NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/31/15

January 31, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: J.K. Simmons hosts Saturday Night Live at 11:29 pm on NBC

Whitney Cummings

Whitney Cummings headlines one last night at Carolines

Judah Friedlander

…and a great lineup of Judah Friedlander (above), Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, and more at 8:00 & 10:00 at The Stand

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

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Michelle Francesca Thomas celebrates her mom, Francesca Thomas, by using stories from family and friends as inspiration for improvised scenes aided by Kevin Scott (Centralia), J.W. Crump (Gas Station Horror), Abbie Harper (Cum Laude), and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Happy Birthday, Francesca!

[$] 6:00 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

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Caution Horse, Home Alone, Married Prov, and Honey performing at The Magnettheatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Judy Gold, Sherrod Small, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Greer Barnes, Judy Gold, Sherrod Small, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:15 show; Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, and Sherrod Small at the 9:15 show; Judah Friedlander, Dave Attell, Ryan Hamilton, Russ Meneve, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Ted Alexandro, Dave Attell, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, Ricky Velez, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm ($45 at the door, or $44 online using discount code DGPPT): UK star, connect-the-dots adventurer, and Internet prankster Dave Gorman briefly performs for one last night in NYC a one-man show that’s essentially about how we can create any identify we like using credibility tools such as Wikipedia and Microsoft PowerPoint at Subculture (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation

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 ($5): House improv groups such as Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Improv Teams

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), James Mattern, Jordan Carlos, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, 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] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Great lineup of Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Nikki Glaser, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman, Sarah Nowak, and Brigid Boyle) make stuff up at The PITupstairs 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—tonight with musical guests The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors): North Coast

8:00 pm ($8): House sketch group Sketchfrogs and director Matt Barats (Kill All Comedy) try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Sketchfrogs

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Lucas Connolly: Creek Cave Live

[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 Brandon Scott Wolf, Joel Kim Booster, Chelsea Davison, and Ahamed Weinberg, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight(594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Show/Tell Show

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

9:00 pm ($5): Eight improvisors perform “unorthodox improv inspired by ancient traditions” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Holy Fools

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

9:30 pm ($10): A sketch comedy group that includes writers for College Humor, The Late Show, and ESPN performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Garlic Jackson

9:30 pm ($10): “Join almost-but-not-quite legendary Broadway impresario Marty Feldstein on a musical journey through the glorious, glamorous, and sometimes salacious history of the Great White Way and Old Hollywood. He’s got secrets to tell and songs to sing, and he’s been saving them up just for you. One more thing: The entire show, songs and all, is made up on the spot right before your very eyes” starring Jason Specland as Marty and musician Mark Erenstoft playing improv piano at The PIT downstairs lounge: 24 Below: An Improvised Cabaret

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Great lineup of Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Nikki Glaser, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[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 & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Forever Dog about ” a seemingly sleepy town sitting at the base of an active volcano” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Volcano Town

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Ryan Stanisz performs a one-man show “that explores the sort of lies and alternate storylines that would have made every movie, play, and stand-up special you’ve watched at least 10 times more enjoyable” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tommy Lee Jones Improvised His Role in Lincoln

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): 40 sketches squeezed into an hour at this sketch comedy show 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] Midnight ($5): “A super-sized parody of The View, The Talk, The Chew, and The Real that will bring a diverse group of women together to yell at each other in public. Most shows are content with four or five co-hosts, but The Female Gaze doesn’t feel that’s enough people yelling. The Female Gaze has over a dozen co-hosts, and each has an important opinion that must be heard on all the day’s top news stories and pop culture events, even if they know nothing about them. Especially if they know nothing about them!” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Female Gaze

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($15; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Adrienne Iapalucci, Cipha Sounds, and More

Midnight ($5): An improv group that was formed on New Year’s Eve 2014 “will reunite on the last night of January to rekindle their love while facing 31 more days worth of disappointment and failure” at The PIT upstairs theatre: New Year’s Eve Presents: One Month Over

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] 6:00 pm: Veteran improvisors make up scenes with improv students from any school (selected by lottery) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Student 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)

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/30/15

January 30, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Whitney Cummings

Star stand-up Whitney Cummings headlines tonight and Saturday at Carolines

The Enemy

…and huge, huge congratulations to Harold Night improv group The Enemy for a brilliant and well-deserved win last night of the prestigious 2014 Cage Match Championship

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, 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, Keith Alberstadt, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Trevor Noah, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, Keith Alberstadt, and Ricky Velez at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Robert Kelly, Sherrod Small, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, Lenny Marcus, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Cipha Sounds, Lenny Marcus, and Ricky Velez at the 12:15 pm show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm ($45 at the door, or $44 online using discount code DGPPT): UK star, connect-the-dots adventurer, and Internet prankster comic Dave Gorman briefly performs in NYC (tonight and Saturday only) a one-man show that’s essentially about how we can create any identify we like using credibility tools such as Wikipedia and Microsoft PowerPoint at Subculture (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” atThe Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

7:00 pm ($10): An improvised musical made up on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre by The Shady Bunch

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

7:00 pm ($5): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

7:00 pm ($6): Anna Rose Roisman, Karl Custer Jr., and Catherine Cohen perform sketch, plus music from Danger Pin, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by brilliant sketch writer Meggie Spellman and Anne Clark: Black Magic Lab Variety

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($45.75 & 2-drink min.) The co-creater & co-writer of CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC sitcom Whitney, and who’s also performed on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, TBS, E!, and Chelsea Lately, headlines tonight and Saturday at Carolines: Whitney Cummings

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($10): Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper performs stand-up, with Travon Free opening, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jordan Klepper: Politely Whining

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): 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] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “Each stand-up will do his or her set, and then host JoAnna Ross will conduct an interview about the comic’s dating life. Questions you always wanted to know will be asked: Where do you take a first date to get laid? Do you pay? Where do you take a date to break up with them? What bathrooms have you done it in?” and much more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Undateables

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15; SOLD OUT of seats, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind 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, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, TruTV’s Friends of the People, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Janelle James, Matteo Lane, Bob Khosravi, and Dustin Wesley 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

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

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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups share their process by trying out the freshest ideas from their notebooks at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Notebook Night

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Ann Carr (Comedy Central, VH1, Web series The Actress, stellar sketch groupLegs For Days), Gavin Speiller (Death by Roo Roo; Complex), Eric Gersen (The Story Pirates), and Max Fox 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

11:00 pm ($10): “You’ve been letting negativity into your life, and it’s degrading. Please join nationally respected public speaker and lifestyle icon Matt Rogers (who is in good health, despite reports claiming otherwise) for his lecture on living, laughing, and leaping into the Positive. It’s Time To Re-Begin” at The PIT upstairs theatre: I’m Positive!

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy blended with dance, poetry, and live music at The PIT downstairs lounge from groupHis Majesty, The Baby

11:30 pm ($7): There’s no description for this show, so your guess is as good as mind. All I can tell you is it happens at the Magnet theatre: Drunk Interviews With Historians

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Join our Broadway Babies as they showcase the best theatre/musical theatre/dramatical talent in all of Greater Kankakee (and even beyond maybe, thanks to our “Expanding Our Horizons” Study Abroad Programs). Though most of us have never left Kankakee, audiences will get a peek at our own brand of that ol’ razzle dazzle in a variety of theatrical and musical theatrical acts that will be sure to catapult our young talent directly to The Great White Way! That means Broadway!” at UCB Chelsea hosted by Siobhan Thompson & Timothy Dunn: The Staircase to Broadway

Midnight ($5): A screening of an indie horror feature film written & directed by Brant Sersen (Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story, Splinterheads) starring Ben Rogers, Justin Purnell, Tim Martin, Don Fanelli, Kate Riley, Megan Neuringer, and more. The story: “On New Year’s Eve in 1955 Richard Howell, a patient at the Hillcrest Sanatorium, went on a bloody rampage, killing three children before he hanged himself. Fifty-six years later, a team from the popular TV series Ghost Trackers prepares to spend the night at the sanatorium. They hope to capture paranormal activity for the entertainment of their show’s fans. Instead, they unleash a horrifying force of evil hell-bent on their destruction” at the UCB East theatre (which is ideal for screenings because it used to be an indie movie theatre):Sanatorium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/29/15

January 29, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: John Oliver is on David Letterman;
Whitney Cummings guest hosts The Late Late Show;
Phoebe Robinson is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 1/12);
Matt Walsh, Jason Sklar, and Randy Sklar are on @midnight

Leslie Goshko

The irresistible Leslie Goshko celebrates the Six Year Anniversary of her storytelling extravaganza Sideshow Goshko

Seinfeld

…and one of the best UCB parody shows ever returns in Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion), Catie Lazarus (The New York Times, host of Employee of the Month), and Martin Dockery celebrating the 6th year anniversary of this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) hosted by the lovely Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) and featuring such charms as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko: Six Year Anniversary

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), Michelle Biloon (The Late Late Show), and Robert Dean (AXS TV) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Aparna Nancherla, Ben Kronberg, and More

7:00 pm ($5): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($45.75 & 2-drink min.) The co-creater & co-writer of CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC sitcom Whitney, and who’s also performed on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, TBS, E!, and Chelsea Lately, is headlining tonight through Saturday at Carolines: Whitney Cummings

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Joe Matarese, and Keith Alberstadt at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Dan Soder, Jon Fisch, and Damien Lemon 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): At UCB Chelsea, a sketch group that promises to give away $100: Awful DJ

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical dark sketch group focuses on a single topic: Legs for Days Presents A Salute to Alcohol

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Rachel Feinstein, Brooks Whelan, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ilana Glazer (co-star of Broad City), 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), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), James Patterson, Kenny DeForest, and Will Miles performing at this show for stand-up and sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Ilana Glazer, Larry Murphy, Matt Koff, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 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 This Is Your Life (eight improvisors make up scenes based on an interview with an audience member), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Shacottha Fields 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 ($5): “Sarah Peele loves recapping movies to her friends. Doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it before, she’ll tell you all about it, including how it makes her feel. Tonight her movie is French Kiss, about a woman who flies to France to confront her straying fiancé, but gets into trouble when the charming crook seated next to her uses her for smuggling” at The PIT downstairs lounge: RECAP: French Kiss

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Martha hosts this variety show featuring Brandon Scott Wolf, Marc Philippe Eskenazi, and Marie Faustin performing at the PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

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

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch group Forever Dog hosts guests Amy Leon (poet/musician) and Rahm Silverglade (musician) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forever Dog Presents The Amy Leon Project

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “after landing in Munchkinland, Dorothy discovers that she’s a shitty female protagonist. Along with the Scarecrow (a zombie looking for some brains), the Tin Man (a guy who’s looking to get rid of his heart because feelings suck), and the Cowardly Lion (a homophobic homosexual), Dorothy sets off on a journey to Hollywood to find the all-powerful Writer of the movie who can re-write her character into a more dynamic female lead” written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed by the fabulous Laura Grey: Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

…and in the second half of this double-bill is one of the very best shows to grace UCB Chelsea, in which sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($11 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Interview guests Morgan Spurlock (legendary documentarian), Judy Gold (stand-up), Travon Free (writer for The Daily Show), and Desiree Akhavan (HBO’s Girls), plus stand-up from Jason Saenz, and comedy journalist Jeffrey Gurian doing a tribute to Joe Franklin, all at the Carolines Comedy Club: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

9:30 pm ($5): A staged reading of an SF TV pilot script in which “New York City is the center of an alien invasion, but like most New Yorkers, Jake doesn’t really have time for it” written by James III at The PIT upstairs theatre: How Things Are Now

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), 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), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Giulio Gallarotti, and Ricky Velez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Mike Lawrence, Ben Bailey, Sabrina Jalees, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors remake a blockbuster film (suggested by the audience) in the style of indie filmmaker Wes Anderson at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wes Anderson Remakes Your Favorite Movie

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): It all comes down to this: In this year’s finale, Improv groups Grandma’s Ashes and The Enemy battle for the annual championship by competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Warren Talbot and his band The Silver Bullets have their first gig! Come join the hateable werewolf sidekick and bandleader of the most popular talk show in Hell, Welcome to Hell with Vincent Welles, as he performs at Dante’s Inferno & Bar & Grill” with Philip Casale, Brian Lucraze, Katie Hartman, Jarrod Bates, Mike Wirsch, Dae Churra, Serena Miller, Zoe Farmingdale, and Josh Krebs performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Silver Bullets

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 hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group Junior Varsity 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 1/28/15

January 28, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Bridget Everett is hosted by
Whitney Cummings on The Late Late Show;
Ben Schwartz is on David Letterman;
Michelle Wolf, Nikki Glaser, and Moshe Kasher are on @midnight;
another milestone episode of Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

The Chris Gethard Show

After 3 1/2 years of The Chris Gethard Show appearing every Wednesday on MNN public access, Chris tapes the final episode tonight…before moving it to a commercial cable TV network in April. If you’d like free tickets to the epic public access conclusion, please email zerolaughs@gmail.com; or otherwise simply watch it in the comfort of your home at 11:00 pm on MNN or via the show’s website.

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

[TOP PICK; moved from Monday’s Blizzard Juno cancellation] 6:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days (stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Sean Hart, Kristen Acimovic, and Joel Weidl, plus exceptionally superb writers) andRoanoke: Maude Night: Legs For Days and Roanoke

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

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Rizzo, Witch, and Boombox: 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 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), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host ofHow Many Questions), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Joe Zimmerman, Jim David, and Casey Balsham performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Robby Slowik: Stand-Up on the Spot with Mike Lawrence, Sabrina Jalees, Nate Bargatze, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which writer/performers Ophira Eisenberg, Adam Wade, Tara Clancy, Peter Aguero and wonderful host Dave Martin tell tales that are brutally honest and hilarious on this month’s theme Addictions at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): For the Sixth Year Anniversary of this fun show, storytellers Cammi Climaco, Blaise Allysen Kearsley, Jen Snow, Adam Wilson, Alex Gallafent, and Joel Kim Booster tell true tales about Birthdays/Anniversaries at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned: Sixth Year Anniversary

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A new game show where three contestants get quizzed on random topics; raps, video games, different types of soda. We’ll even have a few comics drop by” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Vila

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist onLast Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Brian Frange, Meghan Hanley, Sameer Naseem, and Lane Pieschel 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] 9:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the second half of this double-bill, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Sam Haft, and more performing stand-up and/or music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): 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): The UCB Touring Company consists of some of UCB’s finest improvisors who show audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For this monthly show, however, the traveling troupe will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Rizzo and Smalls compete in a British-style panel game show at UCB Chelsea written by Achilles Stamatelaky, Eric Cunningham, Allie Kokesh, and Geoff Garlock and produced by Sarah Sommers: Night Late

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s first two shows are a bit light on headliners, but the 11:30 pm show includes Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Mark Normand, Marina Franklin, and Wil Sylvince, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

[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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/26/15

January 26, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Louis CK is on David Letterman
(and please note Louis’ Madison Square Garden show tomorrow
has been canceled due to the anticipated snowstorm…);
Martin Short, Tony Danza, Alan Alda, and Susan Sarandon
are hosted by Regis Philbin on The Late Late Show;
Amanda Peet is on Conan O’Brien;
John Gemberling, Ken Marino, and Tymberlee Hill are on @midnight

Naomi Ekperigin

Broad City writer Naomi Ekperigin…

Ilana Glazer

…and Broad City co-star Ilana Glazer perform at UCB East’s Stand-Up Spotlight

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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 ($5): Naomi Ekperigin (writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) performs stand-up for 40 minutes, with an opening set by Ilana Glazer (co-star of Broad City) at the UCB East theatre: Stand-Up Spotlight

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Writer Allyson Morgan (2014 Tribeca Film Festival) and director Kristin McCarthy Parker (PIT hit Hold Onto Your Butts), and assorted actors put on a reading of Allyson’s TV pilot Neighbors in which “Melanie, a single gal in the city, gets a new horrible neighbor every week” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Neighbors

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Ralph Harris, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Joe Matarese, Big Jay Oakerson, Lori Palminteri, Monroe Martin, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Top improvisors crash into classic theatre scenes played by Broadway, off-Broadway, and TV stars—tonight including Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Mike Birbiglia (one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country; feature film Sleepwalk with Me), and Ellie Kemper (star of upcoming Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)—at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Christine Bullen (stellar character comic; sketch group Goodbye Handsome, one-woman showMy Melonbasket), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Abbi Crutchfield, Sue Smith, and Rekha Shankar being interviewed and/or performing at UCB Easthosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

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

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Liza Treyger (co-host with Sabrina Jalees of How Many Questions?), and Tanael Joachim performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Two actors perform from different famed plays and an improviser crashes into the scripted scenes atThe PIT upstairs theatre directed by Meg Griffiths Anderson: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

[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): Political comic Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, Showtime, Citizen Radio) performs stand-up, and then leads his friends springboarding improv scenes off of “social and political stories from the lives of audience members” at The Magnet theatre: A People’s Guide to Comedy

[CANCELED DUE TO SNOWSTORM] 9:30 pm ($5): The two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups scheduled to perform tonight—the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days, and Roanoke—have been canceled due to the anticpated snowstorm Maude Night will be back next week.

[CANCELED DUE TO SNOWSTORM] 9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss normally host & perform at UCB East at this time. However, the show has been canceled due to the anticipated snowstorm. Improv Nerds will be back next week.

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), 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), Crystian Ramirez, Joe Bartnick, Lisa Corrao, and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Cipha Sounds, Brooks Wheelan, Justy Dodge, and More

10:00 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[CANCELED DUE TO SNOWSTORM] 11:00 pm: Normally, some of the finest comics in the world perform at UCB Chelsea’s wonderful Whiplash. However, the show has been canceled tonight due to the anticipated snowstorm. Whiplash will be back as usual next week.

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

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

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

[CANCELED DUE TO SNOWSTORM] 10:30 pm: Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson normally host an improv jam at UCB East at this time, but won’t tonight because of the anticipated snowstorm. Improv Nerds Jamwill be back next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 1/25/15

January 25, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep

Joe Pera will tell you soothing jokes and calming stories at The Annoyance Theatre’s Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep

The Interview

…and at Queens LIC, The Creek kicks off a series of free screenings of banned movies with The Interview

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 1:00 pm: The debut of this new monthly film series devoted to movies your parents forebade you to see or were otherwise banned kicks off with James Franco & Seth Rogen starring in the 2014 comedy that could’ve triggered nuclear war with North Korea at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Pete Bladel: Banned Films: The Interview

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A screening of short comedy videos directed by Armando Diaz and friends at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Video Lab

[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 ($5): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please clickhere and here) debuts a one-man show—which I’ll be attending, and can hardly wait to see—described as “low-key jokes and calm stories, the performance will be like listening to Garrison Keillor but actually funny but not so funny that you don’t mind falling asleep in the middle; feel free to bring a blanket” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre(367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep

7:00 pm ($5): Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Nick Rutherford (SNL, Good Neighbor), Christi Chiello (MTV’sGirl Code), John F. O’Donnell (Redacted Tonight), John Reynolds, Eliza Hurwitz, and Mike Abrusci performing stand-up, plus sketch duo Good Cop Great Cop, at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

7:00 pm ($5): An improvised game show “teaming four short-form performers with two special guest contestants ready to ‘yes and’ anything to win” at The PIT upstairs theatre: ShortGameShow

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

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

[$] 7:30 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who starred in Comedy Central special Can a Brother Get Some Love?, and has been a series regular on Breaking Bad and Adult Swim’s Sperm Whale, headlines one last night at theCarolines Comedy Club: Lavell Crawford

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, and Sherrod Small at the 8:00 show; Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, and Greer Barnes at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($28 plus two-drink min.): A huge star in South Africa who’s also a correspondent for The Daily Show, and performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, off-off-Broadway, and at the Edinburgh Festival headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Trevor Noah

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), Oni Perez, and Jess Salomon performing stand-up, plus music from Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), all at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Casey Jost (Head Writer of truTV’s Impractical Jokers, former writer for Jimmy Fallon) and Brigid Boyle (improv groups The Baldwins and Taco Supreme) join host Jodi Lennon (Marc Maron: The Voice of Something, Exit 57) to perform an improvised year in the life of selected people at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): What a Year!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors Ashley Ward, Jon Bander, Evan Kaufman, Brett Wean, and Will Nunziata make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak: People Improvising

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Janelle James, Jabari Davis, and Ayanna Dookie performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Amanda Seales & Marc Lamont Hill: Smart, Funny, and Black

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

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

1) a two-woman multimedia musical comedy profiling the foibles of two historical re-enactors in Ye Elizabeths;

2) An ultra-conservative and an uber-liberal are hosts of a Sunday morning talk show: Pistols at Dawn; and

3) Jason Messina (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Paul Valenti (Chris and Paul Show), Adam Hamway, David Elmy, and Rob Asaro are Captains of Industry

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet Instructors Louis Kornfeld and Rick Andrews pair together for one night of improvisation as comedy duo Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 9:30 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($22; SOLD OUT, but there might be a standby line if you’re okay with standing): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are a widely acclaimed improv duo performing at The Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street) tonight and Monday: TJ & Dave

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code WINTER; 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 ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Rachel Feinstein, Pete Lee, and More

10:30 pm ($7): Quick solo character sets are performed by Brian Frange, Sebastian Conelli, Chet Siegel, Matt J Weir, Billy Bob Thompson, Brad Howe, and Kevin Cobbs at The Magnet theatre: The Pretty Fast Character Showcase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/24/15

January 24, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Louis CK Alert: There are still a very few tickets left for
tonight’s 8:00 pm show at Madison Square Garden here.

TV Alert: Blake Shelton hosts Saturday Night Live at 11:29 pm on NBC

Trevor Noah

South African stand-up star Trevor Noah headlines tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club

Dave Gorman

…and a UK star performs a one-man show for one week only in Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation

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 ($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

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Ant Jr., Right On!, Hot Ass Bitches, and Skeemeull performing at The Magnet theatre:The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Sam Morril at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Sam Morril at the 7:15 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Paul Mecurio, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Sam Morril at the 9:15 show; Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Sherrod Small, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 10:30 show; Paul Mecurio, Ryan Hamilton, Sherrod Small, and Sam Morril at the 11:15 show; and Kurt Metzger, Ryan Hamilton, Marina Franklin, and Sherrod Small at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue):Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm ($45 at the door, or $44 online using discount code DGPPT): High concept UK stunt comic Dave Gorman visits NYC briefly to perform a one-man show involving PowerPoint at Subculture (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation

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 ($5): House improv groups such as Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Improv Teams

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Improvisors make up scenes revolving around their heroes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nicholas Feitel: The Hero Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($28 plus two-drink min.): A huge star in South Africa who’s also a correspondent for The Daily Show, and performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, off-off-Broadway, and at the Edinburgh Festival headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Trevor Noah

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman, Sarah Nowak, and Brigid Boyle) make stuff up at The PITupstairs 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—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

8:00 pm ($8): House sketch group Sketchfrogs and director Matt Barats (Kill All Comedy) try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Sketchfrogs

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) spearheads “a group of specifically trained dance improvisers from outer space. They will improvise completely synchronized dances to your favorite Taylor Swift songs for this evening’s festivities” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Jo Firestone’s Rainbow Dancers Take On Taylor Swift

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): A screening of sketch duo Coker & Stratton’s new webseries The Other Kennedys; plus unsettling songs from duo David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) and Katie Hartman (wonderfully brave and dark sketch comic; Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), sketch from Girls With Brown Hair, and stand-up from Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight) and Julio Torres, all at The PIT upstairs theatre: Screening of The Other Kennedys, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($22; SOLD OUT, but there might be a standby line for those okay with standing): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are a widely acclaimed improv duo performing at The Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street) tonight through Monday: TJ & Dave

9:30 pm ($10): “Late one night, two Southern-born gal pals fall asleep while watching Gone with the Wind and find themselves caught in a fever dream! Join them on a journey of epic proportions as they forge through their fusedGone-with-the-Wind-saturated subconscious. Part reconstruction, part deconstruction, and part pop culture nonsense” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Frankie & Sarah’s Gone with the Wind Fever Dream

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): 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 Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Philip Markle (Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre): Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left 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 & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($10): Among the rarest and most difficult forms of improv is solo improv. Jason Boxer will attempt to pull this off tonight, creating a story and an entire world of characters on the spot all by himself at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Nice Guy Doing Good Things

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show; senior writer/producer for Spike TV; co-host of Amazingtown), Doug Smith, and Saurin Choksi share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups (not announced) compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alden Ford and Justin Tyler: Backyard Brawl

[FREE] Midnight: Stand-up, sketch, and improv at this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre:Pinball

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran improvisors make up scenes with improv students from any school (selected by lottery) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Student 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)

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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