NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 3/25/15

March 25, 2015

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference is happening
this Friday-Sunday; for details & tickets, please click here

Dave Attell

Dave Attell hosts Judah Friedlander, Sabrina Jalees, Russ Meneve, Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, and more at Comedy Underground

My 1992 Diary

…and comics share their awkward preteen pasts via photos, videos, and readings from their old journals at My 1992 Diary

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell hosts this show featuring Judah Friedlander, Jessica Kirson, and more performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue):Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Marina Franklin, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Carmen Lynch, Dov Davidoff, Lenny Marcus, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Mark Normand, BIg Jay Oakerson, and Jon Fisch (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street):Mark Normand, Rachel Feinstein, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Storytellers Jesse Oxfeld (New York Magazine, New York Observer), Anita Flores (host of Questionable Drawings), Gabrielle Moss (GQ, Slate, Bustle), George Gordon (stand-up), and Sam Grittner (stand-up) tell true tales about how It Was Funny In Retrospect at Brooklyn’s Union Hallhosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned Things It Was Funny In Retrospect

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Mindy Raf (singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), and Mike Brown performing for this free weekly stand-up show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, Jackie Jax, and Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout: Aparna Nancherla, Naomi Ekperigin, Mindy Raf, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Jackie Jax, Akaash Singh, Muhshin Khan, Joe Gerics, and Brooke Arnond performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Jason Chatfield: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Janelle James, Gary Levitt, Jason Burke, Casey James Salengo, Leo Volf, and Matt Schwartzer performing stand-up, plus improv groups JewNoir and Goose Guice, all at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Brian Grossi and DJ’ed by Jerry Mouse: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A 90-minute variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Brink & Keele Howard-Stone: Wolf Spirit with Tom and Keele

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti,High Times), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Brian Parise, Lisa Corrao, Grant Gordon, and Tomas Delgado performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Arthur Meyer, Matt Dennie, Josh Lay, Claire Downs, and Cody Lindquist “recount harrowing true stories from their awkward preteen years with hard evidence of diary entries, poetry, photos, and/or home videos, transporting you back to the early ’90s” at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Dawn Luebbe: My 1992 Diary

9:30 pm ($5): Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star of the most recent season of Last Comic Standing), Corinne Fisher, Tyler Richardson, Adrian Davidson, and Rojo Perez performing stand-up or characters at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), and more performing stand-up and/or music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Sam Haft: The Lemonade Stand: Mark Normand, Jessica Kirson, Jessica Delfino, 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): The UCB Touring Company consists of some of UCB’s finest improvisors who show audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For this monthly show, however, the traveling troupe will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell hosts this show featuring Sabrina Jalees, Russ Meneve, Big Jay Oakerson, and Louis Gomez performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

11:00 pm ($5): Laura Willcox (improv group Bucky) hosts guest Jill Zarin (Real Housewives of New York) at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Night Late

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 3/24/15

March 24, 2015

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference is happening
this Friday-Sunday. To learn more, please click here.

TV Alert: Aubrey Plaza is on on David Letterman;
Ben Stiller is on Seth Meyers;
Kevin Hart is on Conan O’Brien;
Tom Arnold is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Kurt Braunohler is on Carson Daly;
Moshe Kasher, Fortune Feimster, and Ben Gleib are on @midnight;
The series finale of Kroll Show is at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

X Plus One

The debut of improvised old timey science fiction at The PIT’s X Plus One

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): The greatest science fiction anthology radio show of all time was X Minus One. Improvisors who apparently know their genre history are debuting this show, in which they’ll make up scenes of awe, mystery, and wonder at The PIT upstairs theatre: X Plus One

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Gary Gulman, Rich Vos, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Joe Machi, Mark Normand, and Joe List at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Side Piece, Grammer, and Women & Men at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Mark Normand, Dan St. Germain, Nick DiPaolo, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories) performing stand-up, plus music from Bandits on the Run, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver): Josh Gondelman and People He Admires: Jon Fisch, Sabrina Jalees, Seaton Smith, Giulia Rozzi, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Comics Yik Yak Live, Evan M. Williams, J.P. McDade, and NYU improv group After School Special performing at UCB East hosted by Bill Stiteler & Tony Zaret: School Drools

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Niles Turner, Dan Fisher, Samuel Bronowski, Dan Perlman, Chelsea Hood, Shalewa Sharpe, Bronwyn Isaac, Doug Smith, and George Gordon performing at Brit Pack Studios(153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Jimmy LeChase; to ensure admittance, RSVP atmouthpartycomedynyc@gmail.com: Mouth Party

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Michelle Buteau (daily host of VH1’s Morning Buzz, FOX’s Enlisted,Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Livia Scott (comedic chameleon; Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie; sketch groups Legs For Days and The Livia Scott Sketch Program), John Early (30 Rock, Comedy Central, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer), Lance Weiss (co-host of Gandhi, Is That You?), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): Rosie Guarino & Michael Delisle play a dozen characters auditioning for a community theatre production at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Kunkletown Community Theatre Announces The Audition

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Scott Dooley (visiting from Australia), Travis Irvine, and Will Winner performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Apollo, Greg, and 2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The brilliant Todd Bieber (Director of Content and Production for UCB Comedy) spearheads this show that screens the work of the UCB video division, and also hosts live stand-up and sketch, all at the UCB East theatre: UCB Comedy Live

[$] 9:30 pm ($15 for the three episodes comprising “Part 1″): Part 1 of a 3-part series 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 consistently flat and juvenile, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, are too often anemic. I can’t recommend this as entertainment, but you might care to experience this simply for the novelty of it at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Gooo!

[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 Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted byJamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/23/15

March 23, 2015

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference is happening
this Friday-Sunday. To learn more, please click here.

TV Alert: Ben Stiller is on David Letterman;
Adam Carolla is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Nick Kroll is on Conan O’Brien;
Kyle Kinane, Rhys Darby, and Vanessa Ramos are on @midnight

Bellevue Presents Seinfeld

Quite possibly your last chance to catch UCB’s funniest parody: Bellevue Presents Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

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

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

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy written, performed, and directed entirely by female comics at The Magnet theatre: Lady Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Seaton Smith, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Joe Matarese, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Carmen Lynch, and Joe List at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): One of the very best scripted shows to ever grace UCB Chelsea—and the last scheduled performance in the run, so this may be your last chance to see this—in which sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the debut of “a balls-out celebration of the crazy bitches who nobody listens to and the crazy pussies who do you real good and then burn down your house. With special appearances from your mom, the cute girl at the coffee shop, the cat lady next door, and your future ex-wife, this Bechdel Certified sketch show will forever change up your life for the worse,” starring the wonderful Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm) and Kristen Acimovic (ace sketch group Legs For Days): Crazy Bitch/Crazy Pussy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Andrew Law (staff writer for Seth Meyersand cast member of HBO’s Looking), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) being interviewed and/or performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), and NYC stand-ups Sarah Tollemache, Andy Sandford, Gary Levitt, Frank Terranova, Carolyn Busa, Jake Head, Tony Zaret, Sara Armour, Jordan Temple, and Brendan Eyre, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Chelsea Taylor & Scott Nossen: Filthy Stinking Rich

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days(stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Sean Hart, Kristen Acimovic, and Joel Weidl, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Roanoke: Maude Night: Legs For Days and Roanoke

9:30 pm ($5): Two actors perform from different famed plays and an improviser crashes into the scripted scenes atThe PIT upstairs theatre directed by Meg Griffiths Anderson: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Ace gal improvisors Megan Gray, Rosie Whalen, and more springboard an audience suggestion to create a terrible Lifetime TV movie (“come prepared to watch a live film filled with heartbreak, disease, violence, despair, hope, courage, sassy neighbors, murders, heroes, whores, assholes, dumb babies who take up all your time, revenge, love, sex, hate, and chocolate”) at The Magnet theatre: Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), Janelle James, Subhah Agarwal, Ian Fidance, Nick Mullen, and Robby Slowik performing stand-up—and celebrating the birthday of hostess Em Cohen—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: Mark DeMayo, Monroe Martin, 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm (reserved seats are all taken, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 3/22/15

March 22, 2015

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference is happening
next weekend. To learn more, please click here.

Rebecca Vigil

Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil performing in Your Love, Our Musical

Julie Sharbutt

…and Julie Sharbutt doing a Boston accent in Mystic Improv are among the treats on this final day of The PIT’s Fourth Annual NYC Improv Festival

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] 2:00 pm to Midnight ($10-$15 per individual show, or $60 for all-festival pass that guarantees you admittance to any and all shows during this 5-day festival): Over 19 hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge—including such notable upstairs shows as Mystic Improv at 3:00, Your Love Our Musical at 7:00, and People Improvising at 8:00, for this final day of the 2015 NYC Improv Festival

6:00 pm ($5): Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Bob Kulhan (brilliant, magical improvisor; Baby Wants Candy, Bing Faithful) wrote and stars in this show where “a menacing emcee and German cabaret sidekick guide the audience in meeting vaudevillian comedians, theatrical magicians, and sultry singers, and encountering distortions of reality” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Shecky Kulhan

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm (Pay Whatever You Like): “Delusional cruise ship entertainer and musical theatre fanatic Lance Johnson welcomes scheduled guests Liza Minnelli, Hugh Jackman, and Miami Sound Machine for an instantly forgettable evening of chat, song, dance, and Lance before he heads back out to sea” by Peter Michael Marino and friends at The Triple Crown Underground (330 7th Avenue, between 28th and 29th Streets): Late With Lance

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($8): Select top clips of the green star of The Muppets at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, plus “Muppet-themed drink specials, cool giveaways, and more:” The Muppet Vault: Kermit the Frog

7:30 pm ($7): Groups Baby Shoes and Action Park perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Joe Zimmerman, Tony Deyo, Mike Cannon, Tim Dillon, and Lance Weiss performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It: Sasheer Zamata, Phoebe Robinson, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, and Seaton Smith at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand- ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Joe List, Damien Lemon, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Improv/sketch giant Dan Hodapp and Langston Belton (improv group G.U.S.) join host Jodi Lennon (Marc Maron: The Voice of Something, Exit 57) to perform an improvised year in the life of three people at Brooklyn’sThe Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): What a Year!

9:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Mark DeMayo, Joe List, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

[FREE] 4:00 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 3/21/15

March 21, 2015

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference is happening
3/27-3/29. To learn more, please click here.

TV Alert: If you’ve fallen behind on one of the finest comedies in TV history, you can catch episodes 7-10 of Louis C.K.’s Season 4 of Louie back to back late tonight on FX, running 2:00 am-4:00 am.
Season 5 of Louie premieres Thursday April 9th at 10:30 pm.

Foxworthy & Friends

Jason Saenz transforms into Jeff Foxworthy to host a new web series featuring interviews with Chris Gethard, Adam Newman, and more. Tonight’s debut screening is accompanied by live comedy at Brooklyn’s Foxworthy & Friends

Erotic Fan Fiction

…plus Dave Hill, Jared Logan, Kara Klenk, Ashley Brooke Roberts, and more perform Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction

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] Noon to 1:00 am ($10-$15 per individual show, or $60 for all-festival pass that guarantees you admittance to any and all shows during this 5-day festival): A full 24 hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge—including such notable upstairs shows as Gilda and Skycopter at 2:00, Raving Jaynes and Wean/Shay at 4:00, Ladies of the PIT at 6:00, Big Black Car and The Baldwins at 8:00, Ali Farahnakian & Dion Flynn at 10:00, and Happy Karaoke Fun Time at 11:00, for this 4th day of the 2015 NYC Improv Festival

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

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes from Skidmore College, Sarah Lawrence College, and New York University make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Awkward Kids Talking, Feral Christine, and Dangerbox

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, and Greer Barnes at the 8:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:15 show; Judah Friedlander, Dave Attell, and Russ Meneve at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell and Damien Lemon at the 12:15 show, with four of the 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

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): UCB Harold Night house improv team Higgins gets the stage for a full hour at the UCB East theatre:Higgins: Come Fly With Us

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist 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, with tonight’s storyteller Lisa Pertoso: The Armando Diaz Experience

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A winner of Last Comic Standing who’s also starred in hour-long comedy special War Paint and a Comedy Central Presents special, performed on Jimmy Fallon and Chelsea Lately, and hosted 230 episodes of syndicated dating show Excused headlining tonight and Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Iliza Shlesinger

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Eight sharp comics—including Dave Hill, Jared Logan, Kara Klenk, and Ashley Brooke Roberts—performing erotic fiction they’ve written based on audience suggestions at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Bryan Cook: Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction

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

8:00 pm ($8): House sketch group Sketchfrogs and director Matt Barats (Kill All Comedy) try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Sketchfrogs

[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), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Lynn Bixenspan (host of Relationshit), Maggie Maye, Zardon Richardson, and Jay Welch, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser, and hosted by Megan Gailey & Joon Chung: 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A unique show in which stand-ups perform jokes while playing people who they can’t stand being around—featuring Brett Davis as someone he thinks sucks, Dara Katz as someone she really really hates, James Dwyer as someone he wants to never get locked in a room with, Mary Houlihan as someone she rolls her eyes at so much she had to go to an eye doctor, Tom McDonald as a person he refuses to stand within five feet of, and Gary Richardson as a person he would serve a turd sandwich to—at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Your Worst Self

[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): Comics (not announced) “perform kooky bits based off online videos. The goal of the show is primarily to be louder than the jazz music coming from upstairs” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Matt Barats: Louder Than Jazz

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash) transforms into Jeff Foxworthy to host a new web series featuring interviews with Chris Gethard, Adam Newman, Nick Turner, Nate Fernald, and Frank Garcia Hejl. The first episode is being screened for free at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) with a live appearance by Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City):Foxworthy & Friends

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 Evanshost: 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.

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 3/20/15

March 20, 2015

Don’t miss The Women and Comedy Conference on 3/27-3/29.
Click to learn more about Bad Assery.

TV Alert: Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson make a delightful
appearance on David Letterman, who accurately calls
the gals “comedy geniuses” (repeated from 2/19);
Garry Shandling and Jeff Goldblum are hosted by
Judd Apatow on The Late Late Show (repeated from 1/23)

Baby Wants Candy

Ace musical improv group Baby Wants Candy…

Jordan Klepper

…and Daily Show star Jordan Klepper are among the highlights of Day #3 of The PIT’s Fourth Annual NYC Improv Festival

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] 5:00 pm to 1:00 am ($10-$15 per individual show, or $60 for all-festival pass that guarantees you admittance to any and all shows during this 5-day festival): Over 13 hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge—including such notable groups as Baby Wants Candy and Centralia, plus Daily Show star Jordan Klepper—for this third day of the 2015 NYC Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 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 Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 12:15 am show. All shows are at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue):Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Favorite sketches from nearly a dozen comics at The Magnet hosted by Matt Antonucci & Joe Lepore: Bonus Round

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the second half of this double-bill, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

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!

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A winner of Last Comic Standing who’s also starred in hour-long comedy special War Paint and a Comedy Central Presents special, performed on Jimmy Fallon and Chelsea Lately, and hosted 230 episodes of syndicated dating show Excused headlining tonight through Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Iliza Shlesinger

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, Sherrod Small, and More

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

8:00 pm ($5): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Doug Smith (AXS TV), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at the One and One Bar’s Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Dave Severino: Grass Fed Comedy

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

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

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

9:30 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): The Juice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Wyatt Cenac, Big Jay Oakerson, Sherrod Small, and Aaron Berg

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

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

[$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, Sherrod Small, and More

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv from members of world-class group Baby Wants Candy and more, followed by duo improv from Danny Groh & Andrew Tisher, with both shows at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre(367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Tourist Trap and Selfish Green Men

10:30 pm ($10): Bryan Cook (host of Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Nat Towsen (VICE, host of Downtown Variety), and Drew Michael performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford:Gentrify

11:30 pm ($7): Around a dozen comics perform sketches at The Magnet theatre directed by Jon Bander: Phoebe Tonight, Tonite

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

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

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/19/15

March 19, 2015

Have you gotten your tickets yet for Bad Assery?
It’s The Women and Comedy Conference on 3/27-3/29.

TV Alert: Bill Murray (plus the cast of The Walking Dead)
are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Ben Stiller is on Jimmy Fallon;
Will Ferrell is on The Daily Show;
Jay Leno and Seaton Smith are on Seth Meyers;
Ellie Kemper—plus Madonna—are on Ellen DeGeneres:
Mindy Kaling is on Conan O’Brien;
David Wain, Rob Huebel, and Erinn Hayes are on @midnight;
Ari Shaffir’s storytelling show This Is Not Happening
is at 12:31 am on Comedy Central

Sasheer Zamata Party Time

SNL star Sasheer Zamata hosts dynamo comics…

Bridget Everett

…Bridget Everett (above), Sabrina Jalees, Charla Lauriston, and Liza Treyger in Brooklyn at Sasheer Zamata Party Time!

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] 2:00 pm to 1:00 am ($10-$15 per individual show, or $60 for all-festival pass that guarantees you admittance to any and all shows during this 5-day festival): Over 13 hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge—including a FREE staged reading of new play Lunchtime by Greg Kotis (playwright and co-lyricist of Urinetown) at 2:00 pm, and the rare form of one-person improv from 6:00 pm through 8:00 pm downstairs from Pepita (Elana Fishbein), One Man Band (Jon Bander), and Only Child Improv (Julie Sharbutt)—at this second day of the 2015 NYC Improv Festival

7:00 pm ($5): Moody McCarthy (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’sGirl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Zach Sims (Comedy Central), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), and Adam Mamawala performing stand-up at UCB Easthosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A winner of Last Comic Standing who’s also starred in hour-long comedy specialWar Paint and a Comedy Central Presents special, performed on Jimmy Fallon and Chelsea Lately, and hosted 230 episodes of syndicated dating show Excused headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Iliza Shlesinger

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Ricky Velez, and Keith Robinson at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Joe Matarese, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Seaton Smith, Sam Morril, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20 at the door or $22.40 online): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, author of Agorafabulous), Lizz Winstead (Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, Air America), Anna Breslaw (Cosmopolitan), Tyler Coates (Decider), Elissa Bassist (The Rumpus), and the Cocoon Central Dance Team performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): The Brotherhood of Women

[TOP PICK] [$] 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 Aparna Nancherla, Mike Lawrence, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Nick Vatterott, Jim David, Casey Balsham, and Mike Recine performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Robby Slowik: Stand-Up on the Spot with Aparna Nancherla, Mike Lawrence, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer!): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers friends to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s lineup Iris Explosion (burlesque performer and sex educator), Alina Simone (singer and journalist), Robert Penty (The Moth), Heather Dockray (storyteller/comic), and Joey Callahan (comic): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Rashomon (eight improvisors explore human nature and the nature of truth using time-jumps and multiple perspectives), at 10:00 pm by a sketch comedy salute to gun-toting jerks in American Action Heroes, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

…and in the other half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

8:00 pm ($5): Joe Mande (writer for Parks & Recreation, Kroll Show,; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Pete Holmes, Comedy Central Half Hour; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster), Tyler Richardson, Phil Davidson, and Bryan Cook performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Joe Mande and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Ben Conrad, and Rae Sanni performing stand-up atPoco 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: “Comics are invited to share their feelings about the only definite outcome of living…becoming dead. And they must record their last words with you as their witness. Plus sketches, characters, heartfelt stories, and more…about death” with guests TBA (the ones listed on the FB page are from February’s show) performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Lorelei Ramirez & Steve DeSiena: I’m Afraid of Dying

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

9:00 pm ($5): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): Amazing energy-packed lineup of force of nature top cabaret performer Bridget Everett (Sex and the City, 2 Broke Girls, Joe’s Pub), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), and Liza Treyger (Chelsea Lately, co-host with Sabrina of How Many Questions) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by the incomparable Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live): Sasheer Zamata Party Time!

[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

9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Robbie Collier, Zach Sims, and Steven Forrest performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) produced by Jaqi Furback, Taylor Clark, Casey James Salengo, Owen Straw, and TJ Young: Big Ups Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—possibly performing in a camp tent—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Aaron Friedman: Campfire Comedy

[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): The brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata host this stand-up show with guests TBA at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups What I Did For Love and Rizzo compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters—plus tonight only, storyteller Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion) and Katey Healy-Wurzburg (improvisor, stand-up, and storyteller)—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee & Patrick Clair: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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