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Boombox, Rizzo, and Witch: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include a great lineup of Neal Brennan, Michael Che, and Ryan Hamilton at the 8:00 show; Trevor Noah, Gregg Rogell, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:45 show; and Paul Mecurio, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Lenny Marcus, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Randy Liedtke (Last Comic Standing), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and Rory Albanese (The Daily Show) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Dan St. Germain, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; SOLD OUT, but if you show up early you might get in via a standby line ): Storytellers Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), James Bewley (host of Dale Radio), Choire Sicha (author of Very Recent History, co-Founder of The Awl), Bob Powers (author of The Werewolf’s Guide to Life and Happy Cruelty Day!), and Maris Kreizman (Slaughterhouse 90210) telling true tales about New York at at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned To Live in New York

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Jim O’Grady, Josh Sharp, Adam Wade, Anna Roisman, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s topic Coming Clean, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Gina Yashere (Jay Leno), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast 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), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), J.F. Harris, Katherine Williams, Chris Griggs, and Josh Rosen performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Chris Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($10): A one-man show by Emmy-nominated composer Daniel Koren in which he “sits by the piano accompanied by his projected figures In this bizarre and visually mind-blowing show that reveals his stream of conscious” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Most Important Thing

[FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), Saurin Choksi (visiting from Chicago), Casey Balsham, Jamie Roberts, Anthony Devito, and Luis Gomez performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): About a dozen talented comics perform comedic characters at the UCB Chelsea theatre: UCBT Character Showcase

[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

11:00 pm ($5): An entire late night talk show pilot built around one comic, with tonight’s starring host Jim Santangeli, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Night Late…with Jim Santangeli

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

5:30 pm ($3): Walk-in open mic providing each performer 5 minutes (or more, depending on turnout) at This Theater (154 West 29th Street): The Worm Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 11:15 pm: A gay-themed opportunity to perform improv—especially musical improv—on the UCB East stage: …XYZ Jam

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 7/29/14

July 29, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Aubrey Plaza is on Jimmy Fallon;
Molly Shannon & Mike Recine are on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 5/20)

Michael Che

The Daily Show’s Michael Che performs at the 8:00 pm Comedy Cellar

Jessica Williams

…and The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams hosts UCB East’s Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, five 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 show that 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

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Astronomy Club, Big Revival, and Boombox at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Michael Che, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:45 show, and Trevor Noah, Ryan Hamilton, and Carmen Lynch at the 9:30 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): 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.), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), and Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Ray Devito and Josh Carter: Ted Alexandro, Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, and Rachel Feinstein

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell’s Comedy Central show Comedy Underground is getting taped tonight at 8:00 & 10:00, with this first episode featuring Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 in advance online): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), and Greg Johnson (co-host of Myrtle Comedy) performing stand-up, plus music from Mal Blum, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver): Josh Gondelman and People He Admires

8:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match.” On the improv side is team Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl); while the stand-ups are Subhah Agarwal, Adam Mamawala, and Rajan Dharni, all performing at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Sam Grittner, Luke Thayer, Lynn Bixenspan, and Alison Stevenson performing stand-up for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-up and sketch comics (not announced) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award): Last Week Was Packed

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Max Silvestri, sketch troupe Boat, and more performing stand-up or sketch at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) for this last show of the summer hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Jessica Williams (star correspondent for The Daily Show) hosts John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Janelle James, and more performing stand-up at the UCB East theatre: Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy—Hosted by Jessica Williams

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell’s Comedy Central show Comedy Underground is getting taped tonight at 8:00 & 10:00, with this second episode featuring Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Josh Rabinowitz, Joe Rumrill, Mary Houlihan, Lorelei Ramirez, and Michelle De Swarte performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis: The Tuesday Special

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Recine, Grant Gordon, Sara Armour, Tom Crowley, Mary Houlihan, Jay Nog, Lane Pieschel, Dan Perlman, and Lance Weiss performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam hosted by group Judith at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Judith Jam

[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

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 Tuesday 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

[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 produced by Jake Hart with guest co-host Mike Guild and tonight featuring the debut of Julie No-Notes: The Dump

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

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/28/14

July 28, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Penn & Teller are on Seth Meyers;
Will Arnett is on Conan O’Brien;
Ben Stiller is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Nikki Glaser and Joe DeRosa are on @midnight

Cristin Milioti

Cristin Milioti is among the many stars crashing improv into theatre at Gravid Water

The George Lucas Talk Show

…and Sasheer Zamata is interviewed at The George Lucas Talk 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 ($20; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) and Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), plus a bunch of comics who haven’t been announced, performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Jeff Lawrence: Chris Gethard, Dan St. Germain, and More

[$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Ted Alexandro, Ryan Hamilton, Marina Franklin, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:45 show; Gary Gulman and Nick Griffin at the 9:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Carmen Lynch, Wil Sylvince, and Joe List at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Broadway & TV stars and top improvisors—Scott Adsit, Zach Woods, Cristin Milioti, Tami Sagher, Jennifer Grace, Jonathan Kaplan, Julie Sharbutt, and Michael Delaney—crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Join filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick, Jar-Jar Binks, as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema,” with Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Ben Warheit (writer for Seth Meyers), and musical guest Mike Doughty performing at the UCB East theatre hosted by Connor Ratliff & Shaun Diston: The George Lucas Talk Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Dwayne Kennedy (David Letterman, Totally Biased), Randy Liedtke (Last Comic Standing), and Matt Champagne performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by the Kondabolu Brothers: Night Train

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): Improv from all-gal group Gilda and very silly group Punctual Drunks at The PIT upstairs lounge: Gilda and Punctual Drunks

[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

9:00 pm ($5): Nate Fernald, Liza Treyger, Lawson Leong, Will Miles, and Tyler Fischer performing stand-up, plus Nunzio Randazzo doing characters, at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

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

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): All-gal improv from the three female members of Agent Cooper at The PIT upstairs theatre: Lady Coopers

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Randy Liedtke, and Rajan Dhami performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($5): 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: We Might Just Kiss

[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 & Dee Marie: Gentrification

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

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 Monday 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 Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

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

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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/27/14

July 27, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: If you’re up this morning, Kurt Metzger’s superb recent
special White Precious is repeated from 8:50 am to 9:41 am on Comedy Central;
if you haven’t been watching John Oliver’s wonderful Last Week Tonight,
start—it’s on at 11:00 pm and 1:30 am on HBO

Mary Lynn Rajskub

Mary Lynn Rajskub concludes her headlining run at the Carolines Comedy Club

Sean Patton

…while top stand-ups Sean Patton and Aparna Nancherla perform at Kara Klenk’s If You Build It

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] 2:00 pm: 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), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central Half Hour), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), and Jeff Lawrence (director of Laughing Buddha Comedy) performing for a free outdoor show at Central Park’s Mineral Springs: Laughter in the Park

6:00 pm ($5): “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 theatre written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) “Chloe” on FOX’s 24 is actually a talented stand-up, and she headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mary Lynn Rajskub

7:30 pm ($7): Matt J. Weir, Billy Bob Thompson, and Jamaal Sedayao perform sketch along with UK guest group The Tringalingalings at The Magnet theatre: MILK-Hunters

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Kenny Zimlinghaus, Brian Parise, and Matt Champagne performing stand-up, plus superb sketch duo Dennie & Sharp (GUMP, Cool Shit/Weird Shit), all at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Gary Gulman, Mark Normand, Gregg Rogell, Marina Franklin, and Ross Bennett at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, and Marina Franklin at the 9:45 show; and Mark Normand, Wil Sylvince, Sam Morril, and Damien Lemon at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups (not announced) join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced NBC sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), Kim Coles, Lil Rel, Felonious Munk, Jordan Rock, and hosts Amanda Seales (VH1) & Marc Lamont Hill performing stand-at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Smart, Funny, and Black

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically terrific stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago): Comedy Night

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sketch group Party. performs a show based on this innovative premise: “One of the last remaining Saturday morning children’s television shows, the long-running TV Kids Place!, is finally cancelled. And there’s only one thing host Pippi Pederson-Morales, Max the Mathemagician, Dr. Cowboy, Cloggo the Janitor, Willy McNilly, and the rest of the gang can do to stop it—put on the greatest show of their lives. Can Pippi and friends save Saturday morning kids TV? Come to a live taping and see for yourself!” at The Magnet theatre: TV Kids Place!

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Miguel Dalmau, Peggy O’Leary, Paul Hooper, and TJ Young performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman (The Baldwins), Greg Kotis (co-writer of Broadway’s Urinetown), Will Nunziata (The Royal WE), Gary Richarson (The Annoyance Theatre), Liz Wisan (Yale School of Drama), and Richie Moriarty make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Randy Liedtke performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Mark Normand, Dan St. Germain, 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

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 7/26/14

July 26, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

Rebecca Vigil

Superb improvisors/singers Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman interview a couple in the audience to create 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:

6:00 pm ($10): Two musical improv groups compete based on suggestions from the audience at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Comedy Sportz

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin at the 7:00 show; Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:45 show; and Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Marina Franklin at the 9:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), 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), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her improv partner Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical at The PIT upstairs theatre: Your Love, Our Musical

7:00 pm ($10): On this political comedy show, Kate Spaulding (Adjunct Professor of Government at SUNY Empire State College), Nate Starkey (Big Black Car), Lucas Hazlett (MTV), Meg Griffiths-Anderson (The Baldwins), Benari Poulten (Huffington Post), Justin Perez (Totally Requesty), and David Kimball-Stanley (The Last Show), gather to make fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) “Chloe” on FOX’s 24 is actually a talented stand-up, and she headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mary Lynn Rajskub

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[FREE; plus FREE DRINKS!] 9:00 pm: Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host of Midnight Stand-Up) and Lukas Kaiser (senior writer/producer for Spike TV) each perform 30-minute stand-up sets at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Kyle Ayers: Aaron Glaser and Lukas Kaiser

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

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Sketch groups National Scandal and Totally, Yes! each perform for about 30 minutes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Joint Sketch Show

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

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

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

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

[$] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group Boy Girl Boy Girl

11:00 pm ($10): A veteran sketch troupe performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: City Hall

Midnight ($5): Sean Donnelly, Emmy Blotnick, Kyle Ayers, and Dan Wilbur 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

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups, Garlic Jackson and Hammerkatz NYU, compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

[FREE] Midnight: Two sketch troupes (not announced) each perform for 30 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kokomo: Sketch Show

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”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/25/14

July 25, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Marc Maron is on Carson Daly (repeated from 5/7);
Whitney Cummings & Cameron Diaz are on Chelsea Lately (from 7/17);
Kurt Braunohler & Joe Zimmerman each star in Comedy Central Half Hour
specials starting at midnight

Rachel Feinstein

Rachel Feinstein is among the stand-ups performing three shows at the Eastville Comedy Club

Mary Lynn Rajskub

…and Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe on FOX’s 24) headlines through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club

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] [$] [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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), 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), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm: “Alí Bibi is a traditional Muslim woman with a sense of humor. She has been doing stand-up comedy every time she is able to leave the house without her husband noticing” honing a long stand-up set every night this week through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: The Good, The Bad, and the Burka

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) “Chloe” on FOX’s 24 is actually a talented stand-up, and she headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mary Lynn Rajskub

7:00 pm ($10): Josh Krebs performs a one-man show about such characters as “an angry 13-year-old girl with a penchant for art films, an alcoholic rocker whose claim to fame is a theme to a popular children’s show, and a salesman with a time share of a lifetime on the moon” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Maniac

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, Langan Dice Kingsley establishes herself as a major UCB talent and rising star in this one-woman show demonstrating playful wit, a dancer’s grace, and vocal gymnastics that may make you concerned Langan hurts her voice (but you’ll want her to keep doing it anyway): The Dicewoman Cometh

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya; Brandon also directed this show) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolves around shopping malls: Stone Cold Fox Goes to the Mall

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Hannibal Buress, Gregg Rogell, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:45 show; Colin Quinn, Hannibal Buress, Marina Franklin, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): A mix of storytelling, stand-up, and characters from Caitlin Brodnick, Myka Fox, Charles Gould, Jessie Male, and Jolenta Greenberg for a show providing advice from actual relationship experts Wilson McDermut and Amie Roe at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Relationshit!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly) hosts this stand-up show featuring Mo Fry Pas, Zach Broussard, and Sarah Tollemache, plus music from Luke Rathborne, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave): Hold Onto Your Underwear

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), and Kyle Ayers performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar hosted by Tom Cowell & John Anderson: Heavy Metal Laser Plane

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), George Gordon, Alison Stevenson, and Dustin Wesley performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), and Langston Kerman performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher & Brian Jian: Nasal Vice Stand-Up

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

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from duo James Coker & Marshall Stratton, plus guests, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Coker & Stratton

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

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

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

10:30 pm ($10): Dennie & Sharp (superb sketch comics; GUMP, hosts of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Ben Weitmarschen, and Rojo Perez performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($12): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

11:00 pm ($10): “A member of the audience will give their recollection of a randomly chosen historical event. The Historical Context Players will then reenact the telling of the event in all of its mutilated glory” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Historical Context

11:30 pm ($5): An all-gal improv group creates visceral scenes on the spot at the Magnet theatre: The Stank

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Allie Kokesh & Natasha Vaynblat performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by superb sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp (GUMP): 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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[ALMOST FREE] 7:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

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

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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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