NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/23/15

January 23, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Louis CK Alert: Any event at Madison Square Garden is the opposite of an intimate experience, and Louis CK’s MSG show reflects that—his finely crafted material about babies, animals, death, and The Wizard of Oz lean heavily on the silly and surreal, and is geared more for mass appeal than vulnerable self-revelation. But lack of nuanced variation aside, the jokes are funny; and watching one of the greatest stand-ups in history having fun soaking in the energy of 18,000+ fans—most of whom have surprisingly fine senses of humor and timing, a testament to the sort of folks Louis attracts with his ferocious intelligence—is an experience worth having. There are still a very few tickets left for Louis’ third Madison Square Garden show on Saturday at 8:00 pm here, and a healthy number of tickets left for his MSG show on Tuesday January 27th at 8:00 pm here. For the best experience, I recommend the $65 tickets. Otherwise Louis may be a moving dot on stage, but you can still see him up close via giant TV monitors in front of your $45 or $25 seats.

TV Alert: Garry Shandling and Jeff Goldblum are
hosted by Judd Apatow on The Late Late Show;
Sara Schaefer is on Carson Daly (repeated from 9/29/14);
Michael Keaton is on David Letterman (repeated from 10/27/14)

David Carl

Ace sketch comics David Carl…

Katie Hartman

…and Katie Hartman host a new show devoted to colorful solo characters in Riled Up With David and Katie

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 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 Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show, and Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Lori Palminteri, Lenny Marcus, and Sam Morril at the 12:15 am show. Lineups for the other time slots are too relatively anemic to mention, but it’s quite possible celebrity drop-ins will fill out those shows. 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

7:00 pm ($10): Kaitlin Fontana and Luke Ward, the hosts of We Love TV, tonight deviate from their parody format to host readings of two TV pilot scripts they’ve written at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV: Two Pilot Readings

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] 7:00 pm ($7): Favorite sketches from Magnet house groups and indie groups (not announced) hosted by Matt Antonucci & Joe Lepore: Bonus Round

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Kristen Bartlett & Jason Gore perform a sketch show about dealing with losing their dads within months of each other “but it’s funny, we swear” in The Dead Dads Club

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who starred in Comedy Central special Can a Brother Get Some Love?, and was a series regular on Breaking Bad and Adult Swim’s Sperm Whale, headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Lavell Crawford

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon,Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Tammy Pescatelli (finalist on Season 2 of Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Kurt Metzger, Sherrod Small, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Two of NYC’s finest sketch/character comics, David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) and Katie Hartman (wonderfully brave and dark sketch comic; Hartman & Carl, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), host this brand new show devoted to solo characters, with tonight’s terrific guests Christine Bullen (The Groundlings, ace UCB one-woman show My Melonbasket), Beth Hoyt (Inside Amy Schumer), Jon Bander (musical Improv group Dagger), and Jenn Dodd (extreme character performer; host of Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout), all performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Riled Up With David and Katie

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

8:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy group Richard will try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Richard

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Lucas Connolly: Creek Cave Live

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Janelle James, Julio Torres, Billy Prinsell, and Chip Dwyer performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[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

9:00 pm ($5): A variety show hosted by Danielle Wheeler & Adam Cole featuring stand-ups, storytellers, musicians, dancers, artists, and/or more performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Two Catz

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon,Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Tammy Pescatelli (finalist on Season 2 of Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Kurt Metzger, and More

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

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

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

10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv group Tourist Trap uses audience suggestions for a genre and a title to make up a complete story with song and dance on the spot at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Tourist Trap

10:30 pm ($10): Megan Gailey (MTV), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), and Nat Towsen (Vice) performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by improvisors Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): Screenings of new sketch comedy videos at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Video Show

11:30 pm ($5): Show biz refuse that doesn’t fit anywhere else now has a home at The Magnet hosted by Kyle Levenick & Branson Reese: Garbage Day

[DISCOUNTED] [FREE] Midnight (FREE online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Crystian Ramirez, Esther Povitsky, Chris Cotton, and Nick Mullen performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Adrienne Iapalucci, Cipha Sounds, and More

Midnight ($5): “Join filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick, Jar-Jar Binks, as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema,” with guests Alison Rich (writer for Saturday Night Live) and Brooks Whelan (former cast member of SNL) being interviewed at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Connor Ratliff & Shaun Diston: The George Lucas Talk Show

Midnight ($5): Staged readings of two TV comedy pilots written & performed by UCB comics at the UCB Chelseatheatre hosted by Katherine Maughan & Winston Noel: Active Development

[FREE] Midnight: “A live staged reading of an episode of the hit sitcom Fraser. And all the actors are drunk. And they will just get drunker and drunker as the episode goes on. With live commercials” at Queens LIC’s The Creekupstairs theatre spearheaded by Aaron Glaser: Wasted Fraser

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 1/22/15

January 22, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: : Adam Sandler, Lena Dunham, and Maria Bamford
are hosted by Judd Apatow on The Late Late Show;
Jennifer Anniston is on Jon Stewart;
Sebastian Maniscalco is on Seth Meyers;
Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, and Judy Greer are on @midnight

Sara Schaefer

Sara Schaefer records her first comedy album—with your help—at 7:30 & 9:30 pm at Brooklyn’s Union Hall

Sarah Nowak

…and Sarah Nowak performs a virtuoso comedic one-woman show at 8:00 pm at The PIT

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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Auditioning for a run at UCB Chelsea is a show that asks “What does it mean to be woman? It means a lot of bullshit. Joining a sorority is bullshit, being a mom is bullshit, even dying is bullshit. A sketch show all about women’s bullshit” written and starring Natasha Vaynblat, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Madalyn Baldanzi, Caroline Haubold, and Sarah Tollemache: Bullshit Women

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn practices a show he’s previously performed off-Broadway and presumably has more plans for (a TV taping?) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre for this Monday through Thursday only:Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), and Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web seriesMansome) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Jermaine Fowler, Jared Logan, Liz Miele, and More

7:00 pm ($5): Frank Todaro (host of paranormal radio show The Invisible World) presents a multimedia lecture about “the reality vs. fiction of early spirit photography and the strange phenomenon surrounding them. Commonly held mysteries will be debunked as he explores the crazy world of modern day phenomena seen through the eyes of yesteryear”at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Invisible World

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 in advance online): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There) records her first comedy album—helped by your laughs—at 7:30 & 9:30 tonight, with an opening set by 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; co-host of Dive Comedy), all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Sara Schaefer Live Album Recording

[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 comics include Hannibal Buress, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:45 show; Hannibal Buress, Jermaine Fowler, Lenny Marcus, Sam Morril, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 8:00 show; all-star lineup of Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, and Judy Gold at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Sherrod Small, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant improvisor & sketch comic Sarah Nowak performs a smart, hilarious, and memorable one-woman show about her life and the odd characters she’s encountered that tonight costs only $5 but I predict will go on to bigger things than The PIT downstairs lounge: Sarah Nowak’s Killer Great One-Woman Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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 committing the crime!: The Terry Withers Mysteries

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): A mash-up of two stand-ups on stage at the same time, tonight featuring Kurt Metzger & Sherrod Small, Sabrina Jalees & Liza Treyger, and Brooks Wheelan & Nick Rutherford performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci & Luis J. Gomez: The Comedy Mash-Up Show with Kurt Metzger, Sabrina Jalees, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by This Is Your Life (eight improvisors make up scenes based on an interview with an audience member), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Kelly Kreye at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow,and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show), and Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up) performing at this show for stand-up, music, and sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Jo Firestone, Rob Cantrell, and More

8:00 pm ($10): “After getting super dumped, all Lizzie Carmichael has left is her champagne taste, her beer budget, and a 2004 Toyota Corolla. An inspiring story about what happens when you move into your car and, like, on with your life” written and starring Alexandra Fiber & Carlye Wiseland at The PIT upstairs theatre: Lizzie Who Lives in Her Car

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

8:30 pm ($5): Amanda Seales (VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Smart, Funny, and Black), Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City), Ryan McKee (MTV’s Guy Code), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), and Nick Maritato performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): A monthly sketch show designed to make you howl with laughter at The PIT downstairs lounge:Forever Dog

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Tara Clancy, Andrea Allan, Myka Fox, and host Kevin Allison tell stories revolving around the theme How Bizarre at The PIT upstairs theatre for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

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

10:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Gary Richardson and Stone & Stone performing at this weekly show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[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 Grandma’s Ashes and Warren compete in this year’s semi-finals for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 1/21/15

January 21, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Tig Notaro is hosted by Jim Gaffigan on The Late Late Show;
Nick Kroll is on Seth Meyers;
Jennifer Aniston and Bill Gates are on Jimmy Fallon;
Jason Sudeikis is on David Letterman (repeated from 11/17/14);
Rory Scovel, Emily Heller, and Rene Gube are on @midnight;
another great episode of Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Ted Alexandro

Ted Alexandro…

Mark Normand

…and Mark Normand perform at The Stand’s Grift Comedy

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn practices a show he’s previously performed off-Broadway and presumably has more plans for (a TV taping?) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre for this Monday through Thursday only:Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

[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 Big Revival, Buchanan, and Astronomy Club: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 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’sBest Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Brooks Wheelan, and More

8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a sketch show titled Closed For Fumigation that was slapped together quickly—which could be a good thing, but you shouldn’t count on it: Get Your Shit Together

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the highly talented Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp perform in a fucked-up show about twins who sing, dance, and screw each other: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

8:00 pm ($5): Musical improv group Dancefloor Makeout will take an audience suggestion and then create a complete story with song and extensive dance on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Dancefloor Makeout

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Hannibal Buress, Judah Friedlander, and Gregg Rogell at the 8:00 show, and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Mark Normand, Jermaine Fowler, Dan Soder, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all of the three shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 9:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Pat Dixon, Hadiyah Robinson, Daniel Tirado, Harrison Greenbaum, Joe Gerics, Erin Harkes, and Alex Babbitt performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Jaqi Furback: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Lucas Connolly: Creek Cave Live

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Matt Goldich, Leah Bonnema, Sarah Tollemache, Raj Sivaraman, Joe Zimmerman, Taylor Ketchum, and Maria Heinegg performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay, and Taylor Ketchum: Hot Crowd

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Marc Theobald (Chappelle’s Show), Dave Siegel (writer for CNN), Nate Fernald, Alison Leiby, Molly Austin,and Josh Chudnovsky performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Breathtakingly subtle genius improvisor John Lutz (cast member of 30 Rock; six years as staff writer for Saturday Night Live; John and Scott) and extreme improvisor Peter Grosz (writer for The Colbert Report, star of over 100 Sonic fast-food commercials, stellar one-man show Recipe for Success) perform duo improv as 2 Square

9:30 pm ($5): 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; co-host of Dive Comedy), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing), Jason Burke, and Freddie Campion performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of thevery finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Janelle James, and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Ted Alexandro, Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, Janelle James, 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 pair up as scene-inventing duos for one night only at the UCB East theatre hosted by comedy giants Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell: Couples Skate

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

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 1/20/15

January 20, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Sarah Silverman and Kumail Nanjiani are
guest-hosted by Jim Gaffigan on The Late Late Show;
Ali Wong, Nick Thune, and Ben Kronberg are on @midnight;
Episodes 1 & 2 of the new season of The Kroll Show
at 7:30 & 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Langan Kingsley, Jared Logan, and Joe Pera

Langan Kingsley, Jared Logan, and Joe Pera are among the stellar comics performing with a loved one and/or close friend at Andy Beckerman’s & Naomi Ekperigin’s In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn practices a show he’s previously performed off-Broadway and presumably has more plans for (a TV taping?) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre for this Monday through Thursday only:Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Micah Sherman (brilliant improv & sketch comic; Myq & Micah, Baby Wants Candy, The Baldwins, Act One, Second City) has created a TV pilot. Come see its world premiere screened tonight at The PITupstairs theatre, followed by a Q&A session with Micah: Pilot Screening of Micah Sherman’s Improvising

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro, Hannibal Buress, Robert Kelly, and Keith Robinson at the 7:30 show; Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Lenny Marcus, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jermaine Fowler, Carmen Lynch, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($11.30 in advance online, $15 at the door): Andrea Alton tells unsettling stories, sings and dances, and hits on women in the audience as her very funny character Molly “Equality” Dykeman, “the loveable but barely lucid security guard at PS 339 who dabbles in a bit of poetry, a bit of Percocet, and a lot of drink; plus dinosaurs, zombies, giant sink holes, Kim Jong Un, and guests.” The latter tonight are Allen Warnock (The Knick, I Just Want My Pants Back), Sabrina Chap (Bindlestiff Family Cirkus), Chris Doucette (joke writer for Jane Lynch), Tym Moss, and Emma Willmann, all performing at LES’ 21-A Clinton Street: Molly’s North Korea Armageddon Family Hour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s extremely talented guests are Langan Kingsley & Gary Richardson (couple), Jared Logan & Kara Klenk (couple engaged to be married), Joe Pera & Nathan Min (friends with a similar but relatively unique comedy style), and Ashley Brooke Roberts & Jim Tews (friends and comedy show co-hosts) performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets), hosted by Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast) & Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City) for this show formerly titled “Couples Therapy:” In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): Strong lineup of Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Ted Alexandro, Nick DiPaolo, Nick Vatterott, and Chris DiStefano

8:00 pm ($5): Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’sRussell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV) hosts a talk show, with guests Calise Hawkins, Janelle James, Shakir Standley, DJ Zeke, Vladimir Caamano, and Josh Gondelman talking and/or performing stand-up at the UCB Easttheatre): CCC Retreat: In Between With Nore David

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “The best stand-ups in the city will take to the stage armed with jokes, quirky observations, and anecdotes. Simultaneously, the producers will craft a battery of trivia questions for the audience based entirely on the comics’ material. Competitors of all levels are welcome, no matter how much you watch TMZ. You can walk in the door with a blank slate and come out victorious! All that’s required is your attention and short-term memory” atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Observational Trivia Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host of Midnight Stand-Up), Kat Burdick, Julio Torres, Calvin Cato, Liz Magee, and Shane Torres performing atBunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, JF Harris, Sue Smith, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors springboard scenes off TV commercials at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Commercial Made Me Do It

[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): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon andConan 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), Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN), and more at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet: Sean Patton, Jackie Kashian, Jared Logan, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): 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), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Joe DeVito, Jason Kanter, and Betsy Carroll performing at the only comedy club in the East Village and hosted by Scott Rogowsky (Running Late): Eastville Comedy Club: Sean Patton, Frank Conniff, Adam Newman, and More

[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 Greg, Side Piece, and Higgins at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Tonight expect a religious theme (if you’re easily offended, for God sakes go somewhere else); and performing stand-up or character sets in between Tony bits will be Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), and Ann Carr (Comedy Central, VH1, Web seriesThe Actress), all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Rob Cantrell, Jeffrey Joseph, Ann Carr, God, and More

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch from seven comics, plus stand-up from Kyle Grooms, at The PIT upstairs theatre produced & directed by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Great lineup of Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcastYou Had to Be There), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’sLast Comic Standing) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Alexis Guerreros & Mike Cannon: The Illuminati Party: Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Cipha Sounds, and Monroe Martin

[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 Tim Racine, Seth Cockfield, Dan Crossley, Christy Coffey, and Lukas Kaiser performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis playing a new character at every show—which tonight will be Japanese-themed: The Tuesday Special

[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 typically 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 byJamie 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

[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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/19/15

January 19, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer (Broad City)
are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Michael Ian Black is guest-hosted by
Jim Gaffigan at The Late Late Show;
Iliza Shlesinger is on Jimmy Fallon;
Kathy Griffin is on David Letterman (repeated from 1/5);
Patton Oswalt, Pete Holmes, and Kyle Kinane are on @midnight

Jonathan Braylock

On MLK Day, Jonathan Braylock promises to let you feel what it’s like to be black for one night only at The Black Experience

Colin Quinn

…and Colin Quinn performs free at The Creek through Thursday to practice bits of his previous off-Broadway show Unconstitutional

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star ofThe 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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn practices a show he’s previously performed off-Broadway and presumably has more plans for (a TV taping?) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre for this Monday through Thursday only:Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation—which include group Holiday at 9:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Hannibal Buress, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, Seaton Smith, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

…and in the second half of this double-bill, charismatic performer Jonathan Braylock performs a series of sketches on “the ins and outs of the African American experience:” The Black Experience With Jonathan Braylock

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Hasan Minhaj (writer for The Daily Show), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), and Joe Zimmerman performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn):Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Terrific character comics Christine Bullen (one-woman show My Melonbasket, sketch group Goodbye Handsome), Ann Carr (Louie, web series The Actress), Don Fanelli (30 Rock, improv groups The Stepfathers and Fuck That Shit), Jon Bander (musical improv groups Aquarius and Dagger), Chelsea Davison, and Filip Jeremic performing sketch character bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nore Davis (Comedy Central), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Lawrence DeLoach, Janelle James, and Emma Willmann, plus music from DJ Cipha Sounds, all performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted & produced by sisters Kerry Overfab Coddett & Krystal Coddett: Brooklyn, Stand Up

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: (212) (which includes performers Langan Kingsley, Veronica Osorio, Cody Lindquist, Eddie Dunn, and Rob Cuthill, and stellar sketch writer Achilles Stamatelaky) and One Idiot (which includes writer Nathan Min): Maude Night:(212) and One Idiot

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 ($12): Oscar Montoya is moving to LA. Bidding him au revoir are Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show and podcast Risk!, owner of The Story Studio), Matt Rogers (Pop Roulette, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee), Jillian Green (Bizarre Behavior), musical guest Jacob Mondry, and drag queen Grizzly Kiki, all at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bowen Yang and Oscar: Ethnic Realness: The Oscar Montoya Goodbye Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Great lineup of Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets onJimmy 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), Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Paul Virzi, Mike Finoia, and Blair Socci performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Sean Patton, Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Adrienne Iapalucci, Monroe Martin, and More

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Ace gal improvisors Megan Gray, Rosie Whalen, and more springboard an audience suggestion to create a terrible Lifetime TV movie (“come prepared to watch a live film filled with heartbreak, disease, violence, despair, hope, courage, sassy neighbors, murders, heroes, whores, assholes, dumb babies who take up all your time, revenge, love, sex, hate, and chocolate”) at The Magnet theatre: Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

[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 Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: 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] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 1/18/15

January 18, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Louis CK Alert: With his first three Madison Square Garden shows selling out incredibly quickly (in about a day each time—which is damn impressive for a stadium with over 18,000 seats), Louis has added a fourth show on Tuesday January 27th. If you’ve been shut out so far, this is your chance to experience one of the greatest stand-ups of all time having fun telling silly jokes about babies, death, and The Wizard of Oz. The best deals are actually the highest-priced seats at $65; otherwise Louis will essentially be a moving dot, but you can see him up close via giant TV monitors in front of your $45 or $25 seats. Grab tickets now here.

Natasha Rothwell, Alison Rich, and Claire Mulaney

Saturday Night Live writers including Natasha Rothwell, Alison Rich, and Claire Mulaney take the stage at Brooklyn’s Union Hall to improvise scenes for SNL Writers Unscripted

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] 1:00 pm ($30): There are hundreds of walking tours in NYC, but my favorite so far is this survey of artwork in the New York City subway system. While guide Phil Desiere isn’t in any way a comic, the artwork itself primarily is comedic (and often includes a comic book sensibility). If you’d enjoy having your eyes opened to the whimsical art strewn about heavily traveled NYC subway stations that millions of busy commuters never notice, treat yourself to this 2½ hour expedition happening on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 1:00 pm: New York City Subway Art Tour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A smorgasbord of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): A stand-up who’s appeared on Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio performs a long set at The Magnet theatre: Jamie Kilstein

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm and 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Ryan Hamilton, and Greer Barnes at the 10:30 show; and Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:00 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 upstairs theatre: ShortGameShow

[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 Action Park and Stockton perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Anton Shuford, Steve Forrest, and Julia Reiss performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Iconic former child actress Mara Wilson (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire; currently a writer; cast member of podcast Welcome to Night Vale) hosts this show about “death, commitment, sock puppets—everyone’s afraid of something. Laugh at your fears as Mara takes you through comedians’ anxieties (and a few of her own),” featuring Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), Brennan Lee Mulligan (graphic novel Strong Female Protagonist), and Marc L. Abbott (one-man show A Gamble of Faith) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: What Are You Afraid Of?

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm  ($10; no min.): 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), Joe List (HBO,David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’sGuy Code), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien): Christian Finnegan, Joe List, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Josh Krebs & Liz Richards are in love. Josh also loves horror movies. Liz does not. Each show these two will watch a horror movie separately and come together to discuss it. Will their relationship survive? If so, what will be left of it?” Tonight the selection is Dan O’Bannon’s classic 1985 Return of the Living Dead, which is one of the greatest zombie films, and dark comedies, of all time, so there’s not much to dislike…but if you’re curious what Liz will say, come find out at The PIT downstairs lounge: Josh and Liz Watch Return Of The Living Dead

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Lucas Hazlett, and more make up theatrical scenes atThe PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

9:00 pm ($7): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[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 downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Saturday Night Live writers Natasha Rothwell, Alison Rich, Meredith Scardino, Claire Mulaney, and Katie Rich get on stage to improvise scenes at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: SNL Writers Unscripted: An Improv Comedy Show

[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 & 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

[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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 1/17/15

January 17, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Kevin Hart hosts Saturday Night Live at 11:29 pm on NBC

The Imbible - A Spirited History of Drinking

A barbershop quartet sings about alcohol at The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Sinbad

…and Sinbad concludes his headlining run at the Gotham Comedy Club

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

[TOP PICK] 1:00 pm ($30): There are hundreds of walking tours in NYC, but my favorite so far is this survey of artwork in the New York City subway system. While guide Phil Desiere isn’t in any way a comic, the artwork itself primarily is comedic (and often includes a comic book sensibility). If you’d enjoy having your eyes opened to the whimsical art strewn about heavily traveled NYC subway stations that millions of busy commuters never notice, treat yourself to this 2½ hour expedition happening on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 1:00 pm: New York City Subway Art Tour

[$] 6:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Cronuts, Foxtrot, TJ & Blood, and Group Of Dads At A Bar performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 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.): Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Kyle Dunnigan, Lynne Koplitz, Sherrod Small, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Judy Gold, Sherrod Small, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:15 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Ben Bailey, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Ted Alexandro, Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Ricky Velez, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Dov Davidoff, Sam Morril, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 show, 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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), 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), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club: Todd Barry, Ben Bailey, Christian Finnegan, Judy Gold, and More

[$] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($37.50 & 2-drink min.): A unique comedy star with numerous TV and movie appearances headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sinbad

7:00 pm ($10): Improv duo Katie Hammond & Daniel Tepper make up all the characters in a town on the spot and craft a full-blown musical from that at The PIT upstairs theatre: What Town?: The Musical

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

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

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): 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 Friday & 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 ($10): “A computer beeps at random intervals, might be 2 seconds, might be 10 minutes. Every time it beeps, and only when it beeps, the performers jump into a new scene. What happens when nothing you can do can make the scene go longer nor end sooner? When only this instant is guaranteed?” at The PIT downstairs lounge: /Switch/

[FREE] 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

8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Women & Men will spin off scenes from the tales of a monologist at the UCB East theatre: Women & Men

[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 Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever), the show’s producer Lukas Kaiser, and more, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Jimmy LeChase & Niles Turner: Showcasey Jones

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): An all-gal improv show mixing women from The PIT’s free improv nights with those on PIT improv house teams at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ladies of the PIT

9:30 pm ($10): There’s no description yet, but I’m guessing this is a comedic game show that pits stand-up comics against each other at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Stand-Up Showdown

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups 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

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

11:00 pm ($5): This inexpensive variety show features improv by group Three Guys, improv by duos Ronny Pascale & Michael Delisle and Giarcarlo Osaben & Brian Hansbury, stand-up by Sandy Chansemone, and a magic act by “Christopher T. Magician,” all performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Really, Really Cheap Date Show

[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

Midnight ($5): Talented comics slap together an entire evening of sketch in one day and then perform it at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sketch Cram

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 1:00 pm: The only open mic stand-up show for kids under 15 years old (to learn more, visit its Facebook page) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Guess What? Kids Open Mic

[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: The Amateur Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/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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