NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/17/14

September 17, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Terry Gilliam is on The Colbert Report;
Billy Crystal is on Jimmy Fallon;
Sharon Osbourne and Carmen Lynch are on Craig Ferguson;
Hank Azaria is on Conan O’Brien;
Randy Liedtke is on Seth Meyers;
Mike Myers and Bonnie McFarlane are on
David Letterman (repeated from 8/28);
Nate Bargatze and Adam Cayton-Holland are on @midnight;
and Tom Lennon, Adam Cayton-Holland, and more are on
Kumail Nanjiani’s & Jonah Ray’s The Meltdown at 12:30 am on CC

Naked Girls Reading

Women read from TV-related books (biographies, memoirs, novelizations) in the nude because “You can’t spell literature without T & A” at Under St. Marks’ Naked Girls Reading

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

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

7:00 pm to 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

7:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Buchanan, Astronomy Club, and Big Revival: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): In this special show, stand-ups take suggestions from the audience and make up an entirely new set on the spot, with tonight’s brave comics TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Casey Balsham, and Robby Slowik performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Stand-Up on the Spot with Janeane Garofalo, Kurt Metzger, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show from Christian Capozzoli: Nutso Facto; and then sketches from group Good Cop Great Cop

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improvisors take on the role of supervillains and chat with each other at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Evil Dr. Kia: Science For Supervillains: A Talk Show

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Jimmy Failla (BBC America, TMZ Live, The Today Show), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), Blair Socci, Alex Barnett, Joe Gerics, Alejandro Borrero, and Ashley Morris performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Julie Kottakis: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing in this monthly show that “puts comics inside of a video game that plays itself” and offers prizes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Steven DeSiena & Stephen Whalen: You and the Screen

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; HBO, MTV, VH1, TruTV; co-host of upcoming prime time show; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; co- host of Dive Comedy), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), and Subhah Agarwal tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 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.), 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), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Scott Rogowsky (host of Running Late), Francisco Ramos (Jimmy Kimmel), Jon Laster (BET), Cory Jarvis (College Humor), and Rojo Perez 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] [$] 9:00 pm ($20): Cyndi Freeman (Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, burlesque performer) and other gal luminaries who shed clothes read to you TV-related books—biographies, memoirs, novelizations—in the nude. “Sip a drink and listen with eyes wide open as full-frontal literature meets fine art in the intimate theatrical setting of Under St. Marks” (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Naked Girls Reading

9:00 pm ($5; no min.): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), TJ Del Reno, Casey James, Jamie Roberts, Kenny Garcia, and Salengo performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Dean Street (755 Dean Street) hosted by Seena Jon: Dean Street Comedy

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Genius improvisor John Lutz (cast member of 30 Rock; staff writer for Seth Meyers, and previously six years as staff writer for Saturday Night Live; John and Scott) and Peter Grosz (staff writer for Seth Meyers, previously staff writer for The Colbert Report, star of over 100 Sonic fast-food commercials) perform duo improv as 2 Square

9:30 pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Billy Procida, and Matthew Silver performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Hosts 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) & Sam Haft welcome guests Hannibal Buress (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City and Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago), 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), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and possibly “burlesque, a cigarette girl, glitter, raffle prizes, and unicorn keepsakes” at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jessica Delfino’s Comedy & Music Extravaganza: The Lemonade Stand

[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 pair up as scene-inventing duos for one night only at the UCB East theatre hosted by comedy giants Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell (newest staff writer for Saturday Night Live): Couples Skate

11:00 pm ($5): As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a monthly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible, hosted by Gary Richardson: School Night

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

[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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 9/16/14

September 16, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jerry Lewis (and Public Enemy!) are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Kevin Nealon and Nick Griffin are on Conan O’Brien;
Bill Hader is on The Daily Show;
Zooey Deschanel is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Tina Fey and Moody McCarthy are on David Letterman
(repeated from 9/5);
Kevin Smith, Justin Long, and Jen Kirkman are on @midnight

Michael Che

New SNL Weekend Update co-host Michael Che performs at new free UCB East stand-up show Chemistry

Tom Papa

…and Tom Papa hosts Colin Quinn, Judah Friedlander, Jim Norton, Kurt Metzger, and Rachel Feinstein for a live taping of his Sirius XM Radio show Come to Papa

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, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance: Magnet Musical Megawatt

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

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): An energetic 8-member sketch group at The PIT upstairs lounge: Nerds on Fire

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Kevin Brennan, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:30 show, and Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Dan Soder, Greer Barnes, and Carmen Lynch at the 11:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): A star-studded live taping of Tom Papa’s terrific stand-up & sketch Sirius XM Radio show Come to Papa, with Colin Quinn, Judah Friedlander, Jim Norton, Kurt Metzger, and Rachel Feinstein performing at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue) hosted by Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials): Come to Papa: Colin Quinn, Judah Friedlander, Jim Norton, Kurt Metzger, and Rachel Feinstein

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups pair up, featuring Amber Nelson & Nick Vatterott, Casey Jost & Lisa Kleinman, Kevin Barnett & Josh Rabinowitz, and duo Team Submarine (Nate Fernald & Steve O’Brien), all performing at UCB East hosted by Andy Beckerman & Naomi Ekperigin: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code BUSINESS; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Janelle James, Grant Gordon, and Kevin Iso performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It) and Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Janeane Garofalo, Nick DiPaolo, Ryan Hamilton, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Doug Smith, Jay Miller, Ryan Beck, and Tim Duffy performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by JF Harris, Lukas Kaiser, and/or John Szeluga: Amazingtown

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Lynn Bixenspan, Meghan O’Keefe, Eric Neumann, Gabe Pacheco, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Superb storytellers Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko), Julia Wiedeman (host of UCB East’s Happy Hour Story Hour), Nisse Greenberg (host of Bad Feelings), and Tara Clancy tell true tales about this month’s theme Anniversaries at 2A (25 Avenue A off 2nd Street) hosted by Andrew Linderman: Local Stories: Anniversaries

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): 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), Colin Jost (co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update and long-time writer SNL staff writer; Jimmy Fallon), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): 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 stand-up from Jonathan Braylock (one-man show The Black Experience), Adam Mamawala (Funny or Die), and Boris Khaykin (CollegeHumor), all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Sketch comedy, improv, and stand-up from comics including Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer The Vigilante), Brigid Boyle (The Baldwins), and Justin Akin (Big Black Car) at The PIT upstairs theatre directed & co-produced by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Adam Ferrara (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Rescue Me, Top Gear, Mall Cop), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Tiffany King, Andy Ostroff, and Sunah Bilsted performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club: ComedyJuice: Toddy Barry, Sean Patton, Adam Ferrara, and More

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ikechukwu Anthony Ufomadu, Cory Palmer, Dom Manzolillo, Joon Chung, and Matt Stowe performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis (playing a new character at every show): The Tuesday Special

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Michael Che (new SNL Weekend Update co-host; former star correspondent for The Daily Show and staff writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and more performing at this new free weekly stand-up show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale—tonight featuring booked performers Katharine Heller and Sean O’Brien—at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and guest co-host Tim Dillon: The Dump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/15/14

September 15, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Bill Hader is on Seth Meyers;
Mindy Kaling is on The Colbert Report;
Kristen Wiig is on David Letterman (repeated from 9/3);
Kristen Wiig is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, and Jon Lajoie are on @midnight

Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, and Ted Alexandro

Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, and Ted Alexandro perform at the 9:30 show of Comedy Cellar

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: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), and Maeve Higgins (visiting from Ireland) performing stand-up at the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street) hosted by Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime): Comedy Notebook

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

7:00 pm ($7): “Improvisers spiral deep into amazing situations, characters, and worlds” at The Magnet theatre: Spin Cycle

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:45 show; great lineup of Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Kevin Brennan, Andrew Schulz, and Rachel Feinstein (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Joe List, and Godfrey 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): At UCB Chelsea, charismatic performer Jonathan Braylock performs a series of sketches on “the ins and outs of the African American experience:” The Black Experience with Jonathan Braylock

…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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Andrew Collin, Marie Faustin, Alexander Monstré, and Nathan Rand! performing on the theme The Worst Shit I Ever Did at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Nick Padilla: Antagonist Storytelling Series: The Worst Shit I Ever Did

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Kevin Avery (writer for John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight), Janelle James, Ross Parsons, Jim Hamilton, and Sean Devlin performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased): Night Train

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): A monthly sketch show that takes you to “an alternative reality filled with unique characters, curious tales, and odd occurrences” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Blunderbuss

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer & Joe Stanton: Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show

[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): Improvisors blur the line between fact and fiction, using true stories from their own lives to lead into a world of pretend and back again at The Magnet theatre: Story Story

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in via the standby line if you don’t mind standing): 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—who just joined Saturday Night Live!—and Tim Martin, plus the wonderful Veronica Osorio, Eddie Dunn, Ari Scott, Erik Tanouye, and Achilles Stamatelaky): Maude Night: Beige and (212)

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): All-gal comedic storytellers performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Story Time With Val Roder

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Stacy Fiamma, Jay Welch, Scott Schendlinger, Saint Jean Carmel, and Andy Fiori performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) hosted by Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Nick Youssef (NBC’s Animal Practice, host of Occasionally Awesome podcast), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Alingon Mitra, Matteo Lane, Kelly Fastuca, and Kevin Iso 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

10:00 pm ($7): A improv group that describes itself as “a slow comedy team, creating a universe of unique sensation, demonstrations, and displays appealing to the sensible and nervous alike” making up scenes at The Magnet theatre: The Boss

[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 at Klimat Lounge (77 East 7th Street) hosted by Gregory Joseph. To get on the performance list for future shows, email Gregory at evgigglepit@gmail.com: East Village Giggle Pit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/14/14

September 14, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ryan Hamilton and Jessica Delfino

Superb stand-up Ryan Hamilton and singer Jessica Delfino help celebrate the 3rd Year Anniversary of Kara Klenk’s If You Build It

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:

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

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

6:00 pm ($7): Duo gal sketch, and a sketch comedy group from Philadelphia, performing at The Magnet theatre:Imeida and The Flat Earth

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): The stage version of a web series at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Blaze & Alex Show

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

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Action Park and Kei perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[FREE] 7:30 pm: A show focused on New York (tonight’s theme is the borough of Queens) featuring mostly native New Yorker stand-ups—Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Subhah Agarwal (TruTV), Koshin Egal (host of The Quota), Darin Patterson, and Daniel J Perafan—performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Calvin S. Cato & Jackie Jax: The Natives Are Friendly

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Celebrating this show’s 3rd Year Anniversary is a strong lineup of Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), John Roy (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Amanda Seales (VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Smart, Funny, and Black), Alex Hooper, Mike Finoia, and Clark Jones performing stand-up, plus songs from 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), all at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Artie Lang, and Kevin Brennan at the 8:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, Kevin Brennan, and Rachel Feinstein (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Ben Bailey, Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Ryan Hamilton, Joe List, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 10:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): 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), 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), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Nick Youssef, Kevin Iso, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Nikki Glaser, Pat Dixon, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): A one-woman show by Alison Royer, and directed by Dave Razowsky, that “twists and turns to find all that’s wrong with love, career, pants, and more” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Everything Is Literally Terrible All The Time

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

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Sean Hart and Jawann Carmona, storytelling from Sharon Spell, characters from Jacob Mondry and Richard Templeton, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Bar None (98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

9:00 pm ($7): An all-gal improv group creates visceral scenes on the spot at the Magnet theatre: The Stank

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Anthony O’Connell, Alison Zeidman, Kyle Ayers, and Alex Hooper performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors Dan Hodapp, Micah Sherman, Abby Sher, Joe Schiappa, Steve Siddell, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): 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), 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), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Nick Youssef, James Mattern, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Nikki Glaser, Mark DeMayo, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups attempt to “out-filth each other in this show where no punches are pulled and no topics are off limits” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The Dirt

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

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’sLaughing 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 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)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/13/14

September 13, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Darrell Hammond

It’s your last chance to catch SNL veteran Darrell Hammond headline at Carolines

The Ultimate Stimulus

or to experience Tanya O’Debra perform the funniest economic lecture of the year at The Ultimate Stimulus

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] [$] [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), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Jordan Rock, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s official lineups (i.e., not including surprise drop-ins) are relatively anemic until the 10:30 show, which features Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Robert Kelly, and Lynne Koplitz, and the 12:15 show featuring Dave Attell, Ryan Hamilton, Russ Meneve, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince (hosting), with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

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

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

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

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), 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), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) performing stand-up atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Special improv guest group The Idiot Kings (a Burn Manhattan semi-reunion featuring Todd Stashwick, Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott), plus usual 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: The Idiot Kings (Burn Manhattan reunion), 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 PITdownstairs lounge: North Coast

[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 John Szeluga, Will Miles, Tom Lisi, and the show’s producer Lukas Kaiser, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Ian Fidance & Lizzie Martinez: Showcasey Jones

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, 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): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($18): A TED Talk-style lecture about how to bridge the gap between rich and poor via a unique approach is one of the funniest shows you’ll see this year, written brilliantly by Felipe Ossa, and performed with superb comedic timing by the lovely Tanya O’Debra at 21-A Clinton Street. Read my full reviewhere, and then nab tickets for what might be your last chance to see The Ultimate Stimulus

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

[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 ($42 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’shistory whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range, and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), 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), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, 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 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” atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisor Peter McNerney is joined for one night only by master improvisor Ed Herbstman at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:30 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 upstairs theatre: Murderfist

11:30 pm ($5): MC Chris (nerd rapper, cartoonist, and voice actor; Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show) and Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced NBC sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV) 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] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): 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), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), James Mattern, and Danny Lobell performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street):Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

Midnight ($5): John Joseph (Comedy Central, The View), John Joseph (Comedy Central, The View), and Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever) performing stand-up atUCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

[FREE] 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 theComedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/12/14

September 12, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Sarah Silverman is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 9/4);
Mindy Kaling and Jake Johannsen are on David Letterman;
Justin Long and Kurt Braunohler are on Jimmy Fallon

The Ultimate Stimulus

Fresh off FringeNYC, the most hilarious satire on the theory of trickle down economics ever: The Ultimate Stimulus

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): Improvisors aim for “the comedy, drama, and vocal juiciness of a Mozart masterpiece made up on the spot; come hear beautiful arias appear out of nowhere as someone’s beloved is ravaged by a cheese monster, Gary Busey, or anything else the audience suggests” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Opera

[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 Ryan Hamilton, Adam Ferrara, Kevin Brennan, Robert Kelly, and MIke Yard (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Green Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Robert Kelly, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, Adam Ferrara, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz (hosting) at the 8:45 show; and Dave Attell, Nikki Glaser, Kevin Brennan, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Rising star Lauren Olson and Jana Schmieding perform sketch, and also host sketch from a bunch of their friends, at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Jordan Rock, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Adrian Davidson, Samantha Bednarz, Michael Karlik, Billy Prinsell, Tom Lisi, and Evan Leslie Jones performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge: Son of David Stand-Up Comedy Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18): A TED Talk-style lecture about how to bridge the gap between rich and poor via a unique approach is one of the funniest shows you’ll see this year, written brilliantly by Felipe Ossa, and performed with superb comedic timing by the lovely Tanya O’Debra at 21-A Clinton Street. Read my full review here, and then nab tickets for The Ultimate Stimulus

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Brian McCann, an Emmy-winner who wrote for and performed on Conan O’Brien for 17 years, and has also appeared on 30 Rock and Parks And Recreation, performs a one-man show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Brian McCann’s Leisure Hour

[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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Comedy trio Eli Sairs, Joel Walkowski, and Jeff Wesselschmidt performs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Wildcats

[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] [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), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), Sam Evans, Brendan Fitzgibbons, and Justin Peele 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): A sketch comedy troupe performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: A Sketch 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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): 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), Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Joe Matarese Dan Soder, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($42 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range, and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups and sketch performers (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Kelly Fastuca: A Dog’s Breakfast

[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): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Tim Platt (The Story Pirates), Brendan Fitzgibbons (Rolling Stone), and Max Fox (Huffington Post) 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 Jim O’Grady, JiJi Lee, Jolenta Greenberg, and Chris Pappas tell tales revolving around this month’s theme TV Is My Jam, and host Anna Rose Roisman sings about one or more of the stories, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

11:00 pm ($8): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

11:30 pm ($7): Sharp comics Justin Peters & Kelly Buttermore “present a night of sketch and improv comedy inspired by Joni Mitchell’s acclaimed 1971 album Blue, one of the least funny albums of all time” at The Magnet theatre: From Justin to Kelly Ruin Joni Mitchell’s Blue

[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

[DISCOUNTED] MIdnight ($7.50 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), 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), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Alingon Mitra, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Joe Matarese, Christian Finnegan, and More

Midnight ($5): This monthly stand-up, storytelling, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, with storytelling from host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Tim Manley, stand-up from Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine) and Tom Cowell, and burlesque from Brief Sweat and Legs Malone, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/11/14

September 11, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: John Hodgman, Paul F. Tompkins,
and Greg Proops are on @midnight
Jason Bateman and Billy Eichner are on David Letterman;
Garfunkel & Oates and Ben Schwartz are on Conan O’Brien;
Jeffrey Tambor is on Jimmy Fallon;
David Spade is on Ellen DeGeneres

Women

A mash-up of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and HBO’s Girls at The PIT’s Women

Darrell Hammond

…Darrell Hammond headlines through Saturday at Carolines

Dave Attell

…and Dave Attell is part of an all-star lineup at the 11:30 pm edition of Comedy Cellar

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:30 pm ($20): A mash-up of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and HBO’s Girls in a critically acclaimed 55 minutes that’s reportedly “brilliant” and “hysterical” at The PIT upstairs lounge: Women

7:00 pm ($5): Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Alex Cooper, and Eli Yudin performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($42 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range, and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

7:30 pm ($10): A puppet improv & sketch troupe consisting of Nate Brown, Jacqueline Harper, Allison Moy Hayhurst, Julia M. Smith, and David Bizzaro perform at The PIT downstairs lounge: Team Lopez: Improv/Sketch Puppetry

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, Judy Gold, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:45 show; Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, Lynne Koplitz, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and an all-star lineup of Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Kurt Metzger, Paul Mecurio, Nikki Glaser, Jon FIsch, and Monroe Martin (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] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), Brendan McLaughlin (VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Nikki & Sara Live), and Michael Hartney (sketch group Legs for Days, co-host of Characters Welcome) performing stand-up or sketch and making fun of bad movies at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by John Murray & Matt Fisher: Low Standards with John & Matt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), 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), 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), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Dan Soder, Nikki Glaser, Christian FInnegan, Mark DeMayo, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blob (eight improvisors jointly contribute to the creation of two-person scenes, and then work to refine and morph these scenes together over time), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Kelly Kreye 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

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): 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), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City, Totally Biased), Kate Wolff (TruTV, Nickelodeon), and James III (UCB Touring Co.) performing stand-up or sketch at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jonathan Braylock: The Lockdown

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, duo sketch from Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil in The Keith & Jesse Show

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a sketch group that promises to give away $100: Awful DJ

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Corinne Fisher, Dave Lester, Anson Gray, and Mike Abdul performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (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

8:30 pm ($5): Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Max Silvestri (The Feed), and Jeffrey Maurer (HBO’s Last Week Tonight) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

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

[$] [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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($5): The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors) performing music, plus Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Michelle de Swarte, and Matteo Lane performing stand-up, at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Sketch group Martha hosts this variety show, featuring JR Havlan (7-time Emmy winning writer for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher), Laura Willcox, Erick Hellwig, and sketch group Wicked City performing at the PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and KC Aurora 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): Harold Night improv group The Enemy held onto its championship against Lloyd Night team Buchanan by a vote of 57-42. Tonight it faces Scrambled Legs, 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: Stand-up open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache & Paul Oddo: Thursday Night Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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