NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/22/14

September 22, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Zooey Deschanel is on Conan O’Brien;
Bill Hader is on Craig Ferguson;
Ana Gasteyer is on Seth Meyers;
Jim Jefferies is on Carson Daly;
Todd Barry, Marina Franklin, and Jesse Joyce
are on @midnight

Kristin Parker

Catch luminous rising star Kristin Parker in a comedy-drama blending autobiography and poignant wishful fantasy courtesy of the FringeNYC Encores: <50%

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 ($12): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

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

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Jon Laster hones a long set tonight through Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Jon Laster

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus,, and Monroe Martin (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, and Dan Soder (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Jena Friedman, Roy Wood Jr., Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Two of the best stand-ups in NYC, Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman) and Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), being interviewed and/or performing at UCB East hosted by Katie Kester: The Later Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($18): This unusual FringeNYC play is actually a drama, but is so twisty at blending autobiography with wish-fulfillment fantasy that some reviewers have been fooled into describing it as a romantic comedy with a happy ending. The truth is this is a show with lots of humor—it’s written and co-stars an NYC stand-up, Gianmarco Soresi—but is ultimately about matters of the head and heart that are poignant and quite moving. Soresi is dynamic and skilled at landing laughs. But the bigger discovery of this production is the luminous Kristin Parker, who delivers a transcendent performance as his girlfriend rich in nuance, making every moment of love, compassion, faith, and pain believable. Parker’s performance is among the very finest I’ve seen at this year’s fest (out of over 60 shows and hundreds of actors). If you’re a casting director, check out this rising star, whose website is KristinParker.com. And if you’re a comic, consider seeing this example of how to build a stand-up routine into a multi-layered story that ultimately hits all emotional buttons with surprising success. Huge kudos also go to director Max Freedman, both for his inventive staging, and his creating an environment that simultaneously lets Soresi go for comedy while Parker mines hearts. There are just three encore performances left—tonight, next Monday at 9:30 pm, and 10/4 at 5:00 pm—at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street): <50%

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): John Roy (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Roy Wood Jr. (David Letterman, HBO’S Def Comedy Jam, TBS’s Sullivan & Son, Comedy Central), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer), Marcus Monroe (David Letterman), and Michelle Biloon (Craig Ferguson) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketch about our national pastime: Baseball is America

…and in the second half of this double-bill, duo sketch from Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil in The Keith & Jesse Show

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

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

8:30 pm ($7): Improvisors blur the line between fact and fiction, using true stories from their own lives to lead into a world of pretend and back again at The Magnet theatre: Story Story

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 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), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Robert Dean, Tom Cowell, and Gerald Delgado performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days (which includes stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Michael Hartney, and more, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Bellevue: Maude Night: Legs For Days andBellevue

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Roy Wood Jr. (David Letterman, HBO’S Def Comedy Jam, TBS’s Sullivan & Son, Comedy Central), Pete Davidson (newest cast member ofSaturday Night Live; MTV’s Guy Code), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Subhah Agarwal, Drew Michael, and Casey Balsham performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) typically hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental,documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($7): A veteran improv group and some of its pals make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Junior Varsity and Friends

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/21/14

September 21, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Improvised Play

Improvisers make up a complete theatrical story based on the style of a famed playwright at The Improvised Play

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

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

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

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Sketch comedy from the past at The PIT upstairs theatre: Studio Quanrudes

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Jon Laster hones a long tonight through Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Jon Laster

[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 Baby Shoes and Keenan perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Theatrical improvisors make up a complete play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Nick Griffin, and Keith Alberstadt at the 8:00 show; Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, and Colin Jost at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 online using discount code GRIFT no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Subhah Agarwal, Chris Cotton, and Mike Speirs performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Mark Normand, Kurt Metzger, Greer Barnes, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), Greg Johnson (co-host of Myrtle Comedy), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Lorelei Ramirez, and Sam Taggart performing stand-up, plus sketch troupe Good Cop Great Cop, at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis, Sally Burtnick, and Brian McElroy: The Macaulay Culkin Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Live stage readings of popular Saved By The Bell episodes, with each cast member allowed an optional 3-minute Zack Morris style “time out” for episode-specific stand-up or a fan fiction bonus scene at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Bayside Myself

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

8:00 pm ($5): The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), plus NYC stand-ups Emily Maya Mills, Jim Tews, Kenny DeForest, Brendan McLaughlin, Billy Prinsell, and Adam Sokol, all performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Emily Winter, Calvin S. Cato, Mary Kelly, and Shalewa Sharpe, characters from Sudi Green, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Bar None (98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

9:00 pm ($7): Kelly Buttermore (Horses) and Kate Emswiler (Cash) perform a duo sketch show at the Magnet theatre: Kelly & Kate

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Lindsay Boling, Joel Kim Booster, Tim Warner, and Jules Posner performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors David Carl, Silvija Ozols, Micah Sherman, Abby Sher, Jon Bander, Sarah Nowak, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), 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), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), 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): Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Nikki Glaser, Pete Lee, 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 PIT downstairs 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’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/20/14

September 20, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Langan Kingsley

At UCB East, personal stories from top improvisors Langan Kingsley…

Morgan Grace Jarrett

…Morgan Grace Jarrett…

Laura Willcox

…Laura Willcox, and more get turned into twisty exaggerated scenes at The Living Room

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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), 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.), 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), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, 12:15 am, and 1:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Artie Lange, Greer Barnes, Bobby Collins, Kevin Brennan, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Artie Lange, Bobby Collins, Marina Franklin, and Kevin Brennan at the 7:15 show; Artie Lange, Ryan Hamilton, Kevin Brennan, and Dov Davidoff at the 8:45 show; and Artie Lange, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, 11:15, and 1:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Kurt Metzger, Marina Franklin, and More

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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Nimesh Patel, Merrill Davis, Ian Fidance, Jimmy LeChase, and John F. O’Donnell, and the show’s producer Lukas Kaiser, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Ian Fidance & Lizzie Martinez: Showcasey Jones

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): All all-gal group of improvisors who include some of the finest comics in NYC—Tami Sagher, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Langan Kingsley, Silvija Ozols, Laura Willcox, Lydia Hensler, Abra Tabak, and Natasha Vaynblat—swap personal stories and then use them as springboards for improv scenes at the UCB East theatre: The Living Room

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Kurt Metzger, Marina Franklin, and More

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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Alison Klemp, Alana Eisner, Brendan Eyre, Chris Scopo, Justin Grace, Lane Moore, and Lindsay Boling 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): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney and Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy trio Trike

[$] 11:00 pm ($12): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

11:00 pm ($10): A monthly sketch show designed to make you howl at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forever Dog

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Marina Franklin, and More

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/19/14

September 19, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Gary Busey's One-Man Hamlet

The return of top FringeNYC 2014 comedy shows Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl)

Magical Negro Speaks

…and Magical Negro Speaks, all tonight via the FringeNYC Encore Series

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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), 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.), 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), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): A prank call show that asks you to “Bring a number. Tell us about your victim. Sit back and don’t laugh” at The Magnet theatre: Prank Phone Calls with Charles Rogers

7:00 pm ($10): All-female character & sketch comedy (comics not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Carly Ann Filbin: Lady Parts

7:00 pm ($10): Musical improv from the group that hosts the weekly Pitch jam, tonight performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: [title of team]

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($18): Jamil Ellis provides a smart, funny take on how African-Americans are portrayed in Hollywood movies that’s both entertaining and well worth experiencing (for my full review, please click here). This FringeNYC 2014 encore performance is happening at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, between 24th & 25th Streets): Magical Negro Speaks

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me,College Humor), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), and Drew Michael (TBS) performing stand-up at the One and One Bar’s Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sherrod Small and More at The Stand

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A comedic game show that pits stand-up comics against each other at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Natalie Shure & Chip Dwyer: Stand-Up Showdown

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

8:00 pm ($10): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($18): Rising star comic David Carl transforms into Gary Busey to act out Shakespeare’s greatest play using paper puppets, interactive video, lines from Hollywood action movies, an endearing childlike sense of wonder…and genuine comedic star power. This was my second favorite show at the recent FringeNYC 2014 (out of over 60); and is actually one of the funniest shows in New York, on any stage. (For my full review, please click here.) If you didn’t get a chance to catch GBOMH before, don’t miss this chance to experience it tonight at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, between 24th & 25th Streets):Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl)

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing), and Molly Ruben-Long performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Stone and Stone (Last Comic Standing), Joe Alfano, Meghan Hanley, Cyrus McQueen, and Brian Jian performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Nasal Vice Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($18): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, please click here) enjoys an encore performance tonight at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from troupe The Uncanny Valley at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Dean Cain Story

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

[DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sherrod Small and More at The Stand

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

10:00 pm ($10): Keith Malley (Keith and The Girl) and more agnostic or atheist stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Keith Lowell Jensen (Stand Up! Records): Ha Ha Heathens

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Amber Ruffin (Seth Meyers), Claire Mulaney (SNL), and BLOMKY! (BAM) 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] 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] 11:00 pm ($8): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

11:00 pm ($5): Duo sketch comedy from Chris Aurilio and Anik Sood performing at The PIT downstairs lounge:PulpRiot

11:30 pm ($7): A veteran house improv group performs at The Magnet theatre: Hello Laser

Midnight ($5): “A live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons: Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Distefano and More at The Stand

[TOP PICK] [$] 12:15 am ($20, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Solid lineup of Dave Attell, Russ Meneve, John Joseph, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, Damien Lemon, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Friday

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

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude group Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/18/14

September 18, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Terry Gilliam is on The Colbert Report;
Neal Brennan and Ali Wong are on @midnight;
Billy Crystal is on Jimmy Fallon;
Sharon Osbourne and Carmen Lynch are on Craig Ferguson;
Hank Azaria is on Conan O’Brien;
Randy Liedtke is on Seth Meyers;
Mike Myers and Bonnie McFarlane are on
David Letterman (repeated from 8/28)

Ronna & Beverly

Jessica Chaffin & Jamie Denbo play authors providing relationship advice to Jews at UCB Chelsea’s Ronna & Beverly

Freaks and Geeks

…and a TV series is resurrected and reconstructed for one night only at The PIT’s We Love TV

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): 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), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Kate Hendricks (Nickelodeon), and Dan Shaki (XM Radio) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…” tonight featuring Anna Rose Roisman, Anna Drezen, and Michelle Onufrak sharing tales at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

7:30 pm ($10): Gone but not forgotten TV series Freaks and Geeks presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Jessica Chaffin & Jamie Denbo (The Heat) play authors of the book You’ll Do a Little Better Next Time: A Guide to Marriage and Re-Marriage for Jewish Singles, offering sage relationship advice as Ronna & Beverly

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): A mash-up of two stand-ups on stage at the same time, tonight featuring Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central Half Hour), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), and Dave Smith performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1) and Luis J. Gomez: The Comedy Mash-Up with Sean Patton, Michelle Wolf, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star—plus today is his birthday!; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), 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), Matt Donaher, Josh Wesson, and Brendan Fitzgibbons performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Hello Laser and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blob (eight improvisors jointly contribute to the creation of two-person scenes, and then work to refine and morph these scenes together over time), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Rob Penty at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): An improv group makes up a black & white silent movie, compete with live piano accompaniment, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Walter’s Silent Movie

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 8:15 pm ($10, which includes a free drink): A celebration of the worst writing NYC has to offer, with tonight’s stand-up guests Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Lukas Kaiser (Spike TV), Chelsea Davison, Emily Fleming, and Alex Ptak, and the audience writing on the theme of Fire! at 2A (25 Avenue A off 2nd Street) hosted by Lizzie Martinez and Emilady Bogue: The “Emily” Show: Fire!

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): 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.), 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), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge—”If you like Grindhouse, Kung Fu, Spaghetti Western, Noir, and the entire 1970s, you’ll want to check out:” The Tarantino

[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 downstairs lounge 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

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Nick Carrillo, Langston Belton, and Devin James Heater perform a post-apocalyptic improvised comedy—exploring the relationship of three men trapped in a Generic Underground Shelter—at The PIT upstairs theatre: G.U.S.

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Improvisors—who include powerhouse musical improvisor Rebecca Vigil—take an audience suggestion of a band and then make up an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: PIT Behind the Music

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Improv from group The Internet Disagrees at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Internet Disagrees Improv

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), John Wyatt Haskell (Jimmy Fallon), and Mike DiCenzo (Jimmy Fallon) performing at this weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Harold Night improv group The Enemy smashed team Scrambled Eggs last week by a vote of 93-48. Tonight it faces A Tribe Called Yes, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[$] 11:00 pm ($12): “A sketch show about the good ol’ days: 2001-2014″ at The PIT upstairs theatre: Remember Nostalgia, You Guys?

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Razor-sharp stand-ups Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Carmen Lynch, Sherrod Small, Damien Lemon, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) perform at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/17/14

September 17, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Naked Girls Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Scott Rogowsky (host of Running Late), Francisco Ramos (Jimmy Kimmel), Jon Laster (BET), Cory Jarvis (College Humor), and Rojo Perez performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($20): Cyndi Freeman (Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, burlesque performer) and other gal luminaries who shed clothes read to you TV-related books—biographies, memoirs, novelizations—in the nude. “Sip a drink and listen with eyes wide open as full-frontal literature meets fine art in the intimate theatrical setting of Under St. Marks” (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Naked Girls Reading

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Hosts Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here) & Sam Haft welcome guests Hannibal Buress (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City and Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and possibly “burlesque, a cigarette girl, glitter, raffle prizes, and unicorn keepsakes” at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jessica Delfino’s Comedy & Music Extravaganza: The Lemonade Stand

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

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up as scene-inventing duos for one night only at the UCB East theatre hosted by comedy giants Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell (newest staff writer for Saturday Night Live): Couples Skate

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

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 9/16/14

September 16, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Michael Che

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

Tom Papa

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance: Magnet Musical Megawatt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Doug Smith, Jay Miller, Ryan Beck, and Tim Duffy performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by JF Harris, Lukas Kaiser, and/or John Szeluga: Amazingtown

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Colin Jost (co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update and long-time writer SNL staff writer; Jimmy Fallon), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh); plus stand-up from Jonathan Braylock (one-man show The Black Experience), Adam Mamawala (Funny or Die), and Boris Khaykin (CollegeHumor), all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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