NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 3/15/15

March 15, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Brooklyn Brain Jam

Six hours of nerd-friendly comedic entertainment at Littlefield: The Second Annual Brooklyn Brain Jam

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 1:00 pm-7:00 pm ($12): Three amazing nerdy comedy shows—Kevin Geeks Out, The Big Quiz Thing, and Nerd Nite—join forces to bring us six hours of nonstop mind-blowing entertainment at Brooklyn’sLittlefield (622 Degraw Street). I seldom see a show while the sun is still visible, but even I will attend this event. Join me for The Second Annual Brooklyn Brain Jam

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A smorgasbord of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): Storytellers Brad Lawrence, Rivka Willick, Arif Choudhury, and Meliora Dockery each tell a 30-minute story at Brooklyn’s Bady House (85 Chester Avenue) hosted by Robin Bady: Bady House Storytelling

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which typically includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

7:00 pm ($5): “Nobody celebrates spring break like MTV, so grab your sunscreen because Neil O’Shaquille (Dylan Evans) and his fellow VJs are counting down The Top 10 Most Wildest, Spring Breakingest Moments of 2004 before the official end of Spring Break when we all have to go back to college” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): MTV Spring Break Spectacular

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  An award-winning stand-up who’s been a correspondent for The Daily Show, performed on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and currently co-stars on NBC’s About a Boy, headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club:Al Madrigal

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

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Wendigo and Buddy Club perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Allan Havey, and Roy Wood Jr. at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Big Jay Oakerson, Jermaine Fowler, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane):Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Iconic former child actress Mara Wilson (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire; currently a writer; cast member of podcast Welcome to Night Vale) hosts this show about “death, commitment, sock puppets—everyone’s afraid of something. Laugh at your fears as Mara takes you through comedians’ anxieties (and a few of her own),” tonight featuring storytellers Jeff Simmermon and April Salazar Froncek and stand-up Kyle Ayers performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: What Are You Afraid Of?

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm  ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien): Mike Recine’s Sunday Sauce: Gary Gulman, Dan St. Germain, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Sarah Nowak, Jon Bander, Morgan Philips, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak:People Improvising

8:00 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentaryMetaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’sPranked), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), Emma Willmann, Zach Sims, and Pat Burtscher performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors Conner O’Malley, Gary Richardson, and John Reynolds make scenes up on the spot at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Hunkz ‘R Us

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Anna Drezen, Michael Wolf, Steve Whalen, Le Na, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Lorelei Ramirez & Ana Fabrega: Comdy Central Pretends

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): A musical version of the 1989 movie classic Steel Magnolias with book by Christopher W. Barnes, music by Ryan Mercy, lyrics by Christopher W. Barnes, and produced by Ronny Pascale at The PITupstairs theatre (for a video sneak peek, please click here): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

10:00 pm  ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour,VH1), Des Bishop (Ireland-based comic), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Damien Lemon, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Bringing comedy back to its vaudeville and cabaret roots, a no holds barred strictly R-rated comedy show featuring filthy stand-up and storytelling sandwiched between some of the hottest burlesque acts in the city” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Charles Stunning & Freddie Heinemann: Raunchy Risque

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 3/13/15

March 13, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Vince Vaughn is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 3/4);
Will Forte and Elllie Kemper are on Seth Meyers
(repeated from 2/26);
Ben Schwartz is hosted by his old improv teammate Adam Pally
on The Late Late Show (repeated from 1/30);
Nick Kroll is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 1/21);
Ari Shaffir debuts his Comedy Central hour-long special
Passive Aggressive at midnight

Al Madrigal

Al Madrigal headlines through Sunday at Carolines

That 80s Time Travel Movie

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include John Mulaney, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Marina Franklin, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:00 show; John Mulaney, Greer Barnes, Jermaine Fowler, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:45 show; John Mulaney, Dov Davidoff, Lenny Marcus, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 10:30 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 ($5): A Brit & American married couple performs sketch about “high concept ideas, charmingly absurd characters, and clever verbiage” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Are Thomasse: As American As Fish ‘n’ Chips

7:00 pm ($7): A comedy show hosted by Sebastian Conelli, tonight featuring storytelling from Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), characters from Jana Schmieding, sketch from Keith & Jesse, and stand-up from Brad Howe, all performing at The Magnet theatre: A Variety Show with Sebastian Conelli

7:00 pm ($10): An improv group making up a musical on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Royals

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($10): Ace improvisors Shannon O’Neill and Tami Sagher team with their talented pals to brilliantly make up scenes on the spot at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  An award-winning stand-up who’s been a correspondent forThe Daily Show, performed on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and currently co-stars on NBC’s About a Boy, headlines tonight through Sunday at theCarolines Comedy Club: Al Madrigal

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): Great lineup of 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.), 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), Laurie Kilmartin (dynamite stand-up; writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Laurie Kilmartin, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who broke out as a star on Last Comic Standingand has since created six hour-long comedy specials headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club:Ralphie May

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

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

8:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy group Richard will try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Richard

[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

[FREE] 8:30 pm: A Queens indie comedy show featuring Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), Ryan Beck (The Daily Show, MTV’s Girl Code), Lance Weiss (co-host of Gandhi, Is That You?), Tony Zaret, Megan Gailey, and more performing stand-up in Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Pat Stango, Clayton Craigsly Gumbert, and Gregg Zehentner: Fortress of Attitude

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

9:00 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Juice

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott performing with a three-piece rock ensemble at The PIT downstairs lounge: Centralia

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Great lineup of 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.), 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), Laurie Kilmartin (dynamite stand-up; writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Laurie Kilmartin, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing 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): JF Harris, Max Fox, and more performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB Easthosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Alexandra Kayhart, Eagle Witt, Frank Nelson, Melissa A. Diaz, Val Roder, William Bell Neville, and Taylor Ketchum performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch: Totally Normal Stand-Up

11:30 pm ($7): “A unique fusion of variety show and pulp superhero story, with all of the strengths of both and none of their weaknesses. And remember, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do not see this show”at the Magnet theatre: Crisis!: The Improvised Comic Book

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): This monthly stand-up, storytelling, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lyingto life on stage, with storytelling from host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour), something indescribable from the wonderful Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), stand-up from Sue Smith, and burlesque from Brief Sweat and Clara Coquette, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

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

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 3/12/15

March 12, 2015

My PC is finally working again! And the comedy listings are back.

TV Alert: Lena Dunham is on David Letterman;
Rob Corddry is on The Daily Show;
J. B. Smoove is on Conan O’Brien;
Carl Reiner is on Jimmy Fallon (repeated from 2/4/15);
Beth Behrs is hosted by Whitney Cummings
on The Late Late Show (repeated from 1/28);
Whitney Cummings, Beth Behrs, and Jonathan Kite
are on @midnight;
Ari Shaffir’s storytelling show This Is Not Happening
is at 12:31 am on Comedy Central

Becky Krause

Video wiz & Photoshop phenom Becky Krause debuts a one-woman show…

Becky Krause

…at 7:00 pm at The PIT upstairs theatre…

Game of Tassels

…while Cherry Pitz spearheads a burlesque tribute to the finest show on TV: Game of Tassels

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): Wonderful improvisor & video wizard Becky Krause debuts a one-woman show with “original sketches, characters, songs, and videos Inspired by dreams” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Becky Krause: I Dreamed a Dream

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star of the most recent season of Last Comic Standing), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Lean Dubie, and Maria Heinegg performing stand-up at UCB Easthosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:00 pm ($5): A 7-member comedy group performs sketches, storytelling, improv, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bueller

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  An award-winning stand-up who’s been a correspondent for The Daily Show, performed on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and currently co-stars on NBC’s About a Boy, headlines tonight through Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Al Madrigal

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque tribute to Game of Thrones at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque: Game of Tassels

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Keith Robinson, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; an especially great lineup of Colin Quinn, John Mulaney, Nick Griffin, Dan Soder, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Damien Lemon, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($18): 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 directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics Keisha Zollar, Lucas Connolly, and Chrissie Mayr share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by the lovely Natalie Wall (also host of Awkward Sex and the City and the upcoming Bad Assery Conference): Awkward Poop…and the City

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Rashomon (eight improvisors explore human nature and the nature of truth using time-jumps and multiple perspectives), at 10:00 pm by a sketch comedy salute to gun-toting jerks in American Action Heroes, 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 ($10): At UCB Chelsea, Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) writes and stars in sketch show American Weidl

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

8:00 pm ($5): 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), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Janelle James, and Drew Michael performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): A birthday edition for twin stand-ups plus guest stand-ups (not announced) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Adam & Todd Stone: The Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Philip Markle performs a one-man musical about being a gay videogame fan (“gaymer”) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Sparkle Hour

9:00 pm ($5): An hour-long tribute to the greatest comedy skits and sketches of all time, from Monty Python to Kids in the Hall to SNL, at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog and performed by group Kingmakerand friends: Kingmaker Tribute to Sketch Comedy

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), and Dan Hopper performing stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Will Stephen in the name of a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Martha hosts this variety show featuring sketch from group Kokomo, music from Jacob Mondry, and stand-up from Justin Morgan, all performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by James III “with all the stories, all the songs, and all the feels ever about relationships” at The PIT downstairs lounge directed by Jamie LeeLo: Think We Kissed, But I Forgot…

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Weekend improv group What I Did For Love and Harold Night improv group Apollocompete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but it involves a bunch of comics performing at the UCB Easttheatre: $$$

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 3/5/15

March 5, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Adam Sandler is on Conan O’Brien;
Robert Smigel is on Seth Meyers;
Heather Anne Campbell, Trevor Moore, and Nick Thune
are on @midnight;
Ari Shaffir’s weekly storytelling show This Is Not Happening
is at 12:31 am on Comedy Central

Leslie Meisel

Leslie Meisel…

Achilles Stamatelaky

…Achilles Stamatelaky…

Cipha Sounds

…Cipha Sounds, and more at UCB’s I’m Cool Sketch Showcase

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:30 pm: Some of UCB’s top character comics (not announced) each get 7 minutes to perform solo sketch bits at UCB East before judges of the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for LaughsCharacter Auditions

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm (Pay Whatever You Like): “Delusional cruise ship entertainer and musical theater fanatic Lance and his scheduled guests Liza Minnelli, Hugh Jackman, and Miami Sound Machine perform for an instantly forgettable evening of chat, song, dance, and Lance before he heads back out to sea” by Peter Michael Marino and friends at The Triple Crown Underground (330 7th Avenue, between 28th and 29th Streets): Late With Lance

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Some of UCB Chelsea’s finest sketch & character comics—including Leslie Meisel, Natasha Vaynblat, Achilles Stamatelaky, Cipha Sounds, Aaron Glaser, and Terry Withers—perform before industry folks who can make their careers at an all-you-can-watch revue hosted by Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It): UCB Chelsea’s I’m Cool Sketch Showcase

7:30 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Subhah Agarwal, and Josh Sankey performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman at the 7:45 show; Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Marina Franklin, Dov Davidoff, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Joe Matarese, NIck Griffin, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, Ricky Velez, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Big Jay Oakerson, Ricky Velez, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), and Wali Collins performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Northern Discomfort: Mike Lawrence, Jessica Kirson, Nate Bargatze, and More

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Rashomon (eight improvisors use multiple perspectives and time-jumping to reveal reenact different versions of the story of the accused…and the complexity of human nature), at 10:00 pm by a half-dozen solo character comics at The Pretty Fast Character Showcase, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host ofHow Many Questions), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), and Kenny Zimlinghaus (Sirius XM Radio host) performing stand-up for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Sabrina Jalees, Erik Bergstrom, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A rare Queens indie comedy show featuring stand-ups Rachael Parenta, Carrie Gravenson, Julia Lundy, and Alexis Guerreros performing in Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Liz Simons & Jenn Wehrung: Laugh It Up, Astoria

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sergio Chicon, Marisa Douenias, Cyrus McQueen, and Jabari Baraka Davis performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

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

9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Eli Sairs (host of open mic The Orphanage), Janelle James, and Kyle Ayers performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Jaqi Furback: Big Ups Comedy

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups What I Did For Love and Higgins compete for your laughs and votes atUCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Dan Licata, and Charles Gould at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

[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 theOld 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 atThe Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 3/4/15

March 4, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: A show entirely from Cuba on Conan O’Brien;
legendary Apple founder Steve Wozniak
is hosted by Drew Carey at The Late Late Show;
Danny DeVito and Artie Lange are on Jimmy Fallon;
Vince Vaughn is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Adam Carolla is on Carson Daly;
Neal Brennan, Bryan Callen, and Esther Povitsky are on @midnight;
episode 2.8, “Kirk Steele,” of hilarious milestone series
Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Public Services

Jo Firestone hosts a great group of comedy stars—Chris Gethard, Jon Glaser, Aparna Nancherla, Joe Pera, Naomi Ekperigin, and more—for an oddball sewer-themed soap opera in Brooklyn: Public Services

The Stepfathers

…and UCB’s weekend improv groups, which include some of the finest improvisors in the country, all perform at the I’m Cool Improv Showcase

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:30 pm: Character comics Katie Hartman, Timothy Dunn, Brandon Gulya, Jon Bander, Emily Fleming, and more each get 7 minutes to perform solo sketch bits at The PIT upstairs theatre before judges of the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Character Auditions

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Wednesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you’re okay with standing): UCB’s weekend improv groups—which include some of the finest improvisors in the country—all perform tonight at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm for a mostly show business industry audience at the UCB Chelsea theatre. This 7:00 pm show features Bucky, The Law Firm, Grandma’s Ashes, and The Curfew: UCB Chelsea’s I’m Cool Improv Showcase, Part 1 of 2

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

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

[$] 7:30 pm ($54.50 plus there’s a 2-drink min.): TV star Adam Carolla (Spike TV’s To Catch a Contractor) tapes a live-on-stage version of his popular podcast The Adam Carolla Show tonight and Thursday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Adam Carolla

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 online or $8 at the door): “A staged reading of an original sewer-themed soap opera called Public Services, this show also features celebrities, up-and-coming comedians, and notable nobodies” featuring top comics Chris Gethard, Jon Glaser, Aparna Nancherla, Joe Pera, Naomi Ekperigin, and more at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) and Jeremy Levenbach (world-class stand-up booker for Whiplash): Public Services

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC, albums An American Storyteller and The Crowd Work Sessions) hosts NYC stand-ups performing their best material to impress judges for the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Big Jay Oakerson Hosts Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro and Dan Soder at the 8:00 show; Nick Griffin and Dov Davidoff at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Carmen Lynch, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soupand We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Mike Cannon (VH1, MTV), Jess Wood, Christy Coffey Adeline Chung-Feder, and Chip Hall performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Meghan O’Malley: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Paul Hooper, Zach Sherwin, Gabe Pacheco, and Sean Wilkinson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight(594 Union Ave) hosted by Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay, Maria Heinegg, and/or Taylor Ketchum: Hot Crowd

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up teams from all over the country compete for laughs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen: Border Wars

[TOP PICK] 8:50 pm ($10): Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) performs a one-woman show about how “when she was 11 years old she became obsessed with the Bigfoot phenomenon: the hunters, the hoaxes, and the true believers. That same year, her homeroom classmates perpetrated a hoax of their own. They convinced the faculty that Cyndi was a thief, an instigator of fist-fights, and an agent of mayhem. It had all been lies and, by their high school years, the kids who had participated apologized and Cyndi forgave them. But the teachers still believed the legend that Freeman was a violent pathological liar. Friendships were lost, parents lived in fear, and only the children knew, and accepted, the truth. Weaving together fun trivia about the Bigfoot myth and darker tales about the fiction that surrounded her during her formative years, Freeman talks of truth and lies, motivations both hidden and obvious, and the resilience it takes to survive childhood” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) as part of the Frigid New York Festival: I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot: A Story about Bullies, Monsters, and Hoaxes

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Amber Nelson (bold, dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Lance Weiss (NBC’s The Today Show), Brendan Fitzgibbons (Comedy Central), Jamie Roberts (NBC’s Law & Order), Tyler Gildin (Creative Director of Elite Daily), and Sahar Lichtman (Bare Burger Comedy) performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you’re okay with standing): UCB’s weekend improv groups—which include some of the finest improvisors in the country—all perform tonight at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm for a mostly show business industry audience at the UCB Chelsea theatre. This 9:30 pm show features The Stepfathers, What I Did For Love, Airwolf, and GOAT: UCB Chelsea’s I’m Cool Improv Showcase, Part 2 of 2

9:30 pm ($5): Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Robert Dean, and Lucas Connolly performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Liza Treyger (Chelsea Lately), Katylin Bailey, and Luis J. Gomez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Grift Comedy

[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): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

11:00 pm ($5): Improvisors from a variety of different countries perform in both their native languages and English in this unique show at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Mauricio Jimenez: Passport

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 3/3/15

March 3, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Paula Poundstone is hosted by Drew Carey
on The Late Late Show;
Kevin Smith, Jessica Chobot, and Matt Mira are on @midnight;
Kroll Show’s episode 3.8, “The Commonwealth Games,”
is at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Annaleigh Ashford

Annaleigh Ashford (co-star of Showtime’s Masters of Sex and Broadway’s Kinky Boots) is at So Into It

Sabrina Jalees

…and comedic dynamo Sabrina Jalees performs at The Stand’s $5 Funnies

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman, Dan Soder, and Carmen Lynch at the 7:30 show; Ted Alexandro, Rich Vos, Nick Griffin, Dov Davidoff, Ricky Velez, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Lori Palminteri, Joe List, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A monthly show about obsessions with pop culture, tonight revolving around Sportz with guests Annaleigh Ashford (Showtime’s Masters of Sex, Broadway’s Kinky Boots), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing,Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories) performing at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino & Anne Rodeman: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): Robin Ince, Mehran Khaghani, and more performing stand-up and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by recent UK transplants Jon Ronson (New York Times bestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life) and Maeve Higgins (Irish TV & radio star): I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm (no charge, but you must RSVP online): Five scientists and/or geeks tell tales related to science at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: The Story Collider

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Caitlin Brodnick (co-host of Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show, writer for Glamour.com, docu-series Screw You Cancer), Jordan Temple, Casey Balsham, Mike Speirs, Ashley Bez, and Dave Severino performing stand-up or storytelling at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, John Szeluga, and JF Harris:Amazingtown

[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 yet announced) performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’sThe 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, Side Piece, and 2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy at at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Death By Roo Roo, Goat, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Performing stand-up or music sets in between Tony bits tonight are Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, new music album Silly Jazz), and Tim Dillon, all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Adam Newman, Camille Harris, and More

[$] 9:30 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), maybe “a special guest,” and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club:Comedy Juice

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch from seven comics, plus stand-up from TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, at The PIT upstairs theatre produced & directed by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’sNightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), 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), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Sabrina Jalees, Christian Finnegan, 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: A frat party-themed stand-up show “featuring flip-cup, popped collars, plenty of Dave Mathews Band, and jokes” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by V-Money and Sam “The Kid:”Creek Bros.

10:00 pm ($5): “Watch as two teams compete for your love and applause. The only problem is only one player has showed up to play. Watch as Tracy plays for both teams in a totally improvised show where the games are pulled from a bucket, scenes are pulled out of thin air, and sanity is thrown out the window” at The PIT downstairs lounge:Tracy v Tracy: Competitive Solo Improv

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Typically a mix of superb and so-so stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly stand-up show with a weirdly low-energy vibe at the UCB East theatre typically 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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 3/2/15

March 2, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Aziz Ansari is on Conan O’Brien;
Robert Smigel is on The Daily Show;
Steve Carell is on David Letterman (repeated from 2/9);
Jen Kirkman, Doug Benson, and Baratunde Thurston
are on @midnight

Myq Kaplan and Eugene Mirman

Myq Kaplan and Eugene Mirman are among the stellar stand-ups at Wyatt Cenac’s Night Train

ISIS

…and ISIS is the subject of a somehow comedic debate at The Creek’s Sweaty Nixon

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: This monthly debate-style comedy show “sets two expert combatants from different sides of a polarizing issue against one another,” with tonight’s topic ISIS debated by Adam Edelman (political reporter for New York’s Daily News) and Saman Arbabi (award-winning Iranian-American journalist and satirist) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Kissel & Elise Flick: Sweaty Nixon

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of The Adam Wade Show; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), hosts a show at The Magnet that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption,” with tonight’s guest storytellers Christina Dabney, Michael Richard McLarnon, Zoë Dennis, and Stacey Miller: Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?

7:00 pm ($7): Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, half of brilliant sketch duo Dennie & Sharp), Myka Fox (stand-up), Meg Griffiths Anderson (improv group The Baldwins), musician Alex Nahas (band Bright Brown), and Vinny DePonto (magician & mind reader) performing comedy, music, and/or magic at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Shannon Manning (improv group Beauty Love Truth): Spark

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Todd Barry, Jessica Kirson, Lenny Marcus, Chris Distefano, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Ted Alexandro, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Keith Alberstadt, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar(117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out, but you can probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Some of UCB Chelsea’sfinest sketch & character comics—including Joe Pera, Christine Bullen, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, and Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp—perform before industry folks who can make their careers at an all-you-can-watch revue hosted by Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1): UCB Chelsea’s I’m Cool Sketch Showcase

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Strong lineup of Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), Scott Dooley, and Tanael Joachim performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Personand Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train: Myq Kaplan, Eugene Mirman, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, which can be awesome or agonizing depending what any given storyteller delivers, with tonight’s guests Andy Ross (Comedy Central, The Onion, Mad Magazine, host of Real Characters), Alan Gordon (author), and Nelson Lugo (magician) performing at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

8:00 ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), and more performing at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen: Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

8:00 pm ($8): Storytellers gather in hopes of being randomly selected to tell tales and compete for judging panel approval at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by Peter Aguero: The Moth StorySlam

[$] 8:00 pm ($20): Clanging refers to speaking with a focus on sound rather than meaning, such as compulsive rhyming or alliteration. Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Liberal Arts) and Dion Flynn (sketch comic on Jimmy Fallon) have been clanging together for more than 15 years, and tonight do so at The PIT upstairs theatre: Clanging with Josh & Dion

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

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

9:30 ($5): New Maude Night groups Dangerous Woman and Lover perform sketch comedy at the UCB Chelseatheatre: Maude Night: Dangerous Woman and Lover

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

10:00 pm ($7): Duo improv from groups Foxtrot, Old Man Time, Genetic Freaks, Suli, GCPD, and host MegaLou(Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld) at The Magnet theatre: The Duo Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer,MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Emma Willmann (Bravo, Oxygen, AxisTV’s Live at Gotham), Subhah Agarwal, and Chloe Hilliard 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: Mike Lawrence, Dan Soder, Pete Lee, and More

10:15 pm ($7): Duo improv from groups Bagel Boys, Little Buddy, Stellar Death, Drama!, and host MegaLou (Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld) at The Magnet theatre: The Duo Show

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

[ALMOST FREE] 5:30 pm-6:45 pm ($1): Open-mic storytelling, with each performer getting 4 minutes on stage followed by the option of critiques from the audience, at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Val Roder: Oomph: Comedy Storytelling Open MIc

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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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