NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 12/14/14

December 14, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Michael Che

Michael Che (above) and Ted Alexandro perform at Comedy Cellar

Jo Firestone

…and Jo Firestone (above) and Chris Gethard perform at The Macaulay Culkin Show

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

6:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Party. and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Brian McCann (Conan O’Brien, Parks & Recreation), sketch duo Good Cop Great Cop, Josh Rabinowitz, Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Ana Fabrega, and John F. O’Donnell performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show: Chris Gethard, Jo Firestone, Brian McCann, Good Cop Great Cop, and More

7:00 pm ($5): An improvised game show “teaming four short-form performers with two special guest contestants ready to ‘yes and’ anything to win” at The PIT upstairs theatre: ShortGameShow

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

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

[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 Ted Alexandro, Michael Che, Rachel Feinstein, Allan Havey, and Seaton C. Smith at the 8:00 show; Michael Che, Greer Barnes, Allan Havey, and Zainab Johnson at the 9:45 show; and Ari Shaffir, Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Josh Adam Meyers, and Alex Castle performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

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

8:00 pm ($5): In this unique mix of stand-up, improv, and audience participation, comics Micah Sherman, Sheng Wang, and Ben Rosen perform “improvised stand-up” based on pictures provided by the audience via the Crowd Source app at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Forrest Haigh: Crowd Source

8:00 pm ($5 and 1-drink min.): Maribeth Mooney produces and stars in this comedy show that also features stand-ups Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Blair Socci, Emma Willman Miguel Dalmau, and Chris Williams performing at The Green Room (340 West 50th Street): Reverend Mooney’s Comedy Confessional

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm ($7 online using discount code SAUCE; no min.): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Paul Virzi, Matteo Lane, and Scott Chaplain performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien): Adrienne Iapalucci, Joe List, and More

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Cody, Anthony P. DeVito, Shalewa Sharpe, Lance Weiss, and Ben Conrad performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Brigid Boyle, Nate Starkey, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, each month Channel 101 screens new films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. Tonight is the annual awards ceremony for these cinematic treasures that’s “both a send-up and celebration of award shows, with musical numbers, all new original videos, and actual award statues:” Channel 101: The 2014 Channy Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/13/14

December 13, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Martin Freeman hosts Saturday Night Live at 11:29 pm on NBC

Death by Roo Roo

One of the greatest groups in improv history bids us farewell at 9:00 pm and 10:30 pm  at UCB Chelsea: Death by Roo Roo

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12.50 marked with $) include:

[$] 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 Greg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Allan Havey, Kyle Dunnigan, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:00 show; Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Joe Matarese, Allan Havey, Lynne Koplitz, and Vic Henley (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Russ Meneve, Big Jay Oakerson, Allan Havey, Tony Woods, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [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 (possibly 9:00 pm only), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($43.75 plus 2-drink minimum): A former Saturday Night Live star, cast member of Showtime’s Weeds, star of his own Comedy Central special, and actor in over two dozen comedy feature films—including Anger Management, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Daddy Day Care, Get Smart, and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan—headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Nealon

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

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), and Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Greg Stone, Christy Coffey, Clark Jones, and Joel Kim Booster perform at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Allison Leiby & Alyssa Wolff: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10; sold out of seats, but show up early for the standby line if you’re okay with standing): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious improv groups in comedy history bid farewell to the stage tonight with two shows, at 9:00 pm and 10:30 pm, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Death by Roo Roo: The End, Part 1 of 2

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), and Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups at this monthly show that describes itself as follows: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[$] 10:00 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] 10:30 pm ($10; sold out of seats, but show up early for the standby line if you’re okay with standing): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious improv groups in comedy history bid farewell to the stage tonight with two shows, at 9:00 pm and 10:30 pm, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Death by Roo Roo: The End, Part 2 of 2

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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Arthur Meyer & John Wyatt Haskel (writers for Jimmy Fallon) and Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine) are the guests at this sketch comedy/talk/variety show at UCB East hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($9.75 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Hasan Minhaj (new correspondent for The Daily Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Hasan Minhaj, Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, 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”), 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/12/14

December 12, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jamie Foxx and Robert Klein are on David Letterman;
Megan Mullally is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jason Sudeikis and Aubrey Plaza
are on Seth Meyers (repeated from 11/25)

Lewis Black and Ophira Eisenberg

Stellar storytellers Ophira Eisenberg…

Leslie Goshko

…and Leslie Goshko tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at Natalie Wall’s Awkward Sex…and the City

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, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Most of tonight’s official lineups aren’t exciting, but there’s always the chance of drop-ins; plus the 12:15 am show is solid, with Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Big Jay Oakerson, Allan Havey, and Keith Robinson (hosting). All shows are at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Shea Butta Magic (“smooth like a plain bagel with butter”) raps and jokes one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Shea Butta Magic

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm show ($20—or $12 if you have ID proving your birthday is in December—price includes homemade eggnog and slices of homemade ice cream cakes): Storytellers Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone, new comedy album Bangs!), Diana Spechler (The Moth Radio Hour), Adam Linn (author of American Sexy), and Danny Artese (Moth StorySlam winner) tell personal tales and celebrate Robin’s birthday at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by birthday gal Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) with free eggnog and ice cream cakes— including a whiskey cake—made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($43.75 plus 2-drink minimum): A former Saturday Night Live star, cast member of Showtime’s Weeds, star of his own Comedy Central special, and actor in over two dozen comedy feature films—including Anger Management, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Daddy Day Care, Get Smart, and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan—headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Nealon

7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “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

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Neil Charles, Eric Neumann, Matt Azark, and Jay Nog performing stand-up at the One and One Bar’s Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Jeff Cerulli: Industry Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A mindblowing mix of sketch and character improv spinning off this premise “Moments before he’s to take the stage with his band The Bing Faithful 5, holiday crooner Bing Faithful learns all members of his band have died in a horrific bus accident. Bing is a consummate professional and knows ‘the show must go on.’ What follows is one character’s journey through grief and agony as, alone on stage, he attempts to compensate for the band’s absence by singing all five parts and harmonies to all the classic holiday songs requested by the audience.” Bing is played by brilliant improvisor/character comic Bob Kulhan; plus there’s a twist involving Micah Sherman, Greg Kotis, Mark Stetson, and Bill Connolly at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bing Faithful’s Very Merry Nondenominational Holiday Special

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street):Ted Alexandro, Gary Gulman, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club:Sebastian Maniscalco

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Cannon (MTV), Chloé Hilliard (Last Comic Standing), Joyelle Johnson, Julio Torres, and Reggie Conquest performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by the tall Khalid Rahmaan and/or LeClerc Andre: Top Shelf Comedy

[FREE] 8:30 pm: A Queens indie comedy show featuring Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code;Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Chelsea White (producer of MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TLC, co-host of What Else and Call Us Crazy), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), Mick Diflo, and more performing stand-up in Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Pat Stango, Clayton Craigsly Gumbert, and Gregg Zehentner: Fortress of Attitude

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($13.41 in advance online or $15 at the door; 15% discount on Pleasure Chest products with ticket): Storytellers & comics Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone, new comedy albumBangs!), Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host ofSideshow Goshko), and Tom Cowell(Village Voice) tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at The Pleasure Chest(1150 Second Avenue, between 60th & 61st Streets) hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[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] [FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Nick Mullen, Mary Houlihan, and Dustin Wesley performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

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

9:30 pm ($10): A sketch comedy troupe performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: A Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm,Comedy Central hour-long special), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Gary Gulman, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, half of brilliant sketch duo Dennie & Sharp) hosts this monthly variety show featuring sketch, stand-up, and acts that cannot be categorized at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Matt Dennie Sexperience

[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): Mike Cannon (MTV), Max Fox, Ricky Gonzalez, Danny Kallas, and Frank Garcia Hejl performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by improvisors Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

11:00 pm ($10): Sketches, rap battles, and improv from the Anthology Players, tonight inspired by the early years of Jay-Z, at The PIT upstairs theatre: The B-Side. A Hip-Hop Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): This monthly stand-up, storytelling, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lyingto life on stage, with storytelling from host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Alia Janine, stand-up from Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City) and Peggy O’Leary (host of Creek Cave Live), and burlesque by Jonny Porkpie and Tiger Bay, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Pot stand-up from “highly talented comics who have been highly recommended from people who are thought highly of in the business. Oh, and they’ll be high” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Clayton English & Noah Gardenswartz: High Five

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 12/11/14

December 11, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Chris Rock and Sting are on David Letterman;
Kyle Dunnigan is on Seth Meyers;
Doug Benson, Megan Neuringer, and
Kurt Braunohler are on @midnight

Aparna Nancherla

Aparna Nancherla performs stand-up at Brooklyn’s AbeMixture and then tells tales at Shut Up! Storytelling

Kevin Nealon

…and Kevin Nealon headlines tonight through Saturday at Carolines

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): 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), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Brandon Scott Wolf, Peggy O’Leary (host of Creek Cave Comedy), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:00 pm ($10): Improvisors pretend to be from 1813 England at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Austen Family Improv Players

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Shea Butta Magic (“smooth like a plain bagel with butter”) raps and jokes through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Shea Butta Magic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish 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), 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), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Casey Balsham, Julia Prescott, Gabriel Pacheco, and Omar Shaukat performing stand-up, plus music from Soce (Andrew Singer), all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($43.75 plus 2-drink minimum): A former Saturday Night Live star, cast member of Showtime’s Weeds, star of his own Comedy Central special, and actor in over two dozen comedy feature films—including Anger Management, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Daddy Day Care, Get Smart, and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan—headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Nealon

7:30 pm ($5): A puppet improv & sketch troupe consisting of Nate Brown, Jacqueline Harper, Allison Moy Hayhurst, Julia M. Smith, and David Bizzaro perform at The PIT downstairs lounge: Team Lopez: Improv/Sketch Puppetry

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Jessica Kirson at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Carmen Lynch, Jessica Kirson, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Big Jay Oakerson, Mike Yard, 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 ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Morgan Miller (UCB TourCo), and Josh Rabinowitz performing stand-up atThe PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jonathan Braylock & Steve Way: The Lockdown: Mike Lawrence, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The 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 a guest storyteller (not announced) 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 ($5): Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), and John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm) performing at this weekly variety show for stand-up, sketch, and more at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Amber Nelson, Sabrina Jalees, Jason Saenz, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) joking about their culture—Jewish, African-American, Asian, geek, whatever—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shak Standley & Paul Higbie: The Black Bar Mitzvah

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($10): Improv spinning off the mythic TV series The Golden Girls at The PIT downstairs lounge: Four Broads and Cheesecake: Golden Girls Improv

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two of my favorite stand-ups, Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here) and Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), plus more, performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): This monthly storytelling & variety show is dedicated to an artist or a work of art that has had a significant impact on the lives of various performers from around the city. This month spotlights a timeless legend who embodies the spirit of Christmas at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Oscar Montoya: I Will Always Love You…Santa Claus

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy), Joel Kim Booster, and Brendan Eyre 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): Powerhouse UCB weekend improv groups Grandma’s Ashes and Airwolf compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” with tonight’s stellar guests 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), Natalie Wall (host of Awkward Sex…and the City), and Siobhan Thompson (UCB), all sharing tales at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf, Sarah Tollemache, and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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 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 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: 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)

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 12/10/14

December 10, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Kevin Nealon is on Jimmy Fallon;
Cameron Diaz is on Seth Meyers;
Bob Sagat is on Craig Ferguson;
Judah Friedlander, Mamrie Hart, and
Brooks Wheelan are on @midnight;
another genius episode of South Park at 10:00 pm on CC

Joan Rivers

The Museum of Jewish Heritage pays tribute to a comedy pioneer at Can We Talk?: Remembering Joan Rivers

Ted Alexandro

…and Ted Alexandro & Jeffrey Joseph host a free town hall meeting at LIC’s The Creek on #BLACKLIVESMATTER

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 pm ($15): Friends and comics influenced by Joan Rivers—including Cory Kahaney (Last Comic Standing) and Brad Zimmerman (frequently opened for Joan)—pay tribute via videos, stand-up sets, shared memories, and more at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (36 Battery Place): Can We Talk?: Remembering Joan Rivers

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from seven groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Holiday themed sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Christmas Ham

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Shea Butta Magic (“smooth like a plain bagel with butter”) raps and jokes through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Shea Butta Magic

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Ted Alexandro and Jeffrey Joseph host a town hall and panel discussion on the topic Black Lives Matter at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: #BLACKLIVESMATTER

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Ahmed Ahmed, and Zainab Johnson at the 9:45 show; and Paul Mecurio, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, and Mike Yard at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The talented folks at website Funny or Die perform a sketch comedy show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Funny or Die: Stay Safe

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): NYC stand-ups perform their A-list material for Comedy Central bookers at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing): Comedy Central Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of theatre, art, and comedy talents hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte (young), with Doug Wright (Grey Gardens, I Am My Own Wife), Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Admission), Oliver Butler (director of Jacuzzi and Tick, Tick… BOOM), and Duncan Pflaster (creator of The Naughty Jewish Boys Calendar), plus celebrity guest bartender Paul Erik Davis (Satan’s Little Helper, Eden Butz) performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Erin Harkes (Jimmy Fallon), Joe DeVito (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately), Chris Williams (Gotham Comedy), Jay Welch, and Jocelyn Chia performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Liz Magee: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy), Natalie Wall (host of Awkward Sex…and the City), Natasha Rogers, Megan Lohne, Nick Markovich, Angela Perrone, and Rich Templeton 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($20 at the door or $24.72 online): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country) hosts this special holiday show featuring Bridget Everett (cabaret dynamo who must be experienced), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows; co-host of Myrtle Comedy), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Dave’s band Valley Lodge, all performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues; take the R to 9th Street or the F to 4th Avenue): Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and Tell Me All Your Secrets

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Five writers for The Daily Show—Zhubin Parang, JR Havlan, Matt Koff, Adam Lowitt, and Travon Free—plus Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone, new comedy album Bangs!), Ryan Beck (MTV’s Girl Code), Ricky Gonzalez, Paul Schissler, and Kevin Gootee 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

9:15 pm ($8): Sketch comedy from groups Pop Filter, Unisex, Grape Dutches of York, and Don’t Touch That Comedy, solo sketch from Paul Valenti, plus stand-ups Harry Terjanian, Jarret Berenstein, and Calvin S. Cato, all performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by producer KL Thomas: December Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but there’ll be standing room tickets on the standby line): For the last time (because Stephen Colbert is retiring his character and ending his Comedy Central show to take over for David Letterman at CBS), the Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

9:30 pm ($5): Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Teresa Lee, and Nick Callas performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm (FREE cover online or by calling 212.757.4100 with code SKETCHY, but there’s still a 2-drink min.): A holiday show from the only sketch comedy group that performs at the Carolines Comedy Club—which includes writing from the brilliant Nicole DiMattei (The Imbible)—plus stand-up from Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Laundry Day

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), 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), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), and more performing stand-up and/up music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Sam Haft: The Lemonade Stand: Nick DiPaolo, Jessica Delfino, Rory Albanese, 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): Typically superb improv couples (not announced) perform at the UCB East theatre hosted by comedy giants Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell (staff writer for Saturday Night Live): Couples Skate

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Sopranos star Vincent Pastore (“Big Pussy”), Ben Sinclair & Katja Blichfeld (High Maintenance), Sean O’Connor (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), and Nick Maritato are interviewed and/or perform 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 the Stand 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil/The Standing Room Comedy 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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/9/14

December 9, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Ricky Gervais is on Jimmy Fallon;
Ben Stiller is on David Letterman;
Ben Schwartz is on Craig Ferguson;
Al Madrigal, Jim Jefferies, and Rhys Darby are on @midnight

Christmas Tree: Conifers, Spruces, and Pines

Joe Pera writes & co-stars at UCB East in a play about a Christmas tree: Conifers, Spruces, and Pines

Katie Hartman and David Carl

…Katie Hartman & David Carl are explosive dueling forces of nature at The PIT’s David and Katie Get Re-Married

Making Friends in Social Media

…and Jo Firestone and a panel of experts explain how to make friends at Firestone Success Academy

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; radio host; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) spearheads this show designed to make you a success, with tonight’s goal How to Make Friends aided by “a social media maker named Meredith, a school teacher named Chris, and a bartender named Kevin” at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street): Firestone Success Academy: How to Make Friends

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): Christine Holt & Mary Guiteras tend bar for a living, then let off steam by performing improv springboarding off true stories by their guests at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bartenders’ Holiday Party

7:00 pm ($5): A one-man stand-up & character show at The PIT upstairs theatre from Adrian Davidson

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Shea Butta Magic (“smooth like a plain bagel with butter”) raps and jokes through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Shea Butta Magic

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Trevor Noah, Gregg Rogell, Carmen Lynch, and MIke Yard (hosting) at the 7:45 show; and Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[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), Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Doogie Horner (America’s Got Talent), Jace Avery, and Pete Bladel performing stand-up at The Lovecraft Bar (50 Avenue B, between 3rd and 4th Streets) hosted by Tom Lisi & Stephen Spinola: National Treasures of Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), and Myka Fox performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by Calvin Cole & Sharron Paul that calls attention to its inexpensive price: Cheap Date

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, co-host of Late Night Trash) Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central), and Lynn Bixenspan (Relationshit) performing stand-up, plus music from Nancy, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, JF Harris, Sue Smith, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): A two-gal sketch show about dating during the holidays from Angela Spera & Laura Lane at The PIT upstairs theatre: This Is Why You’re Single: Holiday Edition

8:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

8:00 pm ($5): “Remember the happy, bouncy, Broadway-loving Rosie O’Donnell of the ’90s? Jody Shelton, Douglas Widick, and Sudi Green sure do! Come see them recreate the primarily color-heavy, Tom Cruise adoration-filled show that you loved watching with your mom,” with guest actors and comics performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Rosie O’Donnell Show: Christmas with Rosie

[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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Kevin Nealon (SNL star, Showtime’s Weeds, HBO), 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), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, 30 Rock, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[$] [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): Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Sean O’Connor (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Jeff Maurer (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Alingon Mitra (Last Comic Standing), and Rus Gutin performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) 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 Smalls, Side Piece, and The Enemy at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliant comedy talents David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) team up to become dueling explosive forces of nature (when I saw the first version of this in June, they almost destroyed the stage, with cake, champagne, and imaginary blood everywhere) at The PIT upstairs theatre: David and Katie Get Re-Married

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Joe Pera writes and co-stars (with a dozen friends) a holiday play “set in Petoskey, MI about finding the perfect Christmas tree” at the UCB East theatre: Conifers, Spruces, and Pines

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Nick DiPaolo, Dan Soder, Joe List, Damien Lemon, 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: Stand-up, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Seth Cockfield: War On Sadness

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Taylor Ketchum, Christi Chiello, Tyler Richardson, Jonathan Morvay, Julia Prescott, and Cory Cavin performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis (playing a new character at every show): The Tuesday Special

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Typically superb stand-ups (not announced) performing at this new free weekly stand-up 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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by 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 walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs 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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/8/14

December 8, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: President Barrack Obama is on The Colbert Report;
Chris Rock is on Jimmy Fallon;
Amy Poehler is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Dave Attell is on Craig Ferguson;
Norman Lear is on Jon Stewart;
Paul F. Tompkins, Alex Borstein, and Brandon Johnson are on @midnight

GhostCatchers: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

Ghostbusters is turned into a musical parody at 6:00 pm

GhostCatchers: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

…and 9:30 pm at The PIT in GhostCatchers

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 ($20): Ghostbusters is set to music, with the book by Christopher W. Barnes and the songs by Ryan Mercy (music) & Christopher W. Barnes (lyrics), produced by Ronny Pascale at The PIT upstairs theatre with two performances tonight: GhostCatchers: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) featuring guest storytellers Zac Willette and Meliora Dockery at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

[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 stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Jessica Kirson, and Dan Soder (hosting) at the 7:45 show, and Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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, “When Trevor and Craig, two business adversaries, suddenly realize they’re identical twin brothers, they decide to switch places, reunite their divorced parents, and become a family again. But there’s a few problems: Dad is too busy fucking sewer boys, and Mom’s vagina fell off her body and crawled away! Will Trevor and Craig be able to reunite the family they never knew they wanted? Also, it’s a musical. Basically The Parent Trap for horrible, disgusting people:” Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jessica Williams (star correspondent on The Daily Show) & Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine) guest host tonight’s show with Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Mehran Khaghani, and Shane Torres performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, author of Agorafabulous), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), Scarlett Curtis, and Akilah Hughes share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB Easthosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that’s “fast-paced sketch and infused with music you love to dance to” at The PITupstairs theatre from troupe Defiance

[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): Listen Kid! (comedy duo Kevin Cobbs & Alessandro King) perform a collection of its best sketches, plus some new sketches, at The Magnet theatre: Listen Kid!: Ghost of Christmas Present

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Kerryn Feehan, Jim Search, and Noah Gardenswartz performing stand-up, plus music from Kevin Johnston, all at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): Ghostbusters is set to music, with the book by Christopher W. Barnes and the songs by Ryan Mercy (music) & Christopher W. Barnes (lyrics), produced by Ronny Pascale at The PIT upstairs theatre with two performances tonight: GhostCatchers: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

9:30 ($5): New Maude Night group One Idiot performs sketch comedy at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Maude Night: One Idiot

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

[TOP PICK] 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Christian Finnegan, Adam Newman, Pete Lee, Monroe Martin, Rory Albanese, Jordan Carlos, Josh Gondelman, Derek Gaines, and Luchana Gatica performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) typically hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental,documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly comedy variety show featuring sketch, character bits, and stand-up at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Comedic Information

[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 Leo Allen, 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)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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