NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/18/15

May 18, 2015

Half-price tickets for It’s Only a Play, Matt & Ben,
Big Dummy,
and much more via Goldstar

TV Alert: Chelsea Peretti is on Seth Meyers;
Betty White is on Conan O’Brien;
Nick Offerman is on Jimmy Fallon

Aparna Nancherla

Aparna Nancherla (above) and other comics compete for title of “best impersonator” at Brooklyn’s Snap Impression Live

Ted Alexandro

…and Ted Alexandro (above) hosts Marina Franklin and more at Queens’ The Ted Alexandro 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:

[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] 6:30 pm: An industry showcase of sketch groups (not announced) at The PIT upstairs theatre:The PIT’s Emerging Sketch Showcase

7:00 pm ($7): “A fully improvised show that highlights the relationship between music, time, memory, and the best party you’ve ever been to” at The Magnet theatre: Dance Party

[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 Whitney Cummings, John Mulaney, Joe Machi, Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, Nikki Glaser, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, Joe List, Alingon Mitra, and RIcky Velez, 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): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) seamlessly blends stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience. In this show Chris achieves a new maturity to his already stellar career with a beautifully honest look at his experiences with mental illness and suicide that reaches exceptional heights at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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.) hosts this monthly show that tonight features stand-ups Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Akaash Singh, and Anthony P. DeVito, plus an interview with Megan McCormick (co-host of TV travel show Globe Trekker), all at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue):The Ted Alexandro Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6 at the door or $7.47 online): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country), Eliot Glazer (Broad City, Haunting Renditions), and Beth Hoyt (Inside Amy Schumer, MTV) compete to perform the best off-the-cuff impressions of celebrities, fictional characters, and historical figures at Brooklyn’s Union Hallhosted by Andy Beckerman & Ramsey Ess: Snap Impression Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Character comics who typically include rising stars Leslie Meisel (Stone Cold Fox), Christine Bullen (one-woman show My Melonbasket, sketch group Goodbye Handsome), and many more performing bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Sheng Wang, Selena Coppock, Emmy Blotnick, and Shane Torres performing stand-up, plus DJ Donwill, all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item food or drink min.): NYC stand-ups Tyler Fischer, Joe Alfano, Naomi Karavani, Mahesh Kotagi, Micia Mosely, and Matt Lajeskie perform at The Village Lantern Downstairs Club (167 Bleecker Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan and/or LeClerc Andre: Unarmed and Dangerous Comedy Show

[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

8:00 pm ($5): Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release) is among the guests on this diversity-based talk show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Geoff Ross: The Minority Majority

8:30 pm ($7): “What happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring five additional comics at The Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: (212) (which includes wonderful rising stars Langan Kingsley and Russ Armstrong, plus Cody Lindquist, Eddie Dunn, and Rob Cuthill, and stellar sketch writers such as Georgie Aldaco) and One Idiot (which includes performers Maggie Ross and Carrie McCrossen, and writers Kristy Lopez-Bernala, Allie Kokesh, and Nathan Min): Maude Night: (212) and One Idiot

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): 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 The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Philip Markle (Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre) and featuring Philip, Douglas Widdick, Kathleen Armenti, and Jennifer Connor: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

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: Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’sDown and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Janelle James, Matteo Lane, Subhah Agarwal, Vladimir Caamano, Giulio Gallarotti, and Alia Janine 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: Ari Shaffir, Joe List, and More

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 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 i 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/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 5/17/15

May 17, 2015

Nab tickets for NYC shows at half-price via Goldstar

Brooke Van Poppelen

Brooke Van Poppelen (above), Mark Normand, and more perform at Kara Klenk’s If You Build It

Sabrina Jalees

…and Sabrina Jalees (above), Rachel Feinstein, Liza Treyger, and more perform at Brooklyn’s Comedy Night at the Knit

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] 5:00 pm: A 90-minute smorgasbord of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour (and a Half)

6:00 pm ($7): Comedy groups Enemy Planet and Action Park perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

6:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Sarah Burkhalter playing drag queen Zsa Zsa GaBOING at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): You Do You: A Gay Revue

[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

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups Buddy Club and Stockton perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Strong lineup of Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Mike Albanese, Tyler Richardson, and Alex Castle performing stand-up at UCB Easthosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It: Mark Normand, Brooke Van Poppelen, Ben Kronberg, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Silvija Ozols, Sarah Nowak, Ashley Ward, Brett Wean, and Leslie Collins make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak & Micah Sherman: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Todd Barry, Hannibal Buress, Nikki Glaser, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm  ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, Joe List, Derek Gaines, and Aaron Berg performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Stand Sunday: Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, Joe List, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Jodi Lennon (Marc Maron: The Voice of Something, Exit 57) and sharp improvisors Becky Krause (I Dreamed a Dream) and Jed Resnik make up scenes from a year in the life of three people at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): What a Year!

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Strong lineup of 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), Rachel Feinstein (finalist onLast Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Liza Treyger (sharp dark comedy stand-up; Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Sam Morril (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), and Matteo Lane (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit: Sabrina Jalees, Rachel Feinstein, Liza Treyger, Sam Morril, and More

9:00 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

9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Baby Shoes and Wendigo perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which typically includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Act One

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Bringing comedy back to its vaudeville and cabaret roots, a no holds barred strictly R-rated comedy show featuring filthy stand-up and storytelling sandwiched between some of the hottest burlesque acts in the city” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Charles Stunning and Freddie Heinemann: Raunchy Risque

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): Comedy dynamo 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

5:30 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: 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

[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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ian Kitchen:The Grandstand

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 5/16/15

May 16, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Louis C.K. hosts the season finale of Saturday Night Live at 11:29 pm on NBC

Leslie Goshko: An Old-Fashioned Piano Party

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

GInny Leise

…and GInny Leise (above) & Soojeong Son host comics revealing entertaining dark secrets in The Shame Game

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:

[ALMOST FREE] 1:00 pm (FREE or $1.02, depending on how quickly you register online): A brunch-time stand-up show that’s rated PG—that is, kid & family friendly—and is also a lottery-style open mic for children under age 15. This unusual monthly show is at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Guess What: A Family-Friendly Stand-Up Show & Kids’ Open MIc

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [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

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): Guest 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) performs for 30 minutes, and then host Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-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 clickhere) tells stories for 30 minutes at The Magnet theatre: Adam Wade’s 30 & 30 with Jo Firestone

6:00 pm ($5): International improvisors use their native languages & diverse backgrounds to make up scenes in unique ways at The PIT downstairs lounge: Passport

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS) tries out material one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Jared Logan

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Shannon O’Neill, Tami Sagher, Brandon Scott Jones, Eric Drysdale, Jen Bartels, and Cipha Sounds make up scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Maraville

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PITupstairs theatre: North Coast

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Lynne Koplitz, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, Lenny Marcus, Sam Morril, Sherrod Small, and Dov Davidoff, with four of the 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

[$] [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), Moody McCarthy (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

7:00 pm ($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

[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 Robert Weinstein—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

[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] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Comics share their most shameful stories with the aim of being crowned the King or Queen of Shame, with tonight’s hopefuls Liza Treyger (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Janelle James, and Jordan Temple, plus musical guest Ikechukwu Ufomadu, all performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hallhosted by the fabulous Ginny Leise & Soojeong Son: The Shame Game

[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] [$] [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 ($25; no min.): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Adrienne Iapalucci, Monroe Martin, and Aaron Berg performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Stand Saturday #1

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

8:00 pm ($10): Comedy group Bridge & Tunnel develops a sketch around Gemma Deller, “an intuitive advisor and psychic medium,” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: Get Real

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[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] [FREE] 8:30 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from 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), Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show; senior writer/producer for Spike TV; co-host of Amazingtown), Joe Karg, Dan Perlman, and Andy Bankin, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Lindsey Boling: Show/Tell Show

[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

9:30 pm ($5): “Good improvisation requires commitment and listening and a sense of play. But great improvisation requires great actors. Tonight we celebrate our students as they perform their favorite monologues and scenes from plays and films both beloved and obscure with raw, powerful vulnerability” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre(367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Jed Resnik: Annoyance Acting Masterclass Showcase

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($25; no min.): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, Monroe Martin, and Aaron Berg performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Stand Saturday #2

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

[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

10:30 pm ($5): Audience members compete in updated versions of Price is Right, 25,000 Pyramid, Make Me Laugh, and more for prizes such as iTunes gift cards, a one week guest pass to Chelsea Piers Athletic Club, booze, and tickets to shows at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Michael Bertrando & David del Rosario: Game Show

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): A breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York will likely blow the roof off The PIT upstairs theatre with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57,Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host ofThe Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaringChica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups that are “raw, rare and ribald” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays):The Blue 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”), 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 5/15/15

May 15, 2015

Nab tickets for NYC shows at half-price via Goldstar

TV Alert: Norm Macdonald is on David Letterman;
Kurt Braunohler is on Carson Daly

David and Katie Get Re-Married

The official run ended last month, but take advantage of this extra chance to experience red-hot rising stars David Carl & Katie Hartman as a couple that can’t let go in the hilariously diark comedy David and Katie Get Re-Married

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: Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS) tries out material tonight and Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Jared Logan

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Favorite sketches from Magnet house groups and indie groups hosted by Matt Antonucci and/or Joe Lepore: Bonus Round

[$] 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, Marina Franklin, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz…and at the 12:15 show, Mark Normand, Nikki Glazer, Big Jay Oakerson, and Jon Fisch (hosting). All shows are at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Moody McCarthy (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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): Improvisors make up a movie on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Movie Night

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, ace improvisors Connor Ratliff, Molly Lloyd, Terry Withers, and more somehow create an improvised murder mystery on the spot—with the audience helping to commit the crime: The Terry Withers Mysteries

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!

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): The official run ended last month, but this extra performance gives you another chance to enjoy brilliant character comics & future stars David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) slowly and meticulously paint a relationship that’s doomed but refuses to die at The PIT upstairs theatre: David and Katie Get Re-Married

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, Monroe Martin, and Yannis Pappas performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Stand Friday #1

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): “A love letter to beloved shows such as Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, comedians Joe Rumrill and Mary Houlihan invite you to a cavalcade of original costumed characters, animations, and sketches from both real humans and puppet humans” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Cartoon Monsoon

[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 ($10): Storyteller Lyssa Mandel invites comics to “expose their bleeding-heart adolescent artifacts (journal entries, poetry, original songs, and art), then laugh at and with their own flaws,” with tonight’s guests Rebecca Vigil (rising star who’s a powerhouse improv singer with a lightning-quick wit; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), James III (Seth Meyers), and Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever) being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: The Bitch Seat

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT downstairs lounge 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, sketches, and music for this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre:Take It Or Leave It

[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): 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

[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, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): 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, author of Tasteful Nudes), Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer onSeth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Christy Karacas (director/writer ofSuperjail), and musical guest Faience performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

9:30 pm ($8): A half-hour one-man show by Chris Roberti “exploring joy, desires, and living together” at The PITdownstairs lounge: A Cult of Relentless Positivity

9:30 pm ($5): This inexpensive variety show features Sandy Chansemone, Adrian Davidson, Becky Granger, Will Neville, Val Roder, and Alex Stone performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Really, Really Cheap Date Show

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 ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, Monroe Martin, and Yannis Pappas performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Stand Friday #2

[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 Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics (not announced) “attempt to unravel the worlds craziest conspiracy theories” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Ray Kump: False Flag

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv from duo Danny Groh & Andrew Tisher at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Selfish Green Men: The Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; co-author of food parody book FUDS), Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Boris Khaykin (Broad City, North Coast), Alex Edelman, and Frank Garcia Hejl performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[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 ($5): A one-woman show from Ali Levin playing “Miami’s most beloved spicy Cuban holistic wellness counselor, Viviana Cortez is on a quest to answer life’s toughest questions while healing her clients one churro at a time” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Steps to Salbachun with Viviana Cortez

11:30 pm ($7): Chaos-themed comedy group The Stank performs improv and/or sketches at The Magnet theatre: The Stank

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “This is a formal invitation to attend and donate unmarked bills to the Scientology Telethon, which this year will feature performances, speeches, and manic ramblings by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, sports, and Scientology yet! Every ticket purchase comes with a voucher for a free E-Meter reading which can be redeemed at the Scientology Center on 227 West 46th Street in Manhattan. P.S. L. Ron here. I’m still alive. See you all at the telethon!” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: 47th Annual Scientology Telethon LIVE from Sea Org

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): 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), Nick Mullen, and Chris Duffy are tonight’s guests at this show in which “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. This show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

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

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre forHappy Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 5/14/15

May 14, 2015

Nab tickets for NYC shows at half-price via Goldstar

TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Thomas Middleditch is on Seth Meyers;
Mamrie Hart, Rove McManus & Flula Borgon are on @midnight;
Episode 5.6 of Louis C.K.’s always extraordinary
comedy series Louie, “Sleepover,” is at 10:31 pm,
11:32 pm, and 1:37 am on FX

The Chris Gethard Show

The Chris Gethard Show is slated to begin airing on June 5th on Fusion TV. Meanwhile, it’s returning to its roots with this live show at UCB Chelsea: The Chris Gethard Show

Hotsy Totsy Tribute to Guardians of the Galaxy

…or watch a burlesque remake of an instant classic SF/superhero movie: Hotsy Totsy Tribute to Guardians of the Galaxy

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Superb “overactors” Pat Swearingen, Jay Malsky, and more make up a ridiculous soap-operish TV movie on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Made For TV Movie

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Rob O’Reilly (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Sharron Spell, and Jason Taylor performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5; SOLD OUT of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) has been tirelessly running his The Chris Gethard Show on Manhattan Public Access cable and waiting for something good to happen. After years, it has; FUSION has picked it up and is slated to begin airing it on June 5th. Meanwhile, come enjoy this live version of the show returning to where it all began…the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Chris Gethard Show

[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 Colin Quinn, Lenny Marcus, Dov Davidoff, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Nick Griffin, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Ari Shaffir, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque parody of Guardians of the Galaxy at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to Guardians of the Galaxy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss 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

[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

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

8:00 pm ($5): Philip Casale performs one-man film noir sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge directed by Christopher Aurilio: Detective Jack Fiction & Other Folks Who Don’t Exist No More

8:00 pm ($5): Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Josh Carter, Ray DeVito, Daniel Simonsen, and Blair Socci performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

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

9:00 pm ($5): Something that’s likely to be cool (but hasn’t been announced) at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Improv giants Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman produce and host this show featuring three improvised one-act plays at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Scene

9:00 pm ($5): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Rob O’Reilly (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Adam Conover, Jeffrey Maurer. Nore Davis, and Samy Obeid performing stand-up at UCB Easthosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:30 pm ($5): Brandon Scott Wolf, Josh Sharp, Janelle James, and Emma Willmann performing at the UCB Chelseatheatre hosted by Will Stephen for a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

9:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups (not announced) each perform 7-10 minute sets revolving around the same topic (not announced) at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by William Neville: Standing Up in Sillytown

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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; frequent guest host of Whiplash), 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), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Ricky Velez (correspondent for The Nightly Show), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Giulio Gallarotti, and Ben & Josh performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Cannon & Alexis Guerreros: Sean Patton, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Mike Blejer interviews comics (not announced) about alcohol and drugs in comedy at The PITdownstairs lounge for a live podcast taping: Malignant Brain Humor: Alcohol and Drugs

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Area 52 and 32k compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but it’s hosted by Gary Richardson, John Reynolds, and Joey Dundale at the UCB East theatre: $$$

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: 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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

[TOP PICK] [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—plus tonight only, storyteller Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion) and Katey Healy-Wurzburg (improvisor, stand-up, and storyteller)—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee & Patrick Clair: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The 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 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 5/13/15

May 13, 2015

Nab tickets for NYC shows at half-price via Goldstar

TV Alert: Zach Woods is on Carson Daly;
Jessica Chafin, Paul Feig, and Jamie Denbo are on @midnight

Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, and Jo Firestone

Comics who include three of NYC’s best—Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, and Jo Firestone—share stories of TV rejecting their material at Brooklyn’s Not Suitable for Television

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 (whose birthday is today) & Langston Belton as duo Coyote at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

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

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

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Ronin, This Old House, and Southpaw: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman and Dov Davidoff at the 7:45 show; Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Dan Soder, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Joe List, and Sherrod Small at the 11:30 show, with all four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Even highly talented comedic writers are frequently told “no” by television. Tonight Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, Jo Firestone, Nick Vatterott, Seaton Smith, Brendan McLaughlin, Adam Lowitt, Ashley Bez, Griffin Newman, and Zach Linder share their entertaining tales of rejection at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Aaron Glaser: Not Suitable for Television

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Mad Men is almost over and Don Draper’s ad agency is holding one last meeting to discuss final company business. The only problem is everyone from the agency is too hungover to come into work. So comedy group AWFUL DJ is hosting the all company meeting while a cast of characters present company business, pitch new ads, and relive their glory days in 1960’s New York. There will be smoking and drinking. Wear a suit” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Sterling Cooper All Company Meeting

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), Kate Hendricks (The View), and Toby Muresianiu performing for this free weekly stand-up show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, Jackie Jax, and Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout: Sabrina Jalees, Matt Koff, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): A mash-up of two stand-ups on stage at the same time, tonight featuring Jessica Kirson & Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson & Lynne Koplitz, Matteo Lane & Monroe Martin, and Reggie Conquest & Tom Cassidy performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci & Luis J. Gomez: The Mash-Up Show with Jessica Kirson, Lynne Koplitz, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Bill Santiago (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately, ABC News, CNN), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Stephanie Holmes, Del Harrison, and Steve Marden performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Sean O’Hagan: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of theatre, art, and comedy talents hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte, with Brandon Voss (writer for The Advocate, Playbill, HX Magazine), Jenn Harris (Silence! The Musical, Gayby, The Moment You Been Waiting Four), Cole Escola (cabaret performer), and Maia Cruz Palileo (artist//videographer), plus celebrity guest bartender Paul Erik Davis, all performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups each perform a tight 5-minute set, with tonight’s comics Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Liza Treyger (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Scotland Green, Yoni Lotan, Drew Dowdey, and Ale Kolleeny at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Jenn Welch & Justin Perez:Tight Five

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up from Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), Gary Levitt, Matt Schwartzer, and Naomi Karavani, plus improv from groups Forbidden Planet and LL Cool J, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Regina DeCicco: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Brendan Fitzgibbons, Will Winner, Alex Kumin, and Jim Search 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 Doug Moe and/or Ben Rameaka:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Julio Torres, Steve Disienna, and Anthony P. DeVito performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show written by Livia and friends that stars Livia, Ann Carr, Keisha Zollar, and half a dozen other comics at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Stand-up or characters from 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), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Halle Kiefer (MTV, Friends of the People, Vulture), and Luke Mones, plus improvised rap from group North Coast, all performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf, Sam Reece, and Austin Rodrigue: Tastemakers

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): 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), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Sarah Tollemache, Joe Bartnick, and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, Rachel Feinstein, Dan Soder, and More

[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—who tonight include Lauren Adams, Josh Sharp, and Dave Bluvband—make up scenes about obsessions at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows; co-host of Myrtle Comedy) plays a disgusting Las Vegas showman who is unknowingly hosting The Vagina Monologues. Also starring 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’sFailosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Alyssa Stonoha (The Chris Gethard Show), Liz Noth (The Jim Gaffigan Show), and Liza Treyger (Comedy Central) at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host ofPunderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase): Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow

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

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 downstairs lounge 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 5/12/15

May 12, 2015

Nab tickets for shows at half-price via Goldstar.

Friends of Single People

“It’s spring/summer, when a young person’s fancy turns to thoughts of sweaty disgusting summer sex in non-air conditioned apartments.” Let matchmaker Jo Firestone make this dream come true via speed-dating and a game show. Tickets are 2-for-1 for guys; plus vibrators will be given out to six lucky audience members. It all happens in Brooklyn at Friends of Single People

Tracy Mull

…two three-person teams compete in improv sports games—except they’re all played by comedy dynamo Tracy Mull!—in unique metashow Tracy Vs. Tracy: Competitive Solo Improv

Sean Patton

…and national treasures Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Sabrina Jalees, and more perform stand-up at The Illuminati Party

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm “boozy speed-dating,” 8:00 pm show, 9:30 pm afterparty ($8 at the door or $9.79 in advanceonline): The spectacular 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) hosts this show in which “you represent your single friends onstage in a live dating game! Single friends may cringe and remain as anonymous as they want in the crowd unless their friends are chosen for the match! Then they must come onstage to retrieve 2 drink tickets which they must redeem immediately.The New York Post calls this ‘part roast, part game-show, part social experiment.’ Arrive at 7:30 to register you and a friend. Open to all orientations. Out of 100 couples matched, 5 couples have managed to develop actual long-term relationships. One couple just moved in together. It’s amazing and defies all odds” at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Friends of Single People

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS) tries out material tonight and Friday-Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Jared Logan

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Robert Kelly, Lenny Marcus, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Joe Machi, Nick Griffin, Dan Soder, Sherrod Small,and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, and Joe List at the 11:15 show, 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): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups 32K, Mermaids, and The Governess at this first half of Harold Night

7:30 pm ($5): A theatre piece showcasing graduates of Virginia Commonwealth University at The PIT upstairs theatre: Uncommon Wealth

7:30 pm ($5): An improvised game show “teaming four short-form performers with two special guest contestants ready to ‘yes and’ anything to win” at The PIT downstairs lounge: ShortGameShow

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Jerrod Carmichael, and Nicole Spiezio performing stand-up atCake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by hosted by Sabrina Jalees, Jacqueline Novak, Liza Treyger, and/or John Early: Cakeshop Comedy: Aparna Nancherla, Sabrina Jalees, Alex Koll, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Northern Discomfort: Myq Kaplan, Mark Normand, Rachel Feinstein, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A safe place to try out new material, with tonight’s stand-ups 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) Dan Boulger (Comedy Central), and Mark Gindick (clown for Ringling Brothers and Big Apple Circus) performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by 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): New Release Day with Christian Finnegan

8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” atChannel 101

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Rob O’Reilly, Lisa Kleinman, Jay Miller, and Alex Kumin performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, Tim Duffy, and John Szeluga:Amazingtown

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups and musicians drink and perform at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Peele: Party & Bullshit

[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): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show,former staff writer for David Letterman), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Tone Bell (cast member of NBD’s Bad Judge), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) guest-hosted by NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): First Carmen Christopher tells a story. Then ace improvisors Philip Markle & Annie Donley explain “Improv is the final circle of Hell. We are the gatekeepers. Come burn as we end our lives in this final attempt to make something of ourselves” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Gates of Hell

9:00 pm ($5): Skilled improvisors David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski make up a play on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge as improv duo True East

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups present lectures on “Rapping It Up: A Brief History Of Safe Sex In Hip Hop Music.” “Ghosts and Spirits: Are They Real?”, “Pop Culture: The Hard Truth About Soft Drinks,” and more, with tonight’s participants Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), David Smithyman (The Nightly Show), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), and Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing) performing at the UCB East theatre: Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series

9:30 pm ($5): A comedy group formed at Brown University perform sketch at The PIT upstairs theatre: Rad Motel

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Amanda Baramki, Nick Mullen, Drew Dowdey, Grant Gordon, and Deborah Brooks performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway:The Party

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Sean P. McCarthy, Marcia Belsky, and Pete Bladel performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop(12 Grattan Street) produced by Mike Cody and hosted by Ariel Elias: Night Owl Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country;Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), 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), 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), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Cannon & Alexis Guerreros: The Illuminati Party: Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Sabrina Jalees, Ari Shaffir, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): In this utterly unique meta-show, superb comic Tracy Mull (group Jean Pool) is two comedy groups competing in an improv sports event, with Tracy playing every team member and tackling over a dozen improv games pulled from a bucket, aided only by also superb improvisor Langston Belton (Coyote, G.U.S.) as referee. This is the last show of the current run, so take advantage of this chance to experience Tracy burning up the stage as she simultaneously parodies and celebrates the energy of all things improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tracy vs. Tracy: Competitive Solo Improv

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jake Flores, Blake Midgette, and/or Seth Cockfield: Grumptown

[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] 6:00 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic with 5 minutes per performer; email prequelmic@gmail.com by Sunday to go into a lottery system for next Tuesday, or simply walk in tonight and place your name in a bucket for possible selection, at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Claudia Cogan, Katie Compa, and/or Garry Hannon: The Prequel Open Mic

[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

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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