NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/24/15

June 24, 2015

TV Alert: Mike Birbiglia in on Jimmy Fallon;
Wanda Sykes is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Todd Barry, Cameron Esposito, and Hampton Yount are on @midnight

Spelling Bee

Brooke Van Poppelen, Amber Nelson, Jacqueline Novak, and more joke & spell in Brooklyn at Brandon Scott Wolf’s & Sean Becker’s National Comedy Spelling Bee

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm, Julie Sharbutt & Langston Belton as duo Coyote at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing) tries out material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Pete Lee

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

7:00 pm ($5): Comedic sports journalism from Ellen Haun, Adrienne LaValley, Ryan Hyde, Justin Perez, and Peter Velez at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Sports Show

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Melissa Gordon in which she “weaves together story and song to take you on a journey that will hopefully get you closer to the place we’re all seeking to find,” plus a one-woman show by Andrea Ilene Shapiro, all at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Serenity Now and Thank You For Calling

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Michael Che, Paul Mecurio, Nick DiPaolo, Keith Alberstadt, Marina Franklin, Rachel Feinstein, Peter Davidson, Sean Donnelly, and Lenny Marcus, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue):Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): UCB Harold and Lloyd improv teams blend for one night only at the UCB East theatre: Harold & Lloyd Hang Out Together

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Sharp Storytellers Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Dan Wilbur, Brian Kennedy, Isaac Fitzgerald, and Drew Grant performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned I’ll Never Do That Again…Most Likely: Sasheer Zamata, Dan Wilbur, Brian Kennedy, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Rachael Parenta, Andy Fiori, and Drew Dowdey performing stand-up or storytelling for this free weekly show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, and Negin Farsad:Comedy School Dropout: Elna Baker, Kevin McCaffrey, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which sharp writer/performers—Adam Wade, Anna Roisman, Michael Kayne, T.J. Mannix, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are honest and hilarious, with tonight’s theme Fathers, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Six stand-up comics (not announced) provide dating advice spurred by written questions from the audience while weaving in their own dating experiences, stories, and jokes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Date Night

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): In this special show, stand-ups take suggestions from the audience and make up an entirely new set on the spot, with tonight’s brave comics Janeane Garofalo, Guy Branum, Pat Dixon, Jordan Carlos, Megan Gailey, and Casey Balsham performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Robby Slowik: Stand-Up on the Spot

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Katie Haller (co-host of You Probably Think This Song is About You), Neil Constantine, Stephanie Holmes, and Jose Ocasio performing at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Adeline Chung-Feder: Train Wreck Stand-Up: Joe List, Calise Hawkins, Pat Dixon, Katie Haller, and More

8:00 pm ($5): A sketch show that incorporates submissions from a variety of comics on a monthly theme at The PITdownstairs lounge: I Friends And My

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up from Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Jordan Carlos (writer/correspondent for The Nightly Show; MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, VH1, Adult Swim), Adam & Todd Stone (Last Comic Standing finalists), Lynn Bixenspan, Tom Cowell, Sean O’Hagan, and Gary Levitt, plus improv from groups Punch and Hot Pursuit, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Matt Schwartzer: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Forrest Shaw (Conan O’Brien), Nat Towsen (VICE, host of Downtown Variety), Courtney Fearrington, Joe Praino, and Reena Calm 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?

9:00 pm ($5): LGBT-friendly comedy from Ben Lerman (superb comedic singer/songwriter), Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Rick Crom (FX’sLouie, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire), Michelle De Swarte, Joel Kim Booster, Taylor Connelly, and band Afterbirth Monkey, all performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato:Urbane Comedy

[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 hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Tovah Silbermann (this show’s producer, celebrating both her birthday and the One Year Anniversary of this show), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please clickhere and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), Julio Torres (Ars Nova), Clio & Ramsey (members of sketch group Forever Dog), and Jenn Welch (co-host of Stand-Up Showdown and The Guilt Trip) performing stand-up or sketch at The PIT downstairs lounge produced by Tovah Silbermann and hosted by Griffin Newman, Alejandro Kolleeny, and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour: Joe Pera, Julio Torres, Tovah Silbermann, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: This monthly show blends stand-up and spelling. “Comics will get 5 minutes as a base, and more depending on how well they spell. Comedians may be able to perform indefinitely depending on spelling ability,” with tonight’s participants including Brooke Van Poppelen, Amber Nelson, Jacqueline Novak, Nate Fernald, Tom Cowell, and Mike Brown at Brooklyn’s Branded Saloon (603 Vanderbilt Avenue; take 2/3 to Bergen Street, C to Clinton, or B/Q to 7th Avenue) hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update) & Sean Becker:The National Comedy Spelling Bee: Brooke Van Poppelen, Amber Nelson, Jacqueline Novak, 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): Brilliant comic James Dwyer performs a one-man show that promises to reveal the truth behind seminal improv form The Harold “by performing it in its purest form—alone on stage while wearing a full-body lycra morphsuit” at the UCB East theatre: James Dwyer: One Man Harold

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] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: Recess

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

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

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: 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 Higgins: The Improv Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 6/23/15

June 23, 2015

TV Alert: Seth MacFarlane is on The Daily Show;
Lauren Graham and Colin Quinn are on Conan O’Brien;
Lauren Lapkus, Ashley Tisdale, and Ryan Pinkston are on @midnight;
Inside Amy Schumer‘s spectacular Season 3 continues with
Episode 8, “Foam,” on Comedy Central at 10:00 pm—
note the earlier, more prestigious timeslot in the wake of both
the show (rightfully) receiving an Emmy nomination for
Outstanding Writing and Amy herself evolving into a superstar;
plus see directly below

Riki Lindhome and Natasha Leggero: Another Period

The delightful Natasha Leggero & Riki Lindhome debut their Comedy Central series at 10:30 pm: Another Period

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: Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing) tries out material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Pete Lee

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): Improv group Lovers, plus friends, interview an audience member (maybe you) about heartbreak and then springboard scenes off it at The PIT downstairs lounge: Lovers and Friends

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Four of UCB’s premiere weekend long form improv groups—Goat, The Curfew, What I Did For Love, and Grandma’s Ashes—perform at the UCB Chelsea theatre for Harold Night Pre-DCM Special Edition #1

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Michael Che, Joe Machi, Marina Franklin, Jessica Kirson, Rachel Feinstein, Robert Kelly, Pete Davidson, Lenny Marcus, and Sean Donnelly, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane):Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): 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 album Sadamantium), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code,VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Rob Haze, and Greg Warren performing stand-up at Brooklyn’sUnion Hall hosted by Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour): Deep-er-ness: Mike Lawrence, Phoebe Robinson, Giulia Rozzi, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Eddie Brill (former booker for David Letterman), Jeff Maurer (writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Betsy Carroll, David Feldman, and Noah Gardenswartz performing stand-up at Subject NYC (188 Suffolk Street) hosted by Scott Sharp: Subject Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Five Asian female comics representing Korea, Japan, China, Philippines, and India (which is in South Asia) perform sketch, music, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre: AzN PoP

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Kerstin Porter “about love, and how a girl viewed it after growing up on Disney,Princess Bride, and Delilah’s Radio Show” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Girl with Love in Her Window

8:00 pm ($5): Yik Yak, Joel Walkowski, and Edward Dominguez performing at UCB East hosted by Bill Stiteler & Tony Zaret: School Drools

[FREE] 8:00ish pm: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Luke Mones, Mary Houlihan, Ian Fidance, Alyssa Limperis, and Alison Zeidman performing stand-up for this new weekly show at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) produced by Tovah Silbermann, Jenn Welch, and Katie Hannigan and hosted tonight by Tovah Silbermann: Placeholder Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A whole bunch of NYC stand-ups perform at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City typically hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, book Tasteful Nudes, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’sHack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1), and Ambrosia Parsleya performing stand-up and/or music performing at the HiFi Bar Back Lounge (169 Avenue A) hosted by Shonali Bhowmik & Christian Felix: We Don’t Even Know: Dave Hill, Brooke Van Poppelen, Shonali Bhowmik, and More

[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 ($5): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, The New Yorker), and Doug Smith performing at Threes Brewing (333 Douglas Street) hosted by Claudia Cogan & Brendan McLaughlin: Soft Spot

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Typically superb stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s@midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 online; the latter is recommended as this show frequently sells out): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a spectacular live shot-for-shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?), and Risa Sarachan (Inconvenient Interviews) share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles: Aparna Nancherla, Jena Friedman, Maeve Higgins, and More

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Corinne Fisher, Krystyna Hutchinson, Wendi Starling, and Luke Mones performing stand-up at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[TOP PICK] 9:45 pm ($5): Four of UCB’s premiere weekend long form improv groups—The Stepfathers, Airwolf, The Law Firm, and Bucky—perform at the UCB Chelsea theatre for Harold Night Pre-DCM Special Edition #2

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): This super-affordable weekly stand-up club show tonight features Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Guy Branum (razor-sharp stand-up; head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice,opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Danny Palmer performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Nick DiPaolo, Ari Shaffir, Guy Branum, Rachel Feinstein, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

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

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

[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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:15 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/22/15

June 22, 2015

TV Alert: Judd Apatow is on Conan O’Brien;
Seth MacFarlane is on Jimmy Fallon;
Chris Tucker is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Eddie Izzard is on James Corden (repeated from 4/29);
Sara Schaefer, Randy Sklar, and Jason Sklar are on @midnight

Pete Lee

Pete Lee kicks off a week of trying out stand-up material via a free show at The Creek

Julie Klausner

…and Julie Klausner and Sasheer Zamata celebrate the One Year Anniversary of Katie Kester’s The Later Show

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

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm party, 7:00 pm show ($5): The wonderful creators & cast of the superb Unauthorized! series mingle with you at The PIT bar area at 6:00 pm and then put on a fundraising show at The PIT upstairs theatre at 7:00 pm: Fundraiser for Unauthorized!

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Tracy Mull, and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing) tries out material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Pete Lee

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Marie Faustin, Joseph Robert, Mike Guild, and more performing on the premise “Sometimes people are dicks. Then they tell us about it onstage. It’s great!”—which tonight might include tales of their dads’ disappointment—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Nick Padilla: Antagonist Storytelling Series

7:00 pm ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Nick DiPaolo, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Marina Franklin, Joe Matarese, Jon Fisch, Big Jay Oakerson, Rachel Feinstein, Pete Davidson, and Sherrod Small, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($15; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), and more performing at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1): Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, and More

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The smartest, funniest parody currently playing at UCB, in which Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz tackles zombies, homophobia, weak scripting for female protagonists, and the Hollywood studio system, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed by the wonderful Laura Grey (Crazy Bitch/Crazy Pussy,Faeries, stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm). If you see only one scripted show at UCB Chelsea this month, make it the charming and hilarious Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a one-woman show by Santina Muha about her life in a wheelchair, directed by Pam Murphy: That Girl in the Wheelchair

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller; host of How Was Your Week podcast; author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), and musical duoFantasy Grandma performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Jordan Temple, and Casey James Salengo performing stand-up, plus music from , DJ Tara, all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Personand Brooklyn): Night Train

8:00 pm ($8): A group of actors and improvisors attempt to duplicate the success of UCBT’s Gravid Water by putting improvisors in the middle of classic theatre scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre. UCBT uses top Broadway and improv talent for its show, making it extraordinary. The participants of this show are unannounced; but the format is so strong that this might work anyway, despite the awful title: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item food or drink min.): Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Carlos Delgado, Jamarr John Johnson, and Regina DeCicco performing stand-up for this weekly show at The Village Lantern Downstairs Club (167 Bleecker Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan and/or LeClerc Andre: Unarmed and Dangerous Comedy Show

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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Favorite sketches from Magnet house groups and indie groups hosted by Matt Antonucci and/or Joe Lepore: Bonus Round

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Dan Chamberlain (ace sketch group Legs for Days), Blair Socci, James Folta!, Mary Jo Bono, Matt Porter, Dewey Lovett, and Drennen Quinn performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Julio Torres (Ars Nova) & Joe Rumrill: Fresh Perspectives

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing): Ellie Kemper & Christina Gausas used to perform duo improv together. Tonight they do so again at the UCB Chelseatheatre: Kempsas

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from group Parade Grounds at The PIT upstairs theatre: Parade Grounds: Big Lights, Bright City

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’sDown and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Eleanor Kerrigan, Vladimir Caamano, Megan Gailey, Chris Laker, Emma Willmann, Joe Praino, Andrew Schiavone, and Sean White performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, Ben Kronberg, and More

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

10:15 pm ($7): Two “coming out” stories from Lisa Sperry and Kevin Gilligan serve as springboards for LGBTQ improvisers to make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 6/21/15

June 21, 2015
The Bardy Bunch: Brady Vs. Partridge

The Brady Bunch musically competes with The Partridge Family in cabaret show The Bardy Bunch: Brady Vs. Partridge

One Man Star Wars Trilogy

…and a seminal SF movie franchise is reenacted on stage single-handedly by Charles Ross in One Man Star Wars Trilogy

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 or ALMOST FREE] 3:30 pm (FREE or $2, depending on how quickly you register online): A brunch-time stand-up show that’s rated PG—that is, kid & family friendly—and is also a lottery-style open mic for children under age 15. This unusual monthly show is at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Guess What: A Family-Friendly Stand-Up Show & Kids’ Open MIc

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

6:00 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes with their fathers at The Magnet theatre: The Father’s Day Show for Dads

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($35-$45; order $45 tickets in advance online for $45.50 using discount code BBUNCH5): One of the biggest hits of the 2012 FringeNYC Festival was The Bardy Bunch, a musical that asked, “What if The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch met and feuded—following Shakespearian themes from Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, and more?” This show is spawned from that, with the same cast but a different premise: “It’s 1975, and The Brady Bunchand Partridge Family are brought together on one cabaret stage by an accidental double booking. In a competition fiercer than when The Jackson 5 took on the Osmonds, the two TV families will compete for your vote to win one precious prize. Enjoy Brady and Partridge hits including ‘I Think I Love You,’ ‘It’s A Sunshine Day,’ and ‘I Woke Up in Love This Morning,’ plus other hits from the 70s” at supper club 54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Eighth Avenue & Broadway): The Bardy Bunch: Brady Vs. Partridge

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Katie Hartman, Anna Rose Roisman, Matteo Lane, Rosie Guarino, and Jarrod Bates perform comedic characters who in turn perform karaoke at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Jackie Marie Viscusi & Ali Levin: Stand Up and Sing: The Character Karaoke Party

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, Jon Fisch, Rachel Feinstein, Joe List, Sam Morril, Sean Donnelly, Damien Lemon, and Sherrod Small, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:45 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25-$45): Actor and professional nerd Charlie Ross reenacts the entire Star Warsmovie trilogy on stage, by himself, for one night only in this acclaimed show at the City Winery (155 Varick Street):One Man Star Wars Trilogy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; The Camille Harris Show; new music album Silly Jazz) joins with Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force, host of Sideshow Goshko) to perform at the Rockwood Music Hall (185 Orchard Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop) hosted by Paul Valenti: Camille Harris with Leslie Goshko at Rockwood Stage 1

[TOP PICK] 8:00ish pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show,former staff writer for David Letterman), Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows; co-host ofMyrtle Comedy), JD Amato, Glen Burtnik, Matt Barats, Marcia Belsky, Cole Escola, and Nate Fernald performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Jon Bander, Kevin Cragg, and more—plus top improv pianist Frank Spitznagel—make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak & Micah Sherman: People Improvising

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

8:00 pm ($5): Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Sarah Tollemache, and Jono Zalay performing stand-up, plus comedic music from Summer & Eve, all at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City): If You Build It

8:30 pm ($5): Improv groups Grub and Carmine’s make up scenes at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): SummerSlam

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews perform at The Magnet as comedy duoKornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Joyelle Johnson, Chris Cotton, and Sean White performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Mike O’Brien (wonderful writer/performer for Saturday Night Live), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), and Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code, host of Chemistry) performing stand-up, plus Vikram Gandhi (filmmaker, host/producer for HBO’s VICE; Colbert Report, Nightline; once impersonated a religious leader and created an actual following for an award-winning documentary) and musical guest The Forgiveness, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by the unique Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 online; please note this show usually sells out): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a spectacular live shot-for-shot stage version of Jurassic Park atThe PIT upstairs theatre directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

9:30 pm ($5): A variety show hosted by Sandy Honig at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Sandy Honig Used To Be An Artist

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

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 3:15 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/20/15

June 20, 2015
Judah Friedlander

The magical Judah Friedlander (I once witnessed Judah accurately guess an audience member’s state, city, and profession by just looking at him) concludes his brilliant stand-up run at Carolines

Anthony Atamanuik

…and stellar improvisor Anthony Atamanuik performs at UCB East with Gavin Speiller in Gavin & Anthony Show You The World and then at UCB Chelsea in Goat

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

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

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

6:00 pm ($5): “After years of being told ‘you are so funny on Facebook,’ Chris Pappas is bringing the people what they want. Follow Chris as he presents carefully curated status updates and struggles through his day jobs, and desperately tries to be ‘Liked’” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Chris Pappas’ Facebook Live

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes RoboPop, Our Town, Mose, and The Oakwood Boys performing at The Magnet theatre:The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Brilliant comics Gavin Speiller & Anthony Atamanuik perform duo improv for 45 minutes while aiming to take you around the globe via the UCB East theatre: Gavin & Anthony Show You The World

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Jon Fisch, Jeff Leach, Liza Treyger, Robert Kelly, Lenny Marcus, and Sherrod Small, with the 7:00, 8:45, 10:30, and 12:15 shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows atVillage Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories) tries out material one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Weekend at the Creek: Giulia Rozzi

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): An all-gal improv show mixing women from The PIT’s free improv nights with those on PIT improv house teams—and that includes such talents as Ashley Ward—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ladies of the PIT

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Santeria + Improv Frogs

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) The wonderful Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody) headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Judah Friedlander

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!)—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre:The Armando Diaz Experience

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($25): Strong lineup of Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), 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 album Sadamantium), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), and Jordan Carlos (writer/correspondent for The Nightly Show; MTV’sGuy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, VH1, Adult Swim) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Mike Lawrence, and More

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 in advance online): Rebecca Vigil (rising star who’s a powerhouse improv singer with a lightning-quick wit; FringeNYC 2015’s Your Love Our Musical, The Vigilante) and Kevin Avery (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver) perform and/or are interviewed by host Jamie LeeLo at Brooklyn’s Union Hall co-hosted & co-produced by Mehdi Barakchian: Brunch Night!

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

8:00 pm ($8): A duo sketch comedy show from Kady Ruth Ashcraft & Alise Morales, plus a one-man show from Anthony Oberbeck, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Tough Mother + Are You Experienced

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

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

[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 Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code, host ofChemistry), Ana Fabrega, Eli Yudin, Nate Fernald, and Carlos Delgado all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight(594 Union Ave) produced & hosted by Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show; senior writer/producer for Spike TV):Show/Tell Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

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

9:30 pm ($10): An award-winning troupe that typically combines sketch, musical comedy, puppetry, and/or dance performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: City Hall

9:30 pm ($10): A sketch comedy troupe that includes Kristen Bartlett & Jason Gore performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: A Sketch Show

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($25): Strong lineup of Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), 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 album Sadamantium), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Mike Lawrence, and More

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

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

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

11:00 pm ($10): Serialized sketch comedy from group Forever Dog about “a seemingly sleepy town sitting at the base of an active volcano” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Volcano Town

11:00 pm ($5): On the theme of Racism, storytelling from Joanna Brown and Stefen Reed, stand-up from Jon Bander and Jarret Berenstein, and more—including audience participation—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ruby Marez & Águeda Ramírez: Ruby’s Safe Space

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

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

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/19/15

June 19, 2015

TV Alert: Jim Gaffigan and Vince Vaughn are on Jimmy Fallon;
Amy Poehler and Bill Hader are on
Ellen DeGeneres (repeated from 3/10/15);
Jerry Seinfeld is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 6/9/15);
Chris Pratt and Abby Elliott are on
Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 6/9/15);
Dana Carvey is on James Corden (repeated from 5/6/15)

Judah Friedlander

The extraordinary Judah Friedlander continues his headlining run at Carolines

Kristin Dausch

…and breathtakingly talented singer Kristin Dausch is among the treats at Brooklyn’s Bell House for Ginny Leise’s & Soojeong Son’s The Shame Game

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Comedic storytelling at The Magnet theatre hosted by Alexis Lambright: The Griot Show

[$] 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 Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Jermaine Fowler, Jessica Kirson, Liza Treyger, Robert Kelly, Lenny Marcus, Sean Donnelly, Damien Lemon, and Jeff Leach, with all of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories) tries out material tonight and Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Weekend at the Creek: Giulia Rozzi

7:00 pm ($5): A half-hour one-man show by Chris Roberti “exploring joy, desires, and living together” at The PITdownstairs lounge: A Cult of Relentless Positivity

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) The wonderful Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody) headlines tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Judah Friedlander

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish 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 album Sadamantium), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, @midnight, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Kate Hendricks, Luke Cunningham, and Max Bernstein performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Niagara Bar (112 Avenue A, off 7th Street) hosted by Aaron Glaser and/or Carlos Delgado: Slow Dance Comedy Night

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

7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show,radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; co-author of food parody bookFUDS), Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful trio of immensely talented comedic dancers/actresses Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?), and Dan Licata (co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show) performing stand-up, sketch, and/or dance at Brooklyn’s Aviv (496 Morgan Avenue; take L to Graham Avenue): Oh, Such a Good Show, Oh

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $12.88 online): Breathtaking powerhouse singer Kristin Dausch, plus Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, The New Yorker), Julio Torres (Ars Nova), and Max Silvestri performing stand-up, all at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by the fabulous Ginny Leise & Soojeong Son: The Shame Game

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Personand Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Wyatt Cenac, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, Rich Vos, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

8:00 pm ($10): Langston Belton, Nick Carrillo, and Devin James Heater perform a post-apocalyptic improvised comedy—exploring the relationship of three men trapped in a Generic Underground Shelter—at The PIT upstairs theatre: G.U.S.

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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Sebastian Conelli (2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy): The Friday Night Sh*w

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, @midnight, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Rachel Dry (Features Editor for The Washington Post), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, host of Chemistry), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Dustin Wesley, and Sean White performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Amber Nelson, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group His Majesty, The Baby

9:30 pm ($10): Eight stand-ups compete for laughs by telling jokes on topics handed to them just this morning at The PIT downstairs lounge refereed by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Stand-Up Showdown

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Personand Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Wyatt Cenac, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, Rich Vos, and More

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV; Adam’s last NYC show before moving to LA next week!), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Riley Soloner (irresistible sketch comic specializing in silly characters; The Chris Gethard Show), and Jade Catta-Preta (MTV’s Girl Code) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): Skilled improvisors Conner O’Malley, Gary Richardson, and John Reynolds make up scenes as Hunkz ‘R Us, plus duo improvisors Danny Groh & Andrew Tisher make up a musical on the spot as Selfish Green Men, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Hunkz ‘R Us + Selfish Green Men

11:00 pm ($7): In this Interactive show/party, hosts Pat May, Griffin Newman, Sam Rogal, and Ale Kolleeny watch TV shows and yell jokes, with audience participation rewarded at The Magnet theatre: TV Party Tonight

11:00 pm ($5): Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing) and more TBA performing stand-up or improv at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Adrian Davison & Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

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

Midnight ($5): “A live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons:Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alden Ford and Justin Tyler: Backyard Brawl

[FREE] Midnight: “Every month comedian Dan King writes a pilot script for a new sitcom and hosts a live table read of the script. It’s important that you come see these live because these ideas will never, ever make it to television” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Test Pilots

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 hosted by Shalewa Sharpe and/or Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

[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.

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 6/18/15

June 18, 2015

TV Alert: Chris Hardwick is on James Corden;
Jack Black and Jeffrey Tambor are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Jason Schwartzman and Elmo are on Jimmy Fallon;
Chris Gethard is on Conan O’Brien—
and a new episode of Chris’ show is on Fusion at 10:00 pm;
Alison Rosen, Spike Feresten, and Greg Fitzsimmons are on @midnight

Judah Friedlander

Unique genius stand-up star Judah Friedlander headlines tonight through Saturday at Carolines

Jar Jar Binks

…and the super-annoying Jar Jar Binks is played by up to 100 comics at the delightfully oddball Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Kevin Cragg & Ashley Ward make up scenes as a duo at The PITupstairs theatre: Crash (Cragg + Ashley)

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) The wonderful Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody) headlines tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Judah Friedlander

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Adira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, moving to LA next week), Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Ann Carr (FX’s Louie, Comedy Central, VH1, Web series The Actress, stellar sketch group Legs For Days), and Andrew Tavin performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Kurt Metzger, Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Nick Griffin, Marina Franklin, Jermaine Fowler, Carmen Lynch, Jon Fisch, Liza Treyger, and Sean Donnelly, 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

7:30 pm ($10): Storytellers share tales of relationships in front of a panel of comics and experts sitting who then give advice at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Lynn Bixenspan & Morgan Pielli: Relationshit

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($15.25 online using discount code LEAGUE; no min.): Steve Rannazzisi (co-star of FX’s The League; MTV’s Punk’d) practices for his upcoming hour-long Comedy Central special at both 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Steve Rannazzisi

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

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

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece put on a pretend kids’ show packed with double entendres in which “you learn valuable life lessons about friendship, expressing your individuality, fucking the family members you love the most, and more” at Through the Back Door

8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laserperforming improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Junk Food (improv that embraces pure absurdity and silliness; you’ll eat it up but never feel full), at 10:00 pm by sketches from group Wendigo, 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): 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), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, TruTV’sFriends of the People, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Tyler Gildin, Giulio Gallarotti and Matt Schwartzer performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Dan Perlman, Liz Barrett, Alexis Guerreros, Marie Faustin, and Jon Laster performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, moving to LA next week), Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): A play about “a turning point in the history of pro wrestling, but really about our human dependency on institutions, self-esteem and self-worth, and dad stuff,” written by John Zachary Townsend, and starring John, Sarah Heveron-Smith, Alex Song, Alex Ramsey, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog:Forever Dog Presents The Montreal Screwjob

9:00 pm ($5): A mini-play written & directed by Adam Cole in which “the small town of Americana has been overtaken by a mysterious rabies outbreak, and its townspeople must fight to save themselves from something more powerful than they imagined” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Americana Last

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Comics Adam Blotner & Jenny Pinzari, plus their versatile band, perform smart, keenly observed, and hilarious parodies of the affectations of various types of music stars, ranging from bubble gum pop to country to rock. This group created one of my favorite productions at the 2013 FringeNYC Festival, and tonight presents an all-new show at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor). If you enjoy music and laughter, you’ll probably enjoy Pop Filter

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

10:00 pm ($5): A five-comic sketch group performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bring Cupcakes: The Unwrapping

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Roughly 100 people will be improvising as the incredibly annoying Jar Jar Binks at this week’s show—plus stand-up from Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), and Tyler Fischer (America’s Got Talent), all 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), Dan Licata, and Charles Gould at the UCB East theatre:Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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