NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/13/15

April 13, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for select comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: : Sarah Jessica Parker is on David Letterman;
Chris D’Elia is on Conan O’Brien;
Mike Lawrence, Arden Myrin, and Guy Branum are on @midnight

The Hungry Hungry Games: The UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

The PIT debuts the latest extravaganza in its Unauthorized Musical Parody series: The Hungry Hungry Games

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Redefining our concept of dance are a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience them in April and May—starting tonight—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door with code words HyReviews.com and TheSkint, otherwise $10): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Whatever Happened to the Nerds? and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), featuring guest storyteller Colin Wihm 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

7:00 pm ($7): improv built on the structures found in Baroque music at The Magnet theatre: Rococo Puffs

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro, Greer Barnes, and Carmen Lynch at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Keith Alberstadt, Rachel Feinstein, Ricky Velez, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Joe Machi, Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Performances from some of UCB’s best sketch, character, and improv comics, including Connor Ratliff, Brandon Scott Jones, Laura Grey, Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp, Don Fanelli, Natasha Vaynblat, Terry Withers, Joanna Bradley, Kristen Acimovic, and Mike Kelton at the UCB Chelsea theatre: UCB Spring Showcase

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; co-author of food parody book FUDS), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Eliot Glazer (Broad City, (Haunting Renditions), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Dwayne Kennedy, and Noah Gardenswartz performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Lane Moore, Lance Weiss, Tom Cowell, Sarah Tollemache, and Simmons McDavid performing stand-up for this free show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Carolyn Busa and hosted by Billy Prinsell: Side Ponytail

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

8:30 pm ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): The debut of a musical parody of The Hunger Games with a cast of 18 comedic performers, with book by Christopher W. Barnes and songs by Ryan Mercy produced by Ronny Pascale at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Hungry Hungry Games: The UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Goodbye, Handsome (which includes irresistible dynamo Christine Bullen, the also superb Audrey Stanfield and Lauren Brickman, and a terrific group of writers) and Nipsy (which includes the highly talented Natasha Vaynblat): Maude Night: Goodbye, Handsome and Nipsy

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) 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: Sabrina Jalees, Barry Rothbart, Ben Kronberg, and More

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

10:15 pm ($7): Eight students join veteran improv group The Wrath for this show only at The Magnet theatre: Wrath for a Day

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at 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—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 4/12/15

April 12, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Amy Schumer hosts the MTV Movie Awards at 8:00 pm

Sasheer Zamata

Sasheer Zamata (above), Adam Newman, and more perform stand-up at The Loud Boys Show

Michael Ian Black

…and Michael Ian Black concludes his headlining run 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:

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Andrew Law (staff writer for Seth Meyers;recurring character on HBO’s Looking; previously wrote for Comedy Central’s The Jeselnik Offensive and truTV’sImpractical Jokers), and Catherine Cohen performing stand-up or sketch at Pianos (158 Ludlow Street) produced by Jane Clausen and hosted by Yoni Lotan & Mark Vigeant: The Loud Boys Show: Sasheer Zamata, Adam Newman, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($11.54 online using code JUICE, otherwise $20 at the door): A musical version of a famed 1989 movie with book & lyrics by Christopher W. Barnes and music by Ryan Mercy, produced by Ronny Pascale at The PIT upstairs theatre (for a video sneak peek, please click here): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) Star member of legendary sketch troupe & seminal MTV series The State, co-star of NBC’s Ed, co-star of Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues, and host or co-host of numerous other TV shows and podcasts headlining one last night as a stand-up at the Carolines Comedy Club:Michael Ian Black

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

7:00 pm ($5): Roughly 2,059 years after the assassination of Julius Caesar, Michael Bertrando offers the world an apology for that brutal death via an oddball show—that includes the chance for you to win a bottle of wine—at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Blue Spark Plug

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien): Mike Recine’s Sunday Sauce: Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Joe List, Damien Lemon, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, Ricky Velez, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Keith Alberstadt, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Joe Matarese, and Big Jay Oakerson 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): Superb improvisors Aparna Nancherla, Morgan Philips, Jon Bander, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak:People Improvising

8:00 pm ($5): Rebecca Vigil (rising star who’s a powerhouse improv singer with a lightning-quick wit; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard Lonely and Vicious), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Julio Torres, Jared Freid, and Paul Oddo performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

8:00 pm ($5): Jodi Lennon (Marc Maron: The Voice of Something, Exit 57) and two guest improvisors make up scenes from a year in the life of three people at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): What a Year!

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

9:00 pm ($7): Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), Subhah Agarwal, Trey Galyon, Mike Denny, and Joel Kim Booster performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which typically includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Act One

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): A Philadelphia comedy group performs stand-up and sketch at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Center City Comedy

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/11/15

April 11, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Taraji P. Henson hosts SNL at 11:29 pm on NBC

Leslie Goshko and James Bewley

Lots of comedic music tonight, including Leslie Goshko and James Bewley (above) hosting a gala absurd tribute to Lawrence Welk at Wunnerful Wunnerful!; Rebecca Vigil, David & Katie, Summer & Eve, and more performing song-driven comedy at Coldchella; sharp musical sketch from group Pop Roulette; improvisors making up lyrics at Happy Karaoke Fun Time!; and a musical history of alcohol at The Imbible

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:

6:00 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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Kate Berlant (MTV, IFC, CNN, Billy on the Street) and John Early (30 Rock, Comedy Central, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer) performing at the UCB East theatre: Hey: An Evening With Kate Berlant and John Early

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Ricky Velez, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Ricky Velez, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and Ricky Velez at the 9:15 show; and Ari Shaffir, Nick Griffin, Ricky Velez, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of thevery finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro, Janeane Garofalo, and More

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): The University of Pennsylvania’s all-gal sketch & musical comedy troupe performs a rare NYC “best of” show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bloomers

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): An all-gal improv show mixing women from The PIT’s free improv nights with those on PIT improv house teams at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ladies of the PIT

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) Star member of legendary sketch troupe & seminal MTV series The State, co-star of NBC’s Ed, co-star of Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues, and host or co-host of numerous other TV shows and podcasts headlining tonight and Sunday as a stand-up at the CarolinesComedy Club: Michael Ian Black

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storyteller Lyssa Mandel invites some of the finest comics in NYC—who tonight are Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Dan Hodapp (Jimmy Fallon, UCBT’s sketch troupe Beige and musical Newsadoozies, co-producer of PIT improv show The Scene, co-star of smash FringeNYC show Tail! Spin!), Tom Cowell (The Village Voice), and Matteo Lane—to “expose their bleeding-heart adolescent artifacts (journal entries, poetry, original songs, and art), then laugh at and with their own flaws” at Brooklyn’s Union Hall : The Bitch Seat

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25; 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.), Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), 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), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

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

8:00 pm ($8): “When the long-time owner of Ski Mountain dies, everyone expects the mountain to be passed down to his beloved daughter Jocelyn. However, his evil older son Ernest appears at the funeral and takes his lawful control of the mountain. Ernest’s first order of business is to fly in a Swiss mountain and stack it on top of Snow mountain…making a double mountain. While everyone loves the double mountain at first, it becomes clear that Ernest has ulterior motives when he continues flying in Swiss mountains, stacking them higher and higher. With a crisis on their hands, Jocelyn, a reclusive trailer rater named Bearnie, and the employees and residents of Snow Mountain must save the day” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Crisis on Ski Mountain

[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): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 at the door plus 2-item food/drink min.): The wonderful Leslie Goshko & James Bewley host an oddball tribute to classic TV series The Lawrence Welk Show with a small army of comedic musical guests at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place): Wunnerful Wunnerful!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): The super-talented Rebecca Vigil (rising star who’s a powerhouse improv singer with a lightning-quick wit; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical) and Anna Roisman (MTV; co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You) host a show devoted to comedic music, with guests David Carl & Katie Hartman (spectacular musical sketch show David and Kate Get Re-Married), Summer & Eve (superb singing group), and musical group Nancy, all performing at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Coldchella

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): This unique weekly show incorporates song and dance into sketch comedy focused on pop culture—and does it surprisingly well, with strong writing and a sharp cast of performers. The latter include Amanda Shechtman, who has a lovely musical theatre voice and would fit right in on Broadway (musical comedy casting directors, please take note). It all happens at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

9:30 pm ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

9:30 pm ($5): An improv show describing itself as “a lights up, lights down, mix-up mash-up, comme ci comme ca, anything goes kinda show” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dim Wit

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($25; 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.), Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), 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), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, Christian Finnegan, and More

[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

[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 ($5): 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 Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Philip Markle (Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre): Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy spearheaded by such members as Henry Zebrowski (co-star of Wolf of Wall Street). This group won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group, was written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times, and performs tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

11:00 pm ($10): With the help of social media, writers & performers put together an entire sketch show from scratch in one intense day and then perform it at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sktch Shw

11:30 pm ($5): Jake Fogelnest (Squirt TV’s Wet Hot American Summer) and Kristen Bartlett (writer for terrific sketch group Goodbye Handsome) are guests at “a live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons: Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Real-life lovers Diana Kolsky & Murf Meyer bring you the live counterpart to their saucy podcast, a fun, ballsy, raucous variety show about the audience” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Menage a Trois Radio Live

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:30 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/10/15

April 10, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Nathan Lane and Kristen Schaal are on Seth Meyers (repeated from 3/30)

Enchantment Park

An amusement park is brought to life on stage at Enchantment Park

Michael Ian Black

…and Michael Ian Black headlines tonight through Sunday 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, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Mike Yard, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; and Judah Friedlander, Carmen Lynch, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 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

7:00 pm ($5): A house sketch group that includes the wonderful Sarah Nowak performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: National Scandal

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

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

7:00 pm ($10): The Magnet theatre hands out its annual awards to its own performers at The Maggies

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($5): Ace improvisors Shannon O’Neill and Tami Sagher team with guests to brilliantly make up scenes on the spot at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): Brandon Scott Jones (ace improv group Grandma’s Ashes, ace sketch group Stone Cold Fox, co-host of Gentrify), Gavin Speiller (member of top improv group Death by Roo Roo, Jean Grae (rapper/hip-hop producer), and Mychal Denzel (MSNBD, CNN, The Nation) being interviewed and/or performing at at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for Jamie Kilstein’s & Allison Kilkenny’s Citizen Radio Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) Star member of legendary sketch troupe & seminal MTV series The State, co-star of NBC’s Ed, co-star of Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues, and host or co-host of numerous other TV shows and podcasts headlining tonight through Sunday as a stand-up at the CarolinesComedy Club: Michael Ian Black

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($11.54 online using code EINSTEIN, otherwise $20 at the door): A superb Back to the Future parody with songs and special effects live on stage. The show starts out too slowly in the present time, but becomes quite fun once Marty travels to the past; and by Act 2 it’s a hilarious romp that I highly recommend. The show is by Christopher W. Barnes (book), Ryan Mercy (music) and Christopher W. Barnes (lyrics), produced by Ronny Pascale, and featuring a cast of over a dozen comics performing at The PIT upstairs theatre:That 80s Time Travel Movie: The UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

[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.), Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central specialPassive Aggressive), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, and More

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

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

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

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

[FREE—plus FREE DRINKS! Reserve seats by emailing BritPackRentals@gmail.com with subject INTERVENTION]9:00 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’sThe Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author ofTasteful Nudes), Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), and Tony Zaret performing stand-up at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Hoff Matthews & Lukas Kaiser: HP5000 Live Comedy

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

[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.), Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A show about pop culture, plus its signature “eat all the things” show in which performers eat things on stage. “The honey badger is a fearless animal and we at HBB produce burlesque that is fresh, funny, and fearless” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City created by Charles Stunning & Cheri Cola: Honey Badger Burlesque

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv, first from seven-member group Good Catch, and then from Tourist Trapwhich consists of members from world-class group Baby Wants Candy and more, all at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Good Catch and Tourist Trap

10:30 pm ($10): Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Alan Starzinski (MTV), and Ramy Youssef (Nickelodeon) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Tom Lisi, Adrian Davidson, Jessica Georgina Clark, James Ill, and Liz Magee perform stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch: Totally Normal Stand-Up

[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 Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band), stand-up from Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) and Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host of Midnight Stand-Up), and Game of Thrones-based burlesque from Cherry Pitz & Rosie Cheeks, 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)

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/9/15

April 9, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on Conan O’Brien;
Keith Alberstadt is on Seth Meyers;
Matthew Perry, Aubrey Plaza, and Thomas Lennon
are on James Corden (repeated on 3/31);
Jamie Lee is on Carson Daly (repeated from 2/23);
Pete Holmes, Matt McCarthy, and Jamie Lee are on @midnight;
and see below

Louie

Louie is the best comedy show on TV in large part thanks to Louis C.K.’s continually pushing at the boundaries of what’s doable on a weekly series—and unlike virtually any other TV comic, not by being exceptionally loud, vulgar, or shocking, but by being extraordinarily subtle, smart, artful, and insistent on discovering and sharing truths. Season 5 kicks off tonight on FX at 10:33 pm (with repeats at 11:35 pm and 1:41 am). If you missed episodes of previous seasons, get caught up for free here.

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:

6:30 pm ($5): Musical comedy duo Michael Wolf & Colin O’Brien are Nancy, and they’re auditioning a 25-minute show music & sketch show in hopes of earning a run at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Nancy: Songs in the Key of Life

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): 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.), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Lane Moore (The Onion), Emily Epstein White, and Jason Kanter performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish 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), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host ofBlaria Live), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Sam Evans, Calvin S. Cato, Erik Lazenski, and Camille Theobald performing stand-up, plus music from Xilomen Cofield, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Dan Soder at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Damien Lemon, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): 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 singing 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

[META-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Great lineup of Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Parks & Recreation, The Office, Conan O’Brien IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow,and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), and Julio Torres performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) guest-hosted by Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; author of Tasteful Nudes): Myrtle Comedy

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

…and then the smartest, funniest parody currently playing at UCB, in which Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz tackles zombies, homophobia, weak scripting for female protagonists, and the Hollywood studio system, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed and co-starring the fabulous Laura Grey. If you see only one scripted show at UCB this month, make it the charming and hilarious Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics Katie Haller (co-host of You Probably Think This Song is About You) Lisa Kleinman (co-host of Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show), Jen Keefe, and Danny Tenzer share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by the wonderful Natalie Wall (host of superb storytelling show Awkward Sex…and the City, co-producer of Bad Assery): Awkward Poop…and the City

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque comedic play about the iconic female characters in Disney animated films at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to the Ladies of Disney

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): 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) and Julian Velard (singer-songwriter) host this show mixing stand-up and music, with tonight’s guests Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) and Har Mar Superstar (singer/songwriter Sean Tillmann) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Comfort Zone

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

8:00 pm ($5): A rotating cast of NYC comics perform characters in a specific setting—e.g., a small town’s PTA meeting, a Holistic Wellness Convention, a political rally for donuts—with each show totally different at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Dodd & Jamie Aderski: Characters at…(BLANK)

8:00 pm [DISCOUNTED] ($7.50 online with code ComedyWeek—or attend the 10:00 pm taping, which is free via the same code; no min.): Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) records his first stand-up comedy album tonight, with the help of your laughs, at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Paul Virzi Comedy Album Recording

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ashley Morris, Kevin Iso, Drew Michael, and Zack Chapaloni performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

9:00 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 ($5): Two improv house teams, O’Hare (with Nick Lachey) and Nugget (Brit Belsheim and a different guest each show), make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): O’Hare + Nugget

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Blogologues (ace theatrical troupe spearheaded by Allison Goldberg & Jen Jamula that uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), and Charles Gould (co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show) performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Will Stephen for a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

10:00 pm [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] (entirely free online with code ComedyWeek; no min.): Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) records his first stand-up comedy album tonight, with the help of your laughs, at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Paul Virzi Comedy Album Recording

[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

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

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

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but there’s a whole lot of people in it performing at the UCB East theatre: $$$

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening monthly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/8/15

April 8, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is on Jimmy Fallon;
Ben Stiller is on David Letterman (repeated from 3/23);
Kristen Schaal, Horatio Sanz, and Will Forte are on @midnight

Jo Firestone and Liza Minnelli

Jo Firestone debuts a UCB Chelsea show in which her super-inventiveness is given free rein. Tonight’s scheduled event is “an hour of people impersonating Liza Minnelli:” The Unexpectashow

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 ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and/or more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

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

7:30 pm ($5): Improv from David Bluvband, Lauren Adams, Noah Forman, and Diana Kolsky revolving around the theme of addiction at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14—or $10 for 11:30 show—plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Tom Papa, Gary Gulman, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril 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 ($15; no min.): Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), 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), movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central specialPassive Aggressive), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays), and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street):Morgan Murphy, Mark Normand, Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show by Frank Garcia Hejl playing self-help author Preston Santiago plugging his new book Life Vibrations “filled with fascinating case studies: a troubled cop, a violently ticklish grandpa, a power-drunk DJ, and more:” Oh No!

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of theatre, art, and comedy talents hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte, with cabaret performer Erin Markey (Puppy Love: A Stripper’s Tail, The Dardy Family Home Movies), singer Grace McLean (Natural Disaster, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook), costume designer Gregory Gale (Rock of Ages, The Wedding Singer, Cyrano de Bergerac), and sketch group Unitard Comedy (Mike Albo, Nora Burns, and David Ilku), plus celebrity guest bartender Paul Erik Davis, all performing at Judson Memorial Church(239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Lakendra Tookes (writer for Saturday Night Live), Jordan Ferber, Katrin Higher, and Neil Constantine performing for this free weekly stand-up show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, Jackie Jax, and Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Regina DeCicco, Mark Anthony Ramirez, Carolyn Busa, and Troy Allen performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Adeline Chung: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($8): Greg Barris hosts the premiere screening of the first 5 episodes of webseries Roommates (with each episode running around 4 minutes), plus live performances from Tallie Medel (Cocoon Central Dance Team), Mike Pomranz, and Taylor Ketchum at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Screening & Release Party for Webseries Roommates

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Brendan Fitzgibbons, Justin Flanagan, Patrick Monahan, May Wilkerson, and Maya Klausner, and improv groups Big Time Virgins and LL Cool J, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Lucas Connolly & DJ Jerry Mouse: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, VH1, Adult Swim), Jeff Mackinnon (MTV’s Ridiculousness), Doogie Horner (NBC’s America’s Got Talent), and Matt Schwartzer (host of I Don’t Get It)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 ($10): Sketch comedy from groups Cool Kid Comedy, FUCT, Captains of Industry, and UniSex, stand-up from Zach Garner, and more at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Nathan Rand: April Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show written by Livia and friends that typically stars such notable talents as Livia, Ann Carr, Keisha Zollar, and half a dozen other comics at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): 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), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), Matt Monroe (visiting from Detroit), and Tanael Joachim performing stand-up at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Jessica 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), Matteo Lane, and more performing stand-up and/or music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Sam Haft: The Lemonade Stand: Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Delfino, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Patrick Noah and Zack Willis ask audience members about the worst lies they’ve ever told and then springboard those anecdotes into improvised scenes at the UCB East theatre: True Lies

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show,radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this new “anything might happen comedy chaos” monthly show. Tonight’s debut consists of people impersonating Liza Minnelli for an hour at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 4/7/15

April 7, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: It’s a rich night of heavy-hitters, with
Louis C.K. on Jimmy Fallon (presumably letting folks know
about Season 5 of Louie debuting Thursday at 10:30 on FX—
and btw, Louis performed a genius set last night at a magical Whiplash);
Ricky Gervais is on Conan O’Brien;
Tig Notaro and Rob Corddry are on James Corden;
Peter Dinklage is on The Daily Show (I know, not a comedy guest; but it’s Peter Dinklage!!!);
and Adam Ray, Andrew Santino, and Jessimae Peluso are on @midnight

Morgan Murphy

Comedy treasure Morgan Murphy performs at 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm at The Stand

Kate Berlant

…Kate Berlant (above), Dave Hill, Sabrina Jalees, and more perform at LES’ Cake Shop

Cocoon Central Dance Team

…and Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani provide you with a unique and delightful blend of comedy & movement at The PIT as Cocoon Central Dance Team

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] 5:30 pm: A rare opportunity to see this freestyle rapping long-form improv group at no charge (so it can create a promo film) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: North Coast: Free Show Taping

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Redefining our concept of dance are a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience them in April and May at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors remake a blockbuster film (suggested by the audience) in the style of indie filmmaker Wes Anderson at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wes Anderson Remakes Your Favorite Movie

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Shaun Diston, and/or Patrick Noth at the UCB Chelsea theatre. Tonight celebrates the show’s 2 Year Anniversary: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro and Keith Alberstadt at the 7:30 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Dov Davidoff, Lenny Marcus, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, and Nick Griffin at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Hosts Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast) and John Early John Early (30 Rock,Comedy Central, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer) welcome exceptional comics Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Kate Berlant (MTV, IFC, CNN), Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Lisa Curry, and Shane Torres performing stand-up at Cake Shop(152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton): Cakeshop Comedy: Dave Hill, Sabrina Jalees, Kate Berlant, Guy Branum, Maeve Higgins, and More

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): A mash-up of two stand-ups on stage at the same time, tonight featuring Morgan Murphy & Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir & Big Jay Oakerson, and RIch Vos & Bonnie McFarlane performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci & Luis J. Gomez: The Comedy Mash-Up Show with Morgan Murphy, Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Rich Vos, Big Jay Oakerson, and Bonnie McFarlane

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): A monthly wild pun competition hosted by father-daughter duo Fred Firestone and Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow, The Incredible Game Show Showcase) and lots more), with 18 audience members competing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Punderdome 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door, or $6 for two tickets online using code UCBNYCGO): A monthly show about obsessions with pop culture, tonight revolving around Things We Hate with guests Tami Sagher (superb staff writer for Broad City; former writer for 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and Inside Amy Schumer; writer and producer forMad TV, 2001-2006), Halle Kiefer (MTV, Vulture), and Lane Moore (The Onion) at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino & Anne Rodeman: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

8:00 pm ($10): “A private detective is hired by a beautiful dame. Before this complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love” written by and co-starring Nicholas Thomas & George Walsh at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Murder Wrapped in Plastic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Margaret Dodge, Gilbert Lawand, Chase Mitchell, Mary Houlihan, and Chris Millhouse performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, JF Harris, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Andrew Wolford, Kaytlin Bailey, Gene Getman, and Evan M. Williams performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by David Shine & Derrick Thompson: Double D Tuesday

[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

9:00 pm ($7): Matt Monroe (visiting from Detroit), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Bill Dawes, and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Peggy O’Leary, Kevin Froleiks, Tyler Richardson, Jericho Davidson, Rae Sanni, and Taylor Connelly performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Higgins, Women & Men, and Slamball at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5 at the door, or $6 for two tickets online using code UCBNYCGO): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh), plus NYC comics Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Rae Sanni (The Three A-Nergoes podcast), and Steve Way, all performing at theUCB East theatre: The Tony Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Superb comic Tracy Mull (group Jean Pool) performs the rare and difficult art of solo improv—in a competition against herself!—in an improv meta-show that both parodies and celebrates all things improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tracy vs. Tracy: Competitive Solo Improv

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Strong lineup of Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, Mark Normand, Robert Kelly, Damien Lemon, and Danny Palmer performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: All-Star LIneup

[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: A frat party-styled stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Creek Bros

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and lesser-known stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at the UCB East theatre: Chemistry

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1, or buy a drink): “A night of sad things” from NYC comics (not announced) at theTreehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Zack Martin: Flow Thy Tears: A Sad-Ass Comedy Show

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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