NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/14/14

August 14, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 show ratings & rankings, please click here.
For show reviews, please click here.

TV Alert: Aubrey Plaza is on Conan O’Brien;
Whitney Cummings is on Chelsea Lately;
Cameron Diaz and Kevin Nealon are on Ellen DeGeneres
(repeated from 2/13);
NBC’s Last Comic Standing has a finale I couldn’t care less about
and won’t be watching, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for new work
from LCS’ genuine breakout star, Joe Machi (appearing tonight
on Lasers in the Jungle)

Absolutely Filthy

What may be the best FringeNYC show of the festival is a takeoff on Peanuts from the perspective of Pig-Pen; read my review here. It’s selling out fast, so grab tickets now for the three remaining performances of Absolutely Filthy

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star on this season’s Last Comic Standing—and the only finalist who actually merits winning), 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), Zach Broussard (Jimmy Fallon), and Lynn Bixenspan (MTV) performing stand-up and/or singing at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Improvisors make up scenes springboarding off the gallery of a guest artist—who in turn creates a piece of art on the spot inspired by the improvisors—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Rory Scholl: ArtProv with Ari Lankin

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Jim Tewes (HBO) hones a long stand-up set tonight through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Jim Tewes

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.)  One of the funniest guys in comedy headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Ben Bailey and Ryan Hamilton at the 7:45 show; Gary Gulman and Zainab Johnson at the the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus and Lynne Koplitz (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Dan Soder, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door, or $11.59 in advance online): Storytelling from Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio), and Matty Blake (30 Rock, Orange Is The New Black, producer of The Actors Grind Podcast), plus game “Craigslist Ad or Casting Notice?”, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by the quick-witted & endearing Katharine Heller (Naked in a Fishbowl): Tell the Bartender

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Hello Laser and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Your Job: The Musical (improvisors interview an audience member about his or her job and then use that information to create a musical on the spot), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from award-winning storyteller Adam Wade at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Nathan Macintosh, and Sergio Chicon performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street): FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Brendan McLaughlin, Asie Mohtarez, Anita Flores, and Koshin Egal performing stand-up, plus music from Savvas and the Skinny, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

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

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “With half their friends and family raptured and the Apocalypse in full swing, the St. Burlingame Yearbook Staff must chronicle student life, extracurriculars, and the rise of the Antichrist before the seventh trumpet sounds:” The Yearbook of Revelation

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Adam Mamawala, Tim Dillon, Brittany Sherrod, and Saurin Choksi performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street): FTH Comedy

8:30 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Chris Duffy, Jason Nash, and Scott Chaplain performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A fine lineup of The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), and Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased) performing stand-up, plus sketch troupe Boat, at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Gethard, Aparna Nancherla, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Ali Farahnakian (SNL, owner of The PIT) plays “a hostage negotiator who has to talk a special guest out of a dangerous situation and off of a ledge; maybe they’ll also both work through some stuff together” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Iranian Hostage Negotiator

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

10:30 pm ($5): Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Conner O’Malley (Seth Meyers), and David Agyekum performing at this weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The winner of last week’s improv battle, Jimmy Fedora, goes up against improv group Smokehouse, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/13/14

August 13, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 show ratings & rankings, please click here.
To learn what’s selling out, please click here.

TV Alert: Kumail Nanjiani & Jonah Ray and
Martin Lawrence are on Conan O’Brien;
Aubrey Plaza is on Chelsea Lately;
Kevin Hart is on Ellen DeGeneres (repeated from 2/11)

20-40

A rude, unsettling, and laugh-out-loud funny sketch comedy group that sold out its opening night continues its FringeNYC run tonight at 9:45 pm at LES’ 21-A Clinton Street: 20/400: Sketchy as F*ck

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] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, including afree improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Jim Tewes (HBO) hones a long stand-up set tonight through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Jim Tewes

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 9:45 show, and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, and Ari Shaffir (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central Half Hour), and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Brody Stevens, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sketch duo Peter Sherer & Nicole Drespel helpfully inform us that “The new season ofDoctor Who premieres August 23rd and you’ve waited way too long to catch up. Give us an hour and we’ll cover all of time and space plus 50 years of British television and still have you home in time to be dropping references to companions and Daleks like a straight up Time Lord (or Lady)” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Doctor Who? 50 Years of Spoilers

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scientists, nerds, and/or comics Erika Engelhaupt, David Epstein, Loren Grush, Nelson Lugo, and Steve Zimmer, and host Ben Lillie become comedic storytellers at this monthly show that tonight focuses on the topic Awkward Science at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): The Story Collider

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Kendra Cunningham (Last Comic Standing), Vicky Kuperman, Stephanie Holmes, Oniyide Francis, Joe Gerics, and Katie Compa performing stand-up at theProducer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE; plus FREE BACON] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at this show that provides you with both free comedy and free bacon at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kevin Berrey and/or Farah Brook: Free Bacon

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls,Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing), Liza Treyger, and KC Arora performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

9:15 pm ($8): Character comedy from Tim Girrbach, Zach Garner, and Adam Hamway, and sketch comedy from groups Business Computer and Unisex, all at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) produced by KL Thomas and hosted by Rob Asaro: August Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

…and in the second half of this double-bill is one of the finest sketch groups in the country. Its writers include stellar comics Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya (Brandon also directed this show); and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolves around the mass shopping experience:Stone Cold Fox Goes to the Mall

9:30 pm ($10): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), and Tom Cowell performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($18): A sketch show that focuses on over-the-top characters who are likely to make you laugh and cringe at the same time from Lauren Olson, Jana Schmieding, and Christian Paluck, who’ve spent years performing together at The Magnet developing an easy comedy chemistry. For video samples, please click here and here; and for my review, please click here. The opening night sold out, but tickets for tonight are still available online and at the door at FringeNYC Venue #5 (21-A Clinton Street): 20/400: Sketchy as F*ck

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Brody Stevens, 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): Improvisors who happen to live with each other—Brandon Gardner & Achilles Stamatelaky; Jo Firestone, Liz Noth & Clara Morris; and Joel Weidl, Ryan Haney & John Trowbridge—get together on stage to make up scenes on the spot at the UCB East theatre: Roommates!

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the wonderful Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC) does a one-woman stand-up show about anything that catches her delightful attention: Michelle Wolf: She Needs a Cat

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

5:30 pm ($3): Walk-in open mic providing each performer 5 minutes (or more, depending on turnout) at This Theater (154 West 29th Street): The Worm Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 8/12/14

August 12, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 show reviews, please click here.
To learn what’s selling out, please click here.

TV Alert: Rob Riggle is on Jimmy Fallon;
Damon Wayans Jr. is on Conan O’Brien

Robin Williams

RIP Robin Williams

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

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

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

7:00 pm ($10): A panel of comics discuss recent scientific breakthroughs at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Mike Blejer: Malignant Brain Humor

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Ted Alexandro, Gary Gulman, and Carmen Lynch at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Gregg Rogell, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: 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.), Jordan Klepper (correspondent for The Daily Show), and more performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by JF Harris, Lukas Kaiser, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), John Fugelsang (TV and Broadway actor), and Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Ray Devito and Josh Carter: Gary Gulman, Marina Franklin, John Fugelsang, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ali Farahnakian (SNL, owner of The PIT) plays Sylvester Stallone “addressing the cast and crew of Expendables Three the night before shooting” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Stallone

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Alison Klemp, Shakir Standley, Sam Grittner, Todd Molé, Garrett Barnes, and Khalid Rahma performing stand-up for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

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

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

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

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

9:30 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” atUCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Josh Rabinowitz, Joe Rumrill, Mary Houlihan, Lorelei Ramirez, and Michelle De Swarte performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis:The Tuesday Special

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam hosted by group Judith at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Judith Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/11/14

August 11, 2014

FringeNYC 2014 is on! For show reviews, please click here.
To learn what’s selling out, please click here.

TV Alert: Tracy Morgan is on Arsenio Hall (repeated from 4/9);
Jim Gaffigan is on Craig Ferguson (repeated from 4/30);
Will Arnett is on Conan O’Brien;
Dana Carvey and Ellie Kemper are on David Letterman
(repeated from 6/18);
Mike Lawrence & Jen Kirkman are on @midnight (repeated from 7/31)

Stone Cold Fox

One of the finest sketch groups in the world performs at FringeNYC at 2:00 pm: Stone Cold Fox

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 2:00 pm ($18): One of the very best sketch comedy groups in the country, Stone Cold Fox is blessed with both razor-sharp writers, who include Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya, and a stellar cast: Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. In fact, it’s the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre-Chelsea weekend schedule. The team has been going for around 7 years, not 75, but has nonetheless accumulated a massive amount of superb material. If these comics really chose their best bits for this show, expect to be dazzled. For a taste of SFC’s concept-driven comedy, please click here, here, andhere. All performances, including today’s, are at FringeNYC Venue #4, the Teatro Latea at the Clemente (107 Suffolk Street; take the D train to Delancey or the J/M/Z to Essex): Stone Cold Fox: The Best From 75 Years of SCF

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

[$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Gary Gulman and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Nikki Glaser, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): SNL’s Aidy Bryant and her friends from Chicago perform improv at the UCB Chelseatheatre as Belmont and The Italian Beefs

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), Murf Meyer (The Chris Gethard Show), and Elizabeth Entenman share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp:HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Michael Che (instant star correspondent for The Daily Show;former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Jared Logan (rising star;Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train): Night Train

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): Improv from all-gal group Gilda and very silly group Punctual Drunks at The PIT upstairs lounge: Gilda and Punctual Drunks

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

9:00 pm ($5): Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Amanda Seales (VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Smart, Funny, and Black), Emma Willman, Lucas Connoly, Doogie Horner, and Drew Michael performing stand-up, plus music from Julian Velard, at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom(627 5th Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Beige (which includes brilliant rising stars Dan Hodapp and Langan Kingsley) and (212) (which includes brilliant rising stars Natasha Rothwell and Tim Martin, plus the wonderful Veronica Osorio, Eddie Dunn, Ari Scott, Erik Tanouye, and Achilles Stamatelaky): Maude Night: Beige and (212)

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star ofThe Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Crystian Ramirez, and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta:Frantic Mondays

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Casual Sex Offenders

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 8/10/14

August 10, 2014

FringeNYC 2014 is on! For show reviews, please click here.
To learn what’s selling out, please click here.

Gary Busey's One-Man Hamlet (As Performed by David Carl)

Rising star David Carl transforms into Gary Busey to act out Shakespeare’s greatest play using puppets, video, and pop culture references in this hilarious FringeNYC debut at 8:30: Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (As Performed by David Carl)

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] 5:00 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmosh, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

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

7:30 pm ($7): A one-man show by Dave Warth (Hello Laser, I Will Crush You, The Saddest Story I Know, Performed for an Audience of Cats) that promises to be very strange at The Magnet theatre: Everything.

[$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight through Thursday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Vince Averill, Kate Hendricks, and Andrew Short performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Ben Bailey, Gary Gulman, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Kurt Metzger, Gregg Rogell, and Carmen Lynch at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Marina Franklin, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($18; buying in advance online or at the FringeCentral box office is highly recommended, as tonight’s opening is almost sold out): Rising star comic David Carl transforms into Gary Busey to act out Shakespeare’s greatest play using puppets, video, oddball pop culture references, and an endearing childlike sense of wonder. I saw this production when it was first workshopped at The PIT and expect it to be one of the highlights of the festival. For a trailer, please click here. For a brain-damaged fundraiser video, please click here. All performances, including tonight’s debut, are at FringeNYC Venue #5 (21-A Clinton Street): Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl)

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically terrific stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago): Comedy Night

9:00 pm ($7): A comedy group named after a New Jersey amusement park performs sketches about that park at The Magnet theatre: Action Park Goes to Action Park

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Andrew Michaan, J.F. Harris, Steven Forrest, Christy Coffey, and Mike Cody performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Great lineup of Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Ben Bailey, Gary Gulman, Michelle Buteau, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

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

[FREE] 5:30 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 Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/9/14

August 9, 2014

FringeNYC 2014 opened this weekend! For show ratings & rankings,
reviews, news, and much more, please start off here

20-40

A world-class sketch comedy group that’s been honing its skills for years at The Magnet debuts its FringeNYC show at 9:00 pm at LES’ 21-A Clinton Street: 20/400: Sketchy as F*ck

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 ($12): In this show that breaks down barriers between groups, brilliant improvisors from The PIT and The Annoyance Theatre come together for one night only at The PIT upstairs theatre: No Affiliation

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Neal Brennan, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, and Rachel Feinstein (hosting) at the 9:15 show; Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, Lenny Marcus, and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:30 show; and Neal Brennan, Dave Attell, Russ Meneve, BIg Jay Oakerson, and Marina Franklin (hosting), with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [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): Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Dave Smith, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

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

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight through Thursday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Gary Gulman, Michelle Buteau, and More

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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Lukas Kaiser, Adam Mamawala, Evan Davis, and Kevin Froelicks, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Toby Scales & Sean O’Reilly: Showcasey Jones

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($18): Lauren Olson previously performed a brilliant one-woman show for FringeNYC 2010 titled Our Condolences about dealing with the death of her mom. Olson has become much edgier in her comedy since then. As indicated by the title, this sketch show focuses on over-the-top characters who are likely to make you laugh and cringe at the same time. Teaming with the stellar Olson are Jana Schmieding and Christian Paluck, who’ve spent years performing together at The Magnet developing an easy comedy chemistry. Expect their extreme character-driven bits to be funny as f*ck. For video samples, please click here and here; and then grab tickets for tonight’s debut at FringeNYC Venue #5 (21-A Clinton Street): 20/400: Sketchy as F*ck

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Ali Farahnakian (SNL, owner of The PIT) performs a one-man show at The PIT upstairs theatre with a money-back guarantee: Yolo Solo Ali

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril with hosts J. W. Crump and Jordan Hirsch: Gas Station Horror

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Gary Gulman, Michelle Buteau, and More

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “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, Noah Gardenswartz, and Steve Forrest 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 ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney and Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy; in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group; was recently written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times; and is spearheaded by Henry Zebrowski, who’s a co-star of Wolf of Wall Street, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Chris Kelly (Saturday Night Live) and Halle Kiefer (host of Dog & Pony Show) are guests, while Anthony Apruzzese and a mob of other comics perform sketch at this hybrid variety/talk show co-hosted by Josh Sharp (GUMP) at the UCB East theatre: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): ” It’s revenge. It’s vengeance. It’s hot comedy wrestling action as only the UCBW can bring you. Don’t miss a night of hilarious characters beating the shit out of each other. Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: UCBW: Revengeance

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($20; no min.): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Michelle Buteau, and More

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/8/14

August 8, 2014

FringeNYC 2014 starts today! For coverage, please click here.

On TV, Last Comic Standing astonishingly kicked off the one comic
(beyond the audition process) who made this season worth watching.
The suspense next Thursday won’t be who wins
but if viewers even bother to tune in.
Joe Machi, you are a star, and we’ll be watching you wherever you end up…

Pizza Faces

Jo FIrestone hosts Brooklyn theatre about a beloved food at The Pizza-Themed 10-Minute Play Festival

Dancing Monk Ippen

…and it’s the first day of FringeNYC, which includes the spectacular all-Japanese musical Dancing Monk Ippen

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 ($12 at the door or $11.54 online): T.J. Miller (red-hot comedic actor & hilarious sketch comic; David Letterman, co-star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and former ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-star of numerous movies including Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Cloverfield, and Get Him to the Greek; for video samples, please click here) and T.J.’s real-life sister Morgan Miller perform duo improv at The PIT upstairs theatre: MillerTime

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 pm ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Ben Bailey, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Dov Davidoff at the 10:30 show, and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, and Dov Davidoff at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Dave Smith, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Sketch group Baby Shoes presents “a dark and magical world that is part comedy, part children’s fable, and completely under an hour. Young Maria is spirited away down a magical portal in her grandfather’s toilet, but all is not well in the fantasy land on the other side. A psychomaniacal billionaire has discovered a portal of his own and built a factory there, leaving the whimsical world decimated, its people impoverished and enslaved, and its chocolate reserves depleted by the insatiable greed of the candy companies back in the world of man. Maria must use all her wits and courage to navigate a strange land of wizards and imps, Lost Boys, goat men, pirates, and a forest of talking hands to reach the evil chocolate factory and uncover the true nature of the mysterious Brown Gold” at The Magnet theatre: Baby Shoes: Brown Gold

7:00 pm ($10): A veteran improv group makes up scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge: Lead McEneroe

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stellar talents Ellie Kemper, Natasha Rothwell, Christina Gausas, Cipha Sounds, and more perform improv at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Maravilla

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight through Thursday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: Five NYC comedic writers have created pizza-themed short plays to be debuted in this “semi-regular pizza-themed festival,” with tonight’s creators including Conner O’Malley (writer for Seth Meyers), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP), and Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks). Free pizza is provided for all attendees while supplies last at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) and Anthony Apruzzese: The Pizza-Themed 10-Minute Play Festival

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Ben Bailey, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

8:00 pm ($10): Improv about a very, very bad day at The PIT downstairs lounge by group Johnny Velvet and the Moonbeams

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC comics performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Justin Grace, Mike Pullan and James Ferrarella, who also promise “skits, arm wrestling, jeopardy, contests, drinking, and everything else you would do on an” Almost Saturday Show

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

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

[TOP PICK] [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; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), and KC Arora performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Christian Finnegan, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-up and sketch comics (not announced) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

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

10:30 pm ($10): NYC comics 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($12): Comedic storytellers tell tales revolving around a theme, and then powerhouse improv musical guest Rebecca Vigil and her band The Vigilante make up a song on the spot based on those stories at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anna Rose Roisman: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

11:00 pm ($10): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge: Gentlemen Party

11:30 pm ($7): Improv groups Trike, The Battery, and host The Theme from Jurassic Park each spin a wheel with different forms of improv on it to determine what type it’ll be performing on the spot at The Magnet theatre: Wheel of Form

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), and Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City) performing stand-up or sketch at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A sketchy show that crams 40 character bits into an hour while aiming to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Character Showcase

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

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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