NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/10/14

September 10, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Seth Green is on Conan O’Brien;
Ron Funches, Arden Myrin, and Brody Stevens are on @midnight;
Lennon Parham & Jessica St. Clair are
on Carson Daly (repeated from 4/29);
and Maria Bamford, Reggie Watts, Jenny Slate, Michael Ian Black
and more are on Kumail Nanjiani’s & Jonah Ray’s
The Meltdown at 12:30 am on Comedy Central

Seth Herzog, Hannibal Buress, and Ted Alexandro

Last night Amy Schumer, Colin Quinn, Michael Che, Janeane Garofalo, and Vanessa Bayer were among the stars performing at Seth Herzog’s 10th Year Anniversary of his ace weekly stand-up show. Tonight Ted Alexandro, Hannibal Buress, Kurt Braunohler, and top comics too famous to name in advance close out the 3-night celebration of Sweet

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 ($5): Ace improvisors Shannon O’Neill and Tami Sagher team with guests Brandon Scott Jones and Chelsea Clarke to brilliantly make up scenes on the spot at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

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

7:00 pm ($10): A parody of “a beatnik/slam poetry show hosted by beathip extraordinaire Amorous Soufflé” atThe PIT downstairs lounge: The WordPhonics Parle

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10 at the door or online): This science-based storytelling show tonight hosts mathematicians “for a night of five true, personal stories about life’s pluses and minuses”—including tales of “being forbidden to study math in Russia, “a high schooler using math to ask a girl on a date,” and “the adventures of a top mathlete”—all at the Museum of Mathematics (11 East 26th Street) hosted by Ben Lillie: The Story Collider

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 ($5): Jordan Klepper (correspondent for The Daily Show) performs a one-man stand-up show about “his luddite tendencies, love for the Wu Tang Clan, while attempting to massage the audience’s collective soul into a state of universal understanding and/or recognition. Or at least he’ll try” at the UCB Chelsea theatre:Jordan Klepper: Mostly Words

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Fine line-up of TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Sean Patton (one of thefinest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Sean Patton, Todd Barry, Christian Finnegan, Jessica Kirson, and Sean Donnelly

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of art & comedy hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte (young), with Moises Kaufman (playwright/director: The Laramie Project, 33 Variations, One Arm), David Clement (singer/songwriter: Follow Me Home, Weatherman, Fi), Beth Lisick (writer/performer: Monkey Girl, Yokohama Freeway, The Beth Lisick Ordeal), Martin Rolon (visual artist: Puntada Cruda, The Secret City), and more performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Ryan Hamilton, Kevin Brennan, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:45 show, and Dave Attell, Wil Sylvince (hosting), Jessica Kirson, and Godfrey at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Nore Davis (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire), Kate Wolff, Tom Cowell, Liz Magee, Alison Klemp, and Josh Rosen performing stand-up at theProducer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) performing stand-up or sketch at “a variety show inspired by a poignant evening on NBC’s The Voice in which a contestant found himself going through ‘dark times’ after dropping out of NYU’s graduate program for music business to pursue his true calling: slightly faltering karaoke singing. His parents seemed very disappointed” at The PIT downstairs lounge produced by Melissa Somosky and hosted by Megan Lohne: Dark Times: A Comedic Variety Hour

[FREE; plus FREE BACON] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this show that provides you with both free comedy and free bacon at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kevin Berrey and/or Farah Brook: Free Bacon

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm doors, 9:00 pm show ($10): Hannibal Buress, Kurt Braunohler, and top comics too famous to reveal in advance close out the 3-night celebration of the 10th Year Anniversary of a top weekly stand-up show hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’sDuck Quakes Don’t Echo) at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Solid lineup of Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show,former staff writer for David Letterman), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Michael Palascak (Comedy Central Half Hour), Adam Mamawala (MTV’s Girl Code), and Alex Hooper 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Genius comics Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teams up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

9:30 pm ($10): Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Jenny Jaffe (former staff writer for MTV’sNikki and Sara Live, host of Camp Time), Charlie Rohrer, and Sonia Denisa performing stand-up at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’sBest Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’sBest Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), 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 Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sean Patton, Christian Finnegan, Jessica Kirson, 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): T.J. Miller (red-hot comedic actor & hilarious sketch comic; David Letterman, co-star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and former ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-star of numerous movies including Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Cloverfield, and Get Him to the Greek; for video samples, please click here) and T.J.’s real-life sister Morgan Miller perform duo improv at the UCB East theatre: MillerTime

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Star D. L. Hughley, Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), and John Basedow performing and/or being interviewed at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

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] 5:30 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 show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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

[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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 11:15 pm: 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)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 9/9/14

September 9, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Bill Hader is on Jimmy Kimmel;
John Hodgman is on Conan O’Brien;
Jeff Goldblum is on Seth Meyers;
Dave Attell is on Carson Daly;
Jack Black and Margaret Cho are on @midnight

Sweet 10th Anniversary

It’s Night #2 of Seth Herzog celebrating the 10th Year Anniversary of his top weekly stand-up show Sweet

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’ssinging improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by afree show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo) celebrates the 10th Anniversary of his top weekly stand-up showSweet with a 3-night extravaganza that began on Monday, and continues tonight and Wednesday at 8:00 pm atThe Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) with guests including Colin Quinn, Sean Patton, Dave Hill, Vanessa Bayer, Hannibal Buress, Questlove, and probably lots of happy surprises: Sweet

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Mo Mandel, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter and/or Ray DeVito: Janeane Garofalo, Carmen Lynch, Nick Vatterott, and More

[TOP PICK] [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; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly), Brian France, Max Fox, and Nick Youssef performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by JF Harris, Lukas Kaiser, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

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

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): “A show about love and relationships combining improv comedy, contact improv, freestyle, clowning, and choreographed dance” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Dancing with Laughter and Love

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Naomi Ekperigin & Andy Beckerman, Leah Bonnema, Janelle James, Lynn Bixenspan, Matt Schwartzer, Dustin Sherman, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

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

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Ryan Beck (The Daily Show, MTV’s Girl Code), Halle Kiefer (TruTV’s Friends of the People), and Alex Hooper performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comics give TED-style talks on such topics as “Saving the World Through Evil Karate”or “Mannequins Are Our Superiors,” with tonight’s guests Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), Dan Glaser (Reddit Gone Wild), Carol Hartsell & Sean Crespo (hosts of Lasers in the Jungle), and Josh Ruben (College Humor) performing at UCB East hosted by Aaron Kheifets: Basically Genius

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): The wonderful Julie Sharbutt & Langston Belton perform duo improv as Coyote, and James Coker, Michael Greene & Tim Racine perform trio improv as The Lunchmen, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Coyote and The Lunchmen

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): This super-affordable weekly stand-up club show tonight features a great lineup of Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien,Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Sean Patton, Kurt Metzger, Dan Soder, and More

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) each tell precisely three jokes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Seth Cockfield: Three Joke Mafia

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Julia Johns, Janelle James, Christopher Aurilio, and Ryan T. Bennett performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Brett Davis: The Tuesday Special

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell, Nikki Glaser, Joe List, Wil Sylvince (hosting), and more performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

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 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

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

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

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

[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 guest co-host Auggie Lutz: The Dump

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

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

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

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show atThe 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)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/8/14

September 8, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Mel Brooks is on Conan O’Brien;
Bill Maher is on David Letterman;
Lena Dunham is on Jimmy Kimmel;
The Sklar Brothers are on @midnight

Seth Herzog's Sweet 10th Anniversary

Seth Herzog celebrates the 10th Year Anniversary of his top weekly stand-up show tonight through Wednesday: Sweet

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

7:00 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Dan Soder, Kevin Brennan, and Monroe Martin (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, Damien Lemon, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) 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 ($10 tonight or $25 for all three nights): Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo) celebrates the 10th Anniversary of his top weekly stand-up show Sweet with a 3-night extravaganza on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 8:00 pm ($10 per night, or $25 for all three nights) at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) with guests including Colin Quinn, Sean Patton, Dave Hill, Vanessa Bayer, Hannibal Buress, Questlove, and probably lots of happy surprises: Sweet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing), and George Gordon performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the Kondabolu Brothers: Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; HBO, trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), and Corinne Caputo share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

8:00 pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Janelle James, Max Silvestri, Gary Richardson, Joe Zimmerman, and Chloe Hillard performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Eric Neumann: Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society Comedy Night

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketches from group BOAT; and then Joanna Bradley demonstrates she’s a fine performer who needs to work with a tough editor, as her material doesn’t come across as funny so much as harsh and angry—which doesn’t do justice to her genuine acting and comedic talent. Here’s hoping she learns lessons from this one-woman show: I Am Very Important People

[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): Sketch, stand-up, and music from James Hartnett, Tim Gilbert, and Marty Topps—”three of Toronto’s nicest comedians who have come together to provide you with a safe space to ingest their comedy”—at The Magnet theatre: Three Non-Threatening Males

9:00 pm ($5): Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Jacqueline Novak (Comedy Central, College Humor), Alana Eisner, Alex Koll, Nate Fridson, and Tom Lisi performing stand-up, plus music from The Velvet Crayon, at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Alamo (which includes Siobhan Thompson) and Moriarty (which includes Kara Klenk): Maude Night: Alamo and Moriarty

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Subhah Agarwal, Nick Youssef, and Danny Lobell 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: Josh Gondelman, Amber Nelson, Monroe Martin, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ 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 Leo Allen: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at 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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket and 5 minutes per performer, at the Slake Bar (251 West 30th Street) hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Story Hour (Open-Mic Storytelling) with Julia Wiedeman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/7/14

September 7, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Brooklyn Brain Jam

Six hours of nerd-friendly comedic entertainment at The Bell House: Brooklyn Brain Jam

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] Noon-6:00 pm ($12): Four amazing nerdy comedy shows—Kevin Geeks Out, The Story Collider, The Big Quiz Thing, and Nerd Nite—join forces to bring us six hours of nonstop mind-blowing entertainment at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street). I seldom see a show while the sun is still visible, but even I’ll attend this event. Join me for Brooklyn Brain Jam

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Fiorito: Mishmash Mashup

6:00 pm ($7): Ruby Marez performs a one-woman show about anxiety at The Magnet theatre: I Made It Worse

[TOP PICK] 7:00 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

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

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Party. and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code LABOR; no min.): Great lineup of 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), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Jason Lawhead performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Sean Patton, Ari Shaffir, 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 comics include Colin Quinn, Gregg Rogell, Kevin Brennan, Lynne Koplitz, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Dov Davidoff, Lynne Koplitz, and Sherrod Small at the 9:45 show; and Todd Barry, Ben Bailey, Kurt Metzger, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson (hosting), Joe List, and Sam Morril at the 10:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Theatrical improvisors make up a complete play on the spot showcasing a famous playwright (e.g., Anton Chekhov, Sam Shepard, David Mamet) at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[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): Stuckey & Murray (terrific comedic singing duo; Chelsea Lately, NBC, VH1, Fuse), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Tim Dillon, Brett Druck, and Dina Hashem performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($9.75 online using discount code WORLDCHAMP; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), Rus Gutin, and Chris Scopo performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Big Jay Oakerson, Sheng Wang, Sean Donnelly, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups “have to perform their mental gymnastics while carrying the burden of an entire culture on their backs; and when all is said and done, only one can walk away with The Trophy of Insensitivity, which allows a one-time use of a pre-determined slur. The winner of the prize will be determined by a select few audience members, so don’t miss your chance to give away hate speech guilt-free” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by AJ Thompson and/or Koshin Egal: The Quota

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Alison Klemp and Emilady Bogue, storyteller Lynn Bixenspan, character comic Sean Casey, improvisor Pat Regan, and more performing at Bar None (98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

9:00 pm ($7): Kelly Buttermore & Kate Emswiler perform a duo sketch show at The Magnet theatre: Vacation Town

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Joyelle Nicole Johnson, Rob Stern, Brett Hiker, and Josh Rosen performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors Kevin Laibson, Micah Sherman, Julie Sharbutt, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, Liz Wisan, Brett Wean, and Greg Kotis make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($9.75 online using discount code WORLDCHAMP; 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), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Danny Lobell, and Jason Lawhead performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/6/14

September 6, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Underbelly and See You In Hell

The 3rd Year Anniversary of two of the best shows at The Creek, Underbelly and See You In Hell

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 ($10 cover plus $10 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko), Andy Ross (Mad Magazine, The Onion News Network), Dawn Fraser (The Moth Unchained Tour, Barbershop Stories), and Kate Greathead (Moth GrandSlam finalist). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), Dean Edwards (Saturday Night Live, MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, HBO’s The Sopranos, feature film Scared Shrekless), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups are unusually anemic until the 10:30 show, which features Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, and Marina Franklin (hosting), and the 12:15 show featuring Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Kevin Brennan, Dov Davidoff, and Wil Sylvince (hosting), with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

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 ($12): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: The 3 Year Anniversary of this show in which NYC stand-ups “risk getting slapped by Satan himself. Actually, he hosts only bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase”at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matt Wayne & Doug Smith: See You in Hell

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code WORLDCHAMP; 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, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), 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, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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

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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.)  A long-time cast member of MAD TV headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Bobby Lee

8:00 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) compete in telling “the most wince-worthy, second-hand embarrassment-inducing tale. After every story, each contestant can ask the performer a question to draw out all the juicy and/or disturbing details. The more contestants fuck with each other, the better. In the end, the audience will name the winner to be crowned the King/Queen of Shame” at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): The Shame Game

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

9:30 pm ($10): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and/or Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus maybe free cake!] 10:00 pm: The 3 Year Anniversary of this hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—with tonight’s small army of comics including Murderfist, Amber Nelson, Jason Saenz, Molly Austin, and many more performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short, and (probably) followed post-show downstairs by free cake: Underbelly

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code WORLDCHAMP; 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, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), 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, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): An enormously fun freestyle rap contest at UCB East with NYC comics (not announced) plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by superstar human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central): Battlicious

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Luke Cunningham (Jimmy Fallon), and more performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: An eclectic monthly talk show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), tonight with band Uncle Monsterface playing songs from their new album Rise of the Lavamen, Melissa Elledge (Main Squeeze Orchestra, MTA Accordion), and cHristi cHiellO (The Tyra Banks Show, Agua) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Aftermirth

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($9.75 online using discount code WORLDCHAMP; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane), and Nick Youssef performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Adrienne Iapalucci, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

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

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Saturday Night UltraMegaJam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/5/14

September 5, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Tina Fey and Moody McCarthy are on David Letterman;
Seth Green is on Craig Ferguson;
Stephen Colbert & Amy Sedaris are on Seth Meyers (repeated from 9/2);
Brett Gelman is on Carson Daly (repeated from 4/23)

Joan Rivers

RIP Joan Rivers

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 ($10): The UK’s renowned Cambridge University is known for great scholarly achievement…but also a comedy troupe named The Footlights that helped launch the careers of John Cleese (Monty Python), Hugh Laurie (House), Emma Thompson (Love Actually), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), and more. The 2014 edition of this group performs tonight at The Magnet as part of a world tour: The Cambridge Footlights: Real Feelings

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 pm ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Green Barnes, Robert Kelly, Lynne Koplitz, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, Green Barnes, Robert Kelly, Lynne Koplitz, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:45 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Lenny Marcus, Kevin Brennan, Dov Davidoff, and Ari Shaffir (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), Dean Edwards (Saturday Night Live, MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, HBO’s The Sopranos, feature film Scared Shrekless), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): A comedic play written by Meredith Hackman & Tim Racine in which “a young woman (30) goes on a journey to escape from the insanity of the real world within the normality of a cartoon one” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Choices Land (A Cartoon Show)

7:00 pm ($5): Chris Roberti performs a one-man show directed by Jodi Lennon at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Cult of Relentless Positivity

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Two spectacular talents, Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live) and Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), team up to perform duo improv at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Zamata & Cenac

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

[TOP PICK] 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), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Derek Gaines, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Wyatt Cenac, Gary Gulman, Joe Matarese and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): At The PIT downstairs lounge, Sarah Nowak and Carly Ann Filbin each perform one-woman shows: Sarah No Act and Validate Me

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A stand-up show that also “parodies everything you love and hate about sports” with NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Cody, Joel Walkowski, and/or Sam Evans: Bush League

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Dion Flynn (Jimmy Fallon) performs a one-man show at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Only Brown Kid in the Trailer Park

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code WORLDCHAMP; 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, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Derek Gaines, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Wyatt Cenac, Gary Gulman, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Neruda Williams…who will be celebrating the birthday of at least one of these comics with cake and beer: The Happy Happy Birthday Show

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

10:30 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($12): Ashley Ward (ace improvisor, and actress in 50 Shades: The Musical Parody) and Heather Hamilton (creator of The 20 Something Project) are interviewed and/or perform at this late night talk show hosted by Jamie LeeLo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

11:30 pm ($7): Chris Dwane & Dmitry Shein perform duo improv at The Magnet theatre: Chris & Dmitry

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A raucous, hilarious laboratory for wacky ideas, in which comics Michael Wolf, Dan Glaser, and Cory Palmer create absurd game shows that they try out on the spot using audience members. “After we’ve attempted to create all the game shows, the audience votes on which idea gets to go straight to TV (not really)” at UCB Chelsea hosted by the fabulous Jo Firestone (also host of Punderdome 3000 and many, many other shows): The Incredible Game Show Showcase

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Join filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick, Jar-Jar Binks, as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema,” with guests Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), and Kiri Oliver & Heidi Vanderlee (musical group Early Riser) being interviewed and/or performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Connor Ratliff & Shaun Diston: The George Lucas Talk 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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): 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 for Happy Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/4/14

September 4, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Sarah Silverman is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Larry David is on Jimmy Fallon;
Ted Alexandro is on Craig Ferguson;
Chris Hardwick is on Conan O’Brien;
Ray Romano is on Arsenio Hall (repeated from 4/28);
Whitney Cummings, Jim Jefferies, and Chris D’Elia are on @midnight

T.J. MIller

T.J. Miller joins Joe Pera for stand-up at UCB East’s Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

Back to the Future

…and The PIT hosts a musical parody of Back to the Future in That 80s Time Travel Movie

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

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Jamie Graham & Amy Larimer blend improv and dance to create theatrical physical comedy and grace on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Raving Jaynes

7:00 pm ($5): Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out), Joe DeVito, Brendan Fitzgibbons, and Courtney Fearrington performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($10): “Through audience suggestions of Chapter Title and The First Line of the Chapter, the audience decides what the next chapter will be for the story that the players will create. Will there be glory? Will one of them find their missing cat? Or is death in their future? Come find out as you choose your own adventure” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Writer’s Block: An Adventure You Choose

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Christine Bullen performs a one-woman show about her adventures answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Six months ago, Karin and Glenn started emailing each other every time they cried. Then they wrote a comedy show about feelings. To test the theory of ‘Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy,’ Karin and Glenn will perform some sketches, dance a little bit, and then tell you some very personal stories that they shouldn’t be talking about in front of this many people,” directed by Stone Cold Fox’s Leslie Meisel & Brandon Gulya: This Is Going to Hurt

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, Lynne Koplitz, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 pm MacDougal Street show; Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, and Kevin Brennan at the 8:00 pm Village Underground show; Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, Dov Davidoff, Jermaine Fowler, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Judah Friedlander, Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Ari Shaffir, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): A stand-up contest hosted by Michelle Buteau, and featuring Michelle Wolf, Adrienne Iapalucci, Joe List, and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): New York’s Funniest Stand-Up Competition

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blob (eight improvisors jointly contribute to the creation of two-person scenes, and then work to refine and morph these scenes together over time), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Robert Weinstein at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Visiting New Zealand stand-ups Ben Hurley & Steve Wrigley perform one last night at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ben and Steve, World Famous in New York

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Daniel J Perafan, Dan Perlman, and Kevin Iso performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing thoughtful stand-up at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Leah Bonnema & Tim Warner: Modern Day Philosophers

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Jordan Klepper (correspondent for The Daily Show), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), and Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Storyteller Lyssa Mandel invites guests to “expose their bleeding-heart adolescent artifacts (journal entries, poetry, original songs, and art), then welcomes them to laugh at and with their own flaws” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Bitch Seat

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

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): NYC stand-ups (not announced) perform at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jenny Jaffe (former staff writer for MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live): Camp Time

10:00 pm ($10): Sketch about in which “one wave of the magic wand and all your dreams come true—that is, until there’s a hassle in the castle. Watch dreams turn into nightmares as the pretty little princesses get a big ugly dose of reality” at The PIT upstairs theatre: POOF!

[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] 10:30 pm ($5): T.J. Miller (red-hot comedic actor & hilarious sketch comic; David Letterman, co-star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and former ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-star of numerous movies including Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Cloverfield, and Get Him to the Greek; for video samples, please click here), Conner O’Malley (writer for Seth Meyers), and Joe Rumrill performing at this weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In a surprise move, last week indie improv troupe The Enemy defeated UCB East weekend improv group Bucky 78-68. The new champion tonight defends its crown against another indie troupe, Buchanan, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): A Back to the Future musical parody, with the script by Christopher W. Barnes and a dozen songs by Ryan Mercy & Christopher W. Barnes, brought to life by a cast of over a dozen comics performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: That 80s Time Travel Movie: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Joe Galan hosts a clowning workshop & open stage: “Clowns have only one true directive: To play! This is part workshop, part playground where we will use exercises geared towards exploring new voices, bodies and games. Either show off a piece in progress or jump onstage blind and ready to follow your sense of fun. Whether you’re interested in learning more about clown technique and physical comedy or just overcoming coulrophobia, this jam is a fun and safe environment to explore your onstage instincts” at The PIT upstairs theatre: No Make-Up: A Clown Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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