NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/26/14

October 26, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Want to be on an NBC prime time show?
America’s Got Talent is holding NYC auditions; details here.

Aparna Nancherla and Dave Hill

Aparna Nancherla, Dave Hill, Judah Friedlander, Sara Benincasa, and more celebrate the One Year Anniversary of Brooklyn stand-up show Manifesto

The Art of Teaching and Learning Comedy

…and Micah Sherman, Lucas Hazlett, and other superb comics participate in a free panel discussion on The Art of Teaching & Learning Comedy

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] [FREE] 4:00 pm-6:00 pm: A free discussion among top sketch and improv instructors at The PIT on “Can comedy be taught? Can one learn to be funny? What makes something funny?” Scheduled participants are Micah Sherman (brilliant improv & sketch comic; Myq & Micah, Baby Wants Candy, The Baldwins, Act One, Second City), Joe Toplyn (David Letterman, Jay Leno), Lucas Hazlett (ace improvisor; MTV, Marvel Comics, host of improv jam Improdome), Joe Schiappa (ace improvisor; MTV, Sheeple, Project:Projekt), Peter Michael Marino (head of Solocon Festival, co-host of Cojones), Jenn Dodd (extreme character performer; host of Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout), and Joe Galan (host of No Make-Up: A Clown Jam), and moderators Jewel Elizabeth (Jimmy Fallon) & Chris Booth (sketch group City Hall, interactive off-Broadway show The Awesome 80s Prom), all exchanging ideas about comedy and the development of it at the Pioneers Bar (138 West 29th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues): The Art of Teaching & Learning Comedy

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

6:00 pm ($7): Musical improv at the Magnet theatre from troupe Orphan Alley

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal improv group Pin-Up Squirrels performs and hosts other improv groups at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Play Date With the Pin-Up Squirrels

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20): Joe Moses became a YouTube star with A Very Potter Musical. In this show he uses sketch, improv, and music to “share his unique perspective on what it’s like to be a young artist in NYC, and an online celebrity:” The Joe Moses One Man Showses

[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 Party. and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the seminal In Living Color headlines one last night at theCarolines Comedy Club: Tommy Davidson

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 in advance online): Blowout One Year Anniversary celebration with 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), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, author of Agorafabulous), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Sue Smith, Lynn Bixenspan, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up for this weekly show that tonight only is at larger-than-usual Brooklyn venue Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto with Judah Friedlander, Dave Hill, Aparna Nancherla, Sara Benincasa, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Joyelle Nichole Johnson (opens for such superstars as Maria Bamford and Dave Chappelle), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Aaron Weaver, and Joe McAdam performing stand-up, plus terrific comedic musical group Summer & Eve, all at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

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

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): No notable headliners tonight, but most of the scheduled stand-ups are solid and there’s always the chance of drop-ins, with all three shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased,Glamour Magazine), Robin Montague, Sam J, Rae Sanni, and hosts Amanda Seales (VH1) & Marc Lamont Hill performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Smart, Funny, and Black

8:00 pm ($10): Dion Flynn, a talented impressionist who plays Barrack Obama and other characters on Jimmy Fallon, experiments with a one-man show at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Only Brown Kid in the Trailer Park

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Ryan Beck, Jordan Temple, Suni Reyes, Justin Morgan, and Chloe LaBranche, plus comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

9:00 pm ($7): Halloween-based sketch comedy from Rosie Whalen and more at the Magnet theatre: The Gothic Hour

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Dina Hashem, Ross Parsons, Christian Polanco, Kris Tinkle, and Joe Kwaczala 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 ($5): Superb improvisors Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Micah Sherman (mad genius), Chris Roberti (Big Black Car), and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Christian Finnegan, 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 Wednesday 7/2/14

July 2, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Sarah Silverman is on David Letterman (repeated from 5/20);
Ricky Gervais is on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 3/11);
Maz Jobrani is on Craig Ferguson (repeated from 3/26);
Wanda Sykes is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 6/16)

Bridey Elliott and Dave Hill

Bridey Elliott and Dave Hill perform at Brooklyn’s Wild at Heart

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

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

7:00 pm to 11:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, including a free improv jam at 11:30, 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 East which tonight features house groups Witch, Boombox, and Rizzo: Lloyd Night

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups at Solas (232 East 9th Street off Second Avenue) hosted by Michelle Slonim: One Flight Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Neal Brennan, Gregg Rogell, and Greeer Barnes at the 8:00 show, Hannibal Buress, Carmen Lynch, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:45 show, and Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Nikki Glaser, Dov Davidoff, and Wil Sylince at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show from Christian Capozzoli: Nutso Facto; and duo sketch from Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil in The Keith & Jesse Show

8:00 pm ($5): Songs from terrific group Summer & Eve, stand-up from Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) and Tanisha Long (MTV’s Girl Code), characters from Athena Reich, and improv from group Nobody’s Token, all performing at This Theater (154 West 29th Street) hosted by James III: III Kings Variety Hour

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch from the superb MIcah Sherman and many more, with Jenn Dodd hosting this parody of a talent contest at The PIT downstairs lounge: Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), plus a bunch of lesser-known comics, perform stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg, and hosted tonight by Bob Hansen: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[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] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Alec Lambert, and Boris Khaykin performing stand-up, and more, at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Kat Toledo: Wild at Heart

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Seaton Smith, Ben Kronberg, Vladimir Caamano, Frank Liotti, Carolyn Busa, Ian Federgreen, and Matt Azark 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably still get in if you don’t mind standing): Join Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson, the delightful stars of Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City, plus stand-ups (not announced) at UCB Chelsea for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Six improvisors make up scene while all playing Christopher Walken in this unique show at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Walkens Welcome

[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): A few LA visitors to this past weekend’s Del Close Marathon—including Jeff Hiller—have stuck around for a bit and are performing improv at the UCB East theatre: LA Leftovers

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Improv that blends Game of Thrones with the world of pizza: “In New York City there are five kingdoms (boroughs) fighting for the right to claim the brick oven throne. Mystery, intrigue, and incest take flight in a world where you can trust no one. You win or you tomato pie” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Game of Calzones

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Leslie Meisel & Kate Riley chose UCB comics to write sketches for the opposite sex, then cast and directed the scripts. Tonight’s show is the result of this fun experiment at the UCB Chelsea theatre: He Said, She Said: A Sketch Show

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

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

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[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): Walk-in open mic providing each performer 5 minutes (or more, depending on turnout) at This Theater (154 West 29th Street): Night Owl Open Mic

[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 Higgins and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…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 5/27/14

May 27, 2014

TV Alert: Don’t miss a new Inside Amy Schumer at 10:30 pm and 2:00 am on Comedy Central (for highlights of the red-hot Season 2 to date, please click here); plus Matt Walsh is on Seth Meyers, and Sara Schaefer and Mark Normand are on @midnight

Dave Hill

Dave Hill performs at The Stone and Stone Show

Neal Brennan

…and Neal Brennan heads a stellar lineup at 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] 7:00 pm ($10): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes) performs his special brand of stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00: “Music. Stories. Puppetry. Bitches,” featuring storyteller Julia Wiedeman, stand-up from Chip Dwyer, and puppetry from Lauren Maul, plus “a panel/coven of Bitches” including KL Thomas, all at The Duplex downstairs bar (61 Christopher Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Selena Coppock & Marilyn Summers: Bitchcraft!

[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 ($8): Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil perform duo sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Keith & Jesse

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code BUSINESS; no min.): Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CNN, TBS), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Brendan Eyre performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jared Logan, Michelle Wolf, Alex Koll, and More

8:00 pm ($10): A sketch comedy group that includes Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Slap Fight

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Julia Solomon, Tomas Delgado, and more perform a mix of stand-up and sketch at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award): Last Week Was Packed

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Movie clips super-fan Kevin Maher (Kevin Geeks Out), plus NYC stand-ups Lynn Bixenspan, Shannon Coffey, Lukas Kaiser, and Sam Grittner performing 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 (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (usually announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing 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] 8:30 pm: Songs from superb musical group Summer & Eve (for samples, please click here), and stand-up from Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), Sam Grittner, and Evan M. Williams, all performing at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street, upstairs) hosted by Emily Winter, John Payne, and Janet Manley: Backfat Variety

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), and more performing stand-up et al at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, 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 Grammer, Smalls, and Higgins at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), and Kyle Mizono performing stand-up at the UCB East theatre hosted by Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine): Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy groups Gentlemen Party, Nerds of Fire, Hot Buffet, and Kokomo perform at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Funny Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Great lineup of Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), 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), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Neal Brennan, Kevin Meaney, Nikki Glaser, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and More

[DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code TUESDAY; no min.): Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show) Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon), Chrissie Mayr, Courtney Maginnis, Mike Figs, and Chloe LaBranch performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!): Michelle Buteau, Joe List, Amber Nelson, 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

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] 6:15 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 downstairs lounge hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys 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

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 Tuesday 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

[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 guest co-hosted by Devin Dakota Cronin: The Dump

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:15: Sign up at 9:30 pm for the opportunity to make up a musical on the spot with The Magnet improv group Wonderland: Magnet Musical Improv Mixer

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An 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-$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: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/17/14

April 17, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jon Benjamin

Alt comedy giants Jon Benjamin…

Dave Hill

…Dave Hill, and Jo Firestone perform in Brooklyn at Larry Murphy’s Myrtle Comedy

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.27 online; cover price includes free drink; no min.) A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, with tonight’s guests Sam Dingman (Moth GrandSlam Champion), Robert Singleton Hurst, and David Arroyo performing at The Tank (151 West 46th Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

7:00 pm ($5): Chris Roberti and Dave Ahdoot play a bunch of comedic characters at The PIT downstairs lounge: Fun With Characters

7:00 pm ($10): All-gal improv group Gilda, plus guest group The Serling, make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gilda’s Date Night

7:00 pm ($5): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Allison Castillo (Comedy Central), Jared Freid, and Paul Oddo performing 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 lineups include Hannibal Buress, Greg Rogell, Marina Franklin, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson at the 7:45 show; Hannibal Buress, Greer Barnes, James Smith, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Hannibal Buress, Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, Jermaine Fowler, and Chris Distefano at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Jon FIsch, and James Smith at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($5): Jon Benjamin (unique off-the-wall comedy genius; FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, FX’s Archer, Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, Adult Swim, MTV’s Human Giant), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), and Jo Firestone (rising star; Punderdome 3000, host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase) performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp prove themselves among the finest writer/performers at UCB with a consistently charming and hilarious version of Forest Gump that covers the entire film in 30 minutes, and features a deliciously funny Jenny played by Brandon Gulya, who also directed, resulting in one of the best sketch shows currently playing on an NYC stage: GUMP

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a full-blown musical about “three polygamist pop stars on the hunt for their brother husband,” starring Caitlin Davis, Kaleigh Malloy, and Elizabeth May (with some help from Dave May): Missionary in Manhattan: A Mormon Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Keith and the Girl are the guests at both Hang Out with Me taping hosted by Myq Kaplan and Myka Fox & Friends taping by Myka Fox at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jay Dean: Keith and the Girl Double-Bill

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Welded (musical improv that takes two seemingly separate scenes and fuses them together), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from ace storyteller Adam Wade at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($10): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), and Will Miles performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

8:00 pm ($5): Two musical improv groups make up song-and-dance based stories on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, one with a taste for oiled brains and the other for Conium: Slick Zombie and Hemlock

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Taylor Ketchum, Lucie Steiner, Matt Donaher, and Evan M. Williams performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Nimesh Patel (co-host of Broken Comedy), Halle Kiefer (host of Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show), Adam Mamawala, Corinne Fisher, and Taylor Ketchum performing stand-up at Tammany Hall (152 Orchard Street) hosted by Boris Khaykin & Ian Fidance: Gift Horse Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Simon Amstell (UK TV star writer/performer who spent 3 years hosting pop quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 6 years hosting Popworld, and is currently the creator, writer, and star of sitcom Grandma’s House), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted,, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Alice Wetterlund (MTV’s Girl Code), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this new show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): 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) talks about his love/hate affair with New York City in this blend of storytelling and stand-up at the PIT upstairs theatre: Christian Finnegan’s The Gorgeous Mosaic

9:30 pm ($8): Improv spinning off the mythic TV series The Golden Girls at The PIT downstairs lounge: Four Broads and Cheesecake: Golden Girls Improv

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it plus like-minded stand-ups (not announced) on the UCB Chelsea stage at CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): 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, with tonight’s guest comics Jacqueline Novak, Michael Kramer, and Brad Austin: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit won its 11th victory in a row against Lloyd team Graceland in a relatively close contest of 73-64. Tonight FTS will try to cool down group Hotspur, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[FREE] Midnight: A free screening at UCB East (which used to be an indie movie theatre) of a slasher flick that features such UCB comics as John Murray, Dan Hodapp, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Amber Nelson, Andy Rocco, Dan Chamberlain, Rob Lathan, Jim Santangeli, Will Hines, Eddie Dunn, Ari Scott, and Pat Baer: Fear Town USA

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

[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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$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: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/21/14

February 21, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Pete Holmes Show returns Monday at midnight on TBS
(following Conan) with guest Judd Apatow.
Meanwhile, watch Pete counsel Street Fighter’s Ryu here.

Dave Hill

Dave Hill hosts his monthly Brooklyn extravaganza Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets

Mary Phillips-Sandy

…and ComedyCentral.com Managing Editor Mary Phillips-Sandy and many more satirize the news at Electoral Dysfunction

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

[$] 6:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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) headlines, plus Perry Strong (VH1), Randy Humphrey (NBC), Francisco Aldorando, and Tyler Gildinat all performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Ryan Arnold: Dan St. Germain and More

[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 lineups include Gary Gulman, Kevin Brennan, John Joseph, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Roy Wood Jr., John Joseph, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:45 show; and Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, James Smith, John Joseph, Lynne Koplitz, and Big Jay Oakerson 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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), 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, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), 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), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Storytelling on the theme of Black History Month from Charla Lauriston, Shacottha Fields, Teddy Shivers, Lauren Ashley Smith, Freddy Sheffield, and Michael Paul Britto at The Magnet theatre hosted by Alexis Lambright: The Griot Show

7:00 pm ($8): Writer/performers Melanie Owens & Teresa Lee, plus some friends, draw back the curtains on what really happens in a sorority in this sketch comedy show at The PIT downstairs lounge: #WaitWhat: A Sorority Chapter Meeting

7:00 pm ($10): All-gal improv group Gilda, plus guest group Team Lopez—which consists of improv puppets!—make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gilda’s Date Night

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Enjoy this new collection of sketches from these sexy performers (which I hope to see soon): Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): John Milhiser (Saturday Night Live), Ann Carr (Louie, The Actress), Shalyah Evans (MTV’s Girl Code), and more perform character bits at UCB Chelsea hosted by Justin Tyler and/or Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on 30 Rock and Comedy Central headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mark Viera

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon), Anthony Kapfer (Sirius XM Radio), and Carolina Hidalgo performing stand-up at the One and One Bar (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; 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, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Roy Wood Jr. (David Letterman, HBO’S Def Comedy Jam, TBS’s Sullivan & Son, COmedy Central), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Michael Kosta (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Roy Wood Jr., Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): From the wonderful Gyda Arber and friends, this theatrical event: “Join FutureMate for the latest in post-Cataclysm technology and find your perfect match! Your hosts Matt & Pam will take you through the FutureMate system and help you locate that special someone—who knows, you may even leave with a new mate! Come see all the benefits that await you for doing your part to rebuild our great nation” at Brooklyn’s The Brick Theatre (575 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L subway to Lorimer or G to Metropolitan): FutureMate Meet & Mate Session

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A comedic game show that pits stand-up comics against each other—tonight featuring Zach Broussard, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Jono Zalay, and Peggy O’Leary—plus stand-up sets from Justy Dodge, Alex Koll, and Neal Stastny, all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Natalie Shure & Chip Dwyer: Stand-Up Showdown

8:00 pm ($10): Melissa Gordon performs a one-woman show consisting of original songs and her sharing of their backstories at The PIT downstairs lounge: One Night Only: An Evening of Songs With Melissa Gordon

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door or $12.62 online): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country) hosts this monthly show, tonight featuring Nicholas Megalis, Walter Schreifels, Maeve Higgins, Jim Tews, Brad Steuernagel, Joey Pfeifer, T. Berry, and Dave’s band Valley Lodge performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($20 online using discount code HY): Valerie Hager was one of the breakout stars at last year’s FringeNYC Festival. A dazzling artist who can pretty much do it all, Hager performed a one-woman show based on her true-life experiences in her 20s as a stripper in Mexico, Alaska, and California. The writing is smart, honest, and brave; and just as impressive is Hager’s ability to bring the other people in her story to life using voice and movement. Plus Hager’s pole skills are spectacular. (For my full review, please click here.) This award-winning show is back in NYC for a brief run February 21, 22, 28, and March 1 at the LES’ COW Theatre (21-A Clinton Street) and is highly recommended: Naked in Alaska

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Mary Phillips-Sandy (Managing Editor of Comedy Central.com), Robert A. George (New York Post), Lucas Zachary Hazlett (MTV), Geoff Grimwood (Fake Church), Cathleen Carr (Sea Legs), Haley Finnegan (Funny or Die), David Kimball-Stanley (The Last Show), Jim Tosone (Improv Means Business), and host Nate Starkey (Big Black Car, Starkey & Grace) gather to make fun of politics at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Dan Koren (PBS), Matty Ryan, Bob Palos, and Nick Zielinski 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 ($10): “We can’t roast her. She’ll cry. So instead we’ll send her off to Florida with the best improv, comedic performances, and music we can come up with. Please come say farewell to Emily at what could potentially be a very embarrassing event, despite its not being a roast” featuring powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil as The Vigilante, host Leslie Moniot, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre: An Anti-Roast of Emily Morrow

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): All-gal stand-up, sketch, improv, and more from Amey Goerlich (Krompf), Kim Parker (The Story Pirates), Jo Firestone (host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Girls With Brown Hair, Nicole Pasquale (co-host of Totally Requesty), Ashley Brooke Roberts (host of The Dream Show), Mary Lordes (SiriusXM), Rekha Shankar (Kaleidoscope), Nicole Alexander, Johnna Scrabis, Julianne Cross, and Audrey Stanfield performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Time You Turned 30

11:30 pm ($7): Sketch from duo Matt B. Weir & Matt J. Weir, plus sketch from trio Tim Platt, Kati Skelton, and Branson Reese, at The Magnet theatre: We’re Matt Weir and The Junk Brothers

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts, with tonight’s theme “A Good Ole’ Fashioned Hoedown with live bluegrass music from MIPSO,” at UCB East hosted by superb sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp (GUMP): Cool Shit / Weird Shit

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): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: 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 such brilliant improvisors as Shannon O’Neill and/or Morgan Grace Jarrett: 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: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/12/14

February 12, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Abbi & Ilana become homeless—and it’s NYC cold outside—on the
new episode of Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Ira Glass

NPR’s This American Life producer/host Ira Glass…

Dave Hill

…and sex machine Dave Hill are among the stars at The Talent Show

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

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): NYC comics are panelists for this game show in which “four smart, funny people are quizzed on odd and obscure bits of trivia that just might save your life (probably not, though)” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by MIchael FIsher: Pop Quiz Hotshot

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 Musk and Detroit: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12 at the door or $16.01 in advance online—the latter is recommended because this show usually sells out): NPR’s This American LIfe host Ira Glass, Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), and a bunch of other interesting characters performing at The Merlin Room at Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues) with hosts Kevin Townley (novelist, actor) and genius storyteller & comedy jewel Elna Baker (NPR’s This American Life, author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance): The Talent Show: In Cold Blood

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Writers & performers of The Daily Show and more, tonight including Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), and Monroe Martin performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Daily Show Staff and Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, and Keith Robinson at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, Marina Franklin, and Wil Sylvince at the 9:45 show; and Paul Mecurio, Rachel Feinstein, Keith Alberstadt, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with Big Jay Oakerson hosting all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Natasha Rogers, Oscar Montoya, Ben Kissel, Megan Lohne, and Angela Perrone perform stand-up or sketch at “a variety show inspired by a poignant evening on NBC’s The Voice in which a contestant found himself going through ‘dark times’ after dropping out of NYU’s graduate program for music business to pursue his true calling: slightly faltering karaoke singing. His parents seemed very disappointed” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Megan Lohne and/or Melissa Somosky,: Dark Times: A Comedic Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wes Anderson characters are played by 14 UCB performers—including Tim Martin, Alexandra Kokesh, Siobhan Thompson, and David Bluvband—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Wes Anderson’s Overly Whimsical Valentine’s Day Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): From the wonderful Gyda Arber and friends, this theatrical event: “Join FutureMate for the latest in post-Cataclysm technology and find your perfect match! Your hosts Matt & Pam will take you through the FutureMate system and help you locate that special someone—who knows, you may even leave with a new mate! Come see all the benefits that await you for doing your part to rebuild our great nation” at Brooklyn’s The Brick Theatre (575 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L subway to Lorimer or G to Metropolitan): FutureMate Meet & Mate Session

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at the 2012 FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of comedy hosted by the wonderful Amanda Duarte, with guests Keith Bunin, Bryce Covert, Kim Katzberg, and Gardiner Comfort performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: 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; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Matt Wayne (co-host of See You in Hell), Martin Morrow (visiting from Chicago), Paul Virzi, and Nathan Macintosh performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?: Ted Alexandro, Myq Kaplan, Jon Fisch, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:15 pm ($8): Sketch comedy from groups Imelda, Hot Buffet, and UniSex, character sketch from Adam Hamway, plus music from Positive Feedback, and more at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Kat Burdick: February Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sharp comic Alan Starzinski (Sandino, Fat Penguin) performs a clever one-man sketch show in which he plays characters ranging from Aquaman to Gary Busey to the rescue pilot at the end of Jurassic Park at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guys You Love to Hate

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Dan Black (FUSE, Death by Roo Roo, Ripley) performs a energetic one-man show playing a variety of extreme males in The Pageantry of Man

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Have you ever read Yelp reviews and wondered about the people who’d written them? Six improvisors pick six Yelp reviews, create characters based on them, and interact at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid: Shut the Yelp Up

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): 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) at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[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] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable) hosts 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. (Tonight’s lineup includes Leslie Meisel; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: 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

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

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

10:30 pm ($3): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[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 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

11:00 pm ($3): The debut of an “anything goes” biweekly comedy open mic for stand-up, sketch, improv, music, “and the occasional random nutjob” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Evan Jones: Mosh PIT

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

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$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: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/5/14

February 5, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Abbi pursues a neighbor’s package on tonight’s new episode of Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Dave Hill

Dave Hill (above), Michelle Wolf, Nick Vatterott, and more…

Smiling at Wolves

…celebrate the release of Joe Zimmerman’s first comedy album Smiling at Wolves

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-9:00 pm: All NYC-based gal comics—stand-ups, storytellers, sketch performers, improvisers, character actresses, bookers, producers, podcasters, etc.—are invited to hang out and network at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Selena Coppock & Rebecca Trent: Lady Gathering at The Creek

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

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

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 Apollo and First Lady: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Keith Robinson, and Dan Soder at the 8:00 show; Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:45 show; and Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Vic Henley, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with Mike Yard hosting all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Celebrating Joe Zimmerman’s first comedy album Smiling at Wolves are Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), and Steve Forrest performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Joe Zimmerman’s Sweet, Sweet CD Release Party

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp comic Alan Starzinski (Sandino, Fat Penguin) performs a clever one-man sketch show in which he plays characters ranging from Aquaman to Gary Busey to the rescue pilot at the end of Jurassic Park at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guys You Love to Hate

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Terry Withers “tells you his jokes you already know with slight twists you can anticipate:” A Very Normal Stand-Up Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Earthquake (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Jason Lawhead, and Doug Smith performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Christian Finnegan, Nikki Glaser, Earthquake, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): Matt Graham, who’s a former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron, performs a one-man show at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club: Stand-Up Against Everything

[FREE] 8:00 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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups 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] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Laura Prangley (contributing writer to SNL’s Weekend Update), Justin Williams (Comedy Central), Ben Rosenfeld (TruTV’s All Worked Up), Mike Feeney (Food Network), and Brian McGuinness performing stand-up at this free weekly 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 ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 pm ($5): Feline-based improv from duo David Frasure & Jenn Welch at The PIT upstairs theatre: CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS!

9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Allie Kokesh & Matthew Brian Cohen explore their failed relationship, both as themselves and with Amanda Ratti & Josh Sharp as their doppelgangers, in a show that’s just as insular as it sounds but is nonetheless a pleasant way to spend 30 minutes: Why We Broke Up

…and in the second half of this double-bill, writer/performers Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli demonstrate perfect comedic timing—coupled with sorta terrible singing, sketch comedy, and a PowerPoint presentation—for a very silly show aiming to prove “Billy Joel is the greatest recording artist of all time.” I hope these guys aim for something meatier and more resonant to tackle next time, because they’ve got chops, which is especially evident at the dynamic start when they interact with the audience; but in the meantime you’re likely to enjoy Sketches From an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Perry Strong (VH1, TruTV), Molly Austin, Randy Humphrey, Ryan Arnold, and Craig Mahoney performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Mike Lawrence, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): 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) at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable) hosts 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. (Tonight’s lineup includes Adrienne Iapalucci; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: 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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic for both stand-up and sketch, with sign-up starting at 5:30 and ending at 5:55, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Brian Frange & Rob Stern: Frange & Stern’s Stand-Up and Sketch Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

10:30 pm ($3): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$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: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


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