NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/21/15

April 21, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jeff Garlin is on The Daily Show;
Paul Rudd is on David Letterman;
“Weird Al” Yankovic and Nate Bargatze are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Kumail Nanjiani is on Seth Meyers;
Maria Bamford, David O’Doherty, and Jimmy Pardo
are on @midnight;
and see below

Amy Schumer

The first season of Inside Amy Schumer was quite good, but Season 2 made the series a TV comedy milestone. Tonight kicks off Season 3, which am crossing fingers will continue Amy’s path to transcendent greatness. Find out for yourself at 10:30 pm or 2:34 am on Comedy Central, or tomorrow online

Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

…and take advantage of the rich choices in live comedy tonight, which include Julio Torres & friends at UCB East performing Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

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, six of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up & character actress Karen Batista tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Karen Batista

7:00 pm ($5): The staged reading of a TV pilot by Leila Ben-Abdallah: “After losing her job as the star of Spaceship: Neutrino, a beloved science fiction TV show, Lena Hadid finds herself completely broke, and too hopelessly typecast from her fame as an iconic SF star to land any acting work. Out of money and options, she moves back home to the quiet, conservative suburbs of Washington, D.C. to share a raucous, messy bachelor pad with Amir, her metrosexual Arab father, and Adam, her ultra-cool, hip-hop producer younger brother. With their help, Lena learns to embrace her unique fame as an icon of nerd-dom and redefine what it means to be “washed-up” at The PIT upstairs theatre: TV PIlot Reading of Washed Up

7:00 pm ($10): A sketch comedy double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Buffet and The Uncanny Valley

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Robert Kelly, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, Lenny Marcus, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Nikki Glaser, Keith Alberstadt, Brian Scolaro, Sam Morril, and Sherrod Small at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Swirly Animal, Moon Ravens, and Slamball at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful trio of comedic dancers performing a great show at The PIT in April and May), Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Mary Mack, Ron Lynch, Andrew Michaan, and Drew Droege performing stand-up or dance at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor) & Liza Treyger (Chelsea Lately): Cakeshop Comedy: Morgan Murphy, Cocoon Central Dance Team, Guy Branum, Jacqueline Novak, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Julio Torres wrote & co-stars in a show that mixes stand-up and sketch with a half dozen other comics including Aaron Jackson at UCB East performing in the Comedy Central Corporate Retreat timeslot: Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Parks & Recreation, The Office, Conan O’Brien IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), and Nate Fridson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour): Deep-er-ness

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Joe Rumrill (Fresh Perspectives), and Amber Drea performing storytelling or stand-up at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Kevin Townley & Melissa Rocha: Treat Yourself with Elna Baker and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s guests are Giulia Rozzi & Will Miles (couple), Roger Hailes & Greg Barris (pals), Anna Drezen & Todd Dakotah Briscoe (pals), and Nore Davis & Vladimir Caamaño (pals), all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by real-life couple Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Derek Gaines, performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Dan Soder, Nate Bargatze, Monroe Martin, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch duo Marina & Nicco and storyteller Sam Dingman team up at The PIT downstairs lounge to teach you Everything We Know About Sex

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “The best stand-ups in the city will take to the stage armed with jokes, quirky observations, and anecdotes. Simultaneously, the producers will craft a battery of trivia questions for the audience based entirely on the comics’ material. Competitors of all levels are welcome, no matter how much you watch TMZ. You can walk in the door with a blank slate and come out victorious! All that’s required is your attention and short-term memory” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Observational Trivia Night

[TOP PICK] 8:15 pm ($8): “Four writers read their own work for seven minutes or less, and are then judged by three all-star judges. Two finalists are chosen to compete in the finale, a vaguely-literary game to decide the ultimate winner,” with tonight’s authors Lane Moore, Josh Gondelman, Kent Russell, and Eliza Kennedy performing for judges Ben Kronberg, Lucy DeVito, and Taiye Selasi—and you—at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Literary Death Match

[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 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): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Andrew Michaan, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The hilarious Jay Malsky plays Elaine Stritch in this musical one-person show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Elaine Stritch: Still Here

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC comics (typically announced around 1:00 pm) performing for 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 In Thousands, Clan Weirdos, and Higgins at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Death By Roo Roo, Goat, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Performing stand-up sets in between Tony bits tonight are Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Tim Duffy, all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Michelle Wolf, Kara Klenk, and More

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from young group 301 Views at The PIT upstairs theatre: 301 Views

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Scotland Green, May Wilkerson, Alex English, Marcia Belskyi, Keele Howard-Stone, and Shalewa Sharpe performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Derek Gaines, and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Dan Soder, Christian Finnegan, Monroe Martin, 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

10:00 pm ($5): In this unique show, improvisors make up a complete family & friends intervention based on an audience suggestion at The PIT upstairs theatre: Impro-vention

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) and an opening musical act (also not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Shvenderman: Shvendy’s Comedy Show

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly 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 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv group Fire 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)

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.

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 4/20/15

April 20, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on David Letterman
(Season 3 of the stellar Inside Amy Schumer debuts
tomorrow at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central);
Dick Van Dyke and Jenny Slate are on Conan O’Brien
(repeated from 12/16/14);
Ron Funches, T.J. Miller, and Steve Agee are on @midnight

The Hungry Hungry Games

A not-to-be-missed musical parody of The Hunger Games plays at 7:00 & 9:30 pm at The PIT: The Hungry Hungry Games

Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth - A 4-20 Spectacular

…and 4/20, the Christmas for stoners, is celebrated at The Magnet’s Sebastian’s Amazing 4:20 Hour, The Stand’s Frantic Mondays, and The Knitting Factory’s Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth: A 4/20 Spectacular

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Becky Krause, and Tracy Mull—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 online; the latter is recommended because both the early and late shows are likely to sell out): This musical parody of The Hunger Games is a small miracle, having been written by Christopher W. Barnes (book & lyrics) and Ryan Mercy (music) in just a few weeks, and then cast, directed (again, by Barnes) rehearsed, and mounted on stage in a mere month. It’s not perfect—especially Act One, which runs 90 minutes but would work much better with 20-30 minutes chopped out—but it provides so many pleasures that it’s well worth your patience. Highlights include Pat Swearingen, who almost single-handedly steals the show as hilariously over-the-top TV host Caesar; Natalie Sullivan demonstrating delightful range as muscle-bound and stiff-necked, and yet sweet-voiced, star Katniss; sharply observed jokes about movie racial stereotypes; sly pop culture references, such as when Katniss gets her hands on a bow and proclaims a la Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd “At last! My arm is complete again!;” and much more. The UNAUTHORIZED series produced by Ronny Pascale et al has been a consistent jewel in the crown of The PIT upstairs theatre, but this newest production tops them all and should not be missed: The Hungry Hungry Games: An UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

7:00 pm ($7): Anarchic improv and/or sketch comedy from nearly a dozen comics at The Magnet theatre: The Stank

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up & character actress Karen Batista tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Lon g Island City: Week at the Creek: Karen Batista

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Jermaine Fowler, Carmen Lynch, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Joe Machi, Rachel Feinstein, Jeff Leach, Sherrod Small, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Todd Barry, Ryan Hamilton, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of the sharpest improvisors in NYC, Shannon O’Neill (The Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, The Stepfathers, UCB-NY Artistic Director) and Tami Sagher (superb staff writer for Broad City; former writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006) invite their brilliant improvisor pals Ellie Kemper and Connor Ratliff to make up scenes with them at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Renowned 4/20 fan Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times) and drug-like sketch group Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch team; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award) host this raucous celebration of 4/20 with Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), and Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), plus musical guest Unicorn Smack, all at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth: A 4/20 Spectacular

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Character comics who typically include rising stars Leslie Meisel (Stone Cold Fox), Christine Bullen (one-woman show My Melonbasket, sketch group Goodbye Handsome), and many more performing bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), Mary Mack, Joel Kim Booster, and Andrew Michaan performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

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

8:30 pm ($7): “What happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring five additional comics at The Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: (212) (which includes wonderful rising stars Langan Kingsley and Russ Armstrong, plus Cody Lindquist, Eddie Dunn, and Rob Cuthill, and stellar sketch writers such as Georgie Aldaco) and One Idiot (which includes Maggie Ross, Carrie McCrossen, Kristy Lopez-Bernala, Allie Kokesh, and Nathan Min): Maude Night: (212) and One Idiot

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: Performing 4/20-themed stand-up are 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Derek Gaines, Subhah Agarwal, Alex Pavone, Luis J. Gomez, and Vladimir Caamano for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Mike Lawrence, Ari Shaffir, Nate Bargatze, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($7): “Sebastian will be hanging out on stage on 4/20. Straight chillin’. During the hour, he will have his friends come up and give presentations about things that they think will BLOW HIS MIND. This show will give you tons of useless amazing facts to fill your brain (if you can remember them). A few lucky audience members will be asked to come on stage and try to blow Sebastian’s and the audience’s minds. So come prepared with cool shit to share!” at The Magnet theatre: Sebastian’s Amazing 4:20 Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm (reserved seats are all taken, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 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.

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 4/19/15

April 19, 2015

TV Alert: On HBO, last Sunday brought back the best series on TV, Game of Thrones; but other reasons to rejoice were the return of Silicon Valley, Veep, and most especially John Oliver’s thoroughly brilliant Last Week Tonight. If you aren’t watching these shows, repent your ways and start tonight, either live or via HBO GO.

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for comedy shows one last night here

Gilbert Gottfried and Lewis Black

Comedy giants Gilbert Gottfried & Lewis Black chat at Carolines for Gilbert Gottfriend’s Amazing Colossal Podcast

Leslie Jones

…plus it’s your last chance to catch Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones headlining at Carolines

Steel Petunias

…and your next-to-last chance to enjoy the hilarious cast of a musical homage to Steel Magnolias: Steel Petunias

 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 ($22 & 2-drink min.) Two of the most iconic comics in the biz, Gilbert Gottfriend and Lewis Black, chat for a live podcast taping at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfriend’s Amazing Colossal Podcast with Lewis Black

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

6:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($11.54 online using code JUICE, otherwise $20 at the door): A musical version of a famed 1989 movie with book & lyrics by Christopher W. Barnes and music by Ryan Mercy, produced by Ronny Pascale, and starring a delightful comedic cast that includes Dana Krashin, Julie Feltman, Emily Mathwich, Taylor Ortega, Emily Essig, and Adrian Sexton at The PIT upstairs theatre (for video samples, please click here andhere): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

7:00 pm ($5): A shortform improv troupe visiting from Hartford Connecticut perform for one night only at Brooklyn’sThe Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Wacky Hats

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A star of Saturday Night Live and writer for Chris Rock (and one of the actors in Chris’ movie Top Five) headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Leslie Jones

7:30 pm ($7): Groups Baby Shoes and Action Park perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

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

[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 Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Jeff Leach, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril 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 ($5): Superb improvisors Christina Gausas & Michael Bertrando perform two-prov at Brooklyn’sThe Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Come Together

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Iconic former child actress Mara Wilson (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire; currently a writer; cast member of podcast Welcome to Night Vale) hosts this show about “death, commitment, sock puppets—everyone’s afraid of something. Laugh at your fears as Mara takes you through comedians’ anxieties (and a few of her own),” tonight featuring comedic storytellers Erin Barker (producer of The Story Collider), Brian Kennedy (Moth StorySlam winner), and Tynan DeLong (Mortified Nation, The Chris Gethard Show) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: What Are You Afraid Of?

8:00 pm ($5): Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Kenny Zimlinghaus (Sirius XM Radio host), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host ofLasers in the Jungle), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Greg Stone, Jeremy Essig, and Andrew Tavin performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm  ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): Amanda Seales (VH1) performs a one-woman show about love mixing characters, music, and audience participation at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Amanda Seales: It’s Complicated

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): 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; comedy album Still Got It), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Zainab Johnson (Arsenio Hall, Last Comic Standing, BET’s Comic View), Erin Jackson , and Daniel Simonsen performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

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): Triple Feature

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which typically includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Act One

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): The spectacular Tracy Mull loves short-form improv games with a passion, and so is the perfect host for this jam that lets audience members—including you—put their names in a bucket. Tracy will then repeatedly pull out a name and a game and facilitate improv magic at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sunday School Short-Form Jam

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

5:30 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

[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.

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 4/18/15

April 18, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for select comedy shows through April 19th here

Leslie Jones

Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones continues her headlining run at Carolines

Soojeong Son and GInny Leise

…and Soojeong Son & GInny Leise make comics top each other at embarrassing themselves in The Shame Game

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:

[ALMOST FREE] 1:00 pm (FREE or $1.02, depending on how quickly you register online): A brunch-time stand-up show that’s rated PG—that is, kid & family friendly—and is also a lottery-style open mic for children under age 15. This unusual monthly show is at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Guess What: A Family-Friendly Stand-Up Show & Kids’ Open MIc

[$] 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 Gnome Necessary, Wine Supremacists, Seramillo, and Group of Dads at a Barperforming at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[$] 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 Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Nick Griffin, Lynne Koplitz, Zainab Johnson, Sherrod Small, and Jon Fisch (hosting) at the 7:00 show, and Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, Sherrod Small, Dov Davidoff, Ricky Velez, Jeff Leach, and Ryan Reiss (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

[$] [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): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Jordan Carlos (writer for The Nightly Show; MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, VH1, Adult Swim), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal improvisors Ashley Ward, Brigid Boyle, Alexis Saarela, and/or Elizabeth Findlay, plus guest improv group The Stank, perform at the PIT downstairs lounge as group Taco Supreme

7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Women & Men will spin off scenes from the tales of a monologist at the UCB Easttheatre: Women & Men

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: A comedic juggler tries out material for this last night of his four-night run at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Marcus Monroe

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Christina Gausas, Tami Sagher, Brandon Scott Jones, Keisha Zollar, Eric Drysdale, Jen Bartels, and James III making up scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Maraville

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A star of Saturday Night Live and writer for Chris Rock (and one of the actors in Chris’ movie Top Five) headlines tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Leslie Jones

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band)— takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Comics share their most shameful stories with the aim of being crowned the King or Queen of Shame, with tonight’s hopefuls David & Katie (David and Katie Get Re-Married), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), and Subhah Agarwal performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Ginny Leise & Soojeong Son: The Shame Game

[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 ($25; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Showand Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty,National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Sabrina Jalees, Ari Shaffir, Christian Finnegan, Bonnie McFarlane, and Sherrod Small

8:00 pm ($8): “When the long-time owner of Ski Mountain dies, everyone expects the mountain to be passed down to his beloved daughter Jocelyn. However, his evil older son Ernest appears at the funeral and takes his lawful control of the mountain. Ernest’s first order of business is to fly in a Swiss mountain and stack it on top of Snow mountain…making a double mountain. While everyone loves the double mountain at first, it becomes clear that Ernest has ulterior motives when he continues flying in Swiss mountains, stacking them higher and higher. With a crisis on their hands, Jocelyn, a reclusive trailer rater named Bearnie, and the employees and residents of Snow Mountain must save the day” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Crisis on Ski Mountain

8:00 pm ($10; SOLD OUT, but you can try to get in via a standby list): Sketch comedy group Bridge & Tunnel plus guest comics Anna Rose Roisman, Madonna Eleganza Refugia, and Briana Kelly perform at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: A Sketch Show

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:00 pm ($15 for the three episodes comprising “Part 1″): A 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage…with limited success. The costumes are fun, the cast is cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice is the best “special effect” in the show), but the script is too often flat, arbitrary, and juvenile, making it almost impossible to care about anything that happens, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. On top of that, the playwright also appears to mistakenly equate “annoying” with “entertaining”—which helps explain why he wrote himself one of the most gratingly irritating characters in the show. I can’t recommend 8:00 pm’s Part 1 at all, but 9:30 pm’s Part 2 is an improvement (largely thanks to the addition of Asia Kate Dillon as a charismatic female warrior) and might be worth checking out for the sheer novelty of this production. As for Part 3, it debuts tonight at 11:00 pm, and here’s hoping it transcends what came before it. The whole shebang happens at The PIT upstairs theatre at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kapow-i GoGo

[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): 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

[FREE] 8:30 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 Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show; senior writer/producer for Spike TV; co-host of Amazingtown), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Charlie Kasov (MTV’s Guy Code), Alia Janine (Playboy), Aalap Patel, and Joel Walkowski, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Simmons McDavid: Show/Tell Show

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

9:30 pm ($10): Sketches, characters, and improv from the Anthology Players, tonight inspired by legendary bandNirvana at The PIT downstairs lounge: The B-Side: Nirvana

9:30 pm ($5): “Good improvisation requires commitment and listening and a sense of play. But great improvisation requires great actors. Tonight we celebrate our students as they perform their favorite monologues and scenes from plays and films both beloved and obscure with raw, powerful vulnerability” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre(367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Jed Resnik: Annoyance Acting Masterclass Showcase

[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

[$] 10:00 pm ($25; 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, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Christian Finnegan, Bonnie McFarlane, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

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

10:30 pm ($5): Comics (not announced) “perform kooky bits based off online videos. The goal of the show is primarily to be louder than the jazz music coming from upstairs” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Matt Barats: Louder Than Jazz

11:00 pm ($5): A young improv group performs and hosts guests at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tickle Party: An Intimate Evening

[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 code ComedyWeek; no min.): Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Alex Pavone, and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sabrina Jalees, Barry Rothbart, Ben Kronberg, 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 Evans host: 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):Fishbowl

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.

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 4/17/15

April 17, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for select comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Bob Odenkirk and Claire Danes are
on James Corden (repeated from 3/30);
if you missed last night’s Louie in which Louis C.K.’s character
gives advice to an open-mic comic, watch it on FXNow.com here

Christine Bullen

Fresh, smart, irresistible character comic Christine Bullen concludes the UCB run of her solo show about the unusual jobs that can be found in NYC via Craigslist: My Melonbasket

Griffin Newman

…and speaking of unusual, sex guru Lux Alptraum teams with comics Griffin Newman (above) and Lucas Hazlett to explore oddball sex education videos at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: The Wonderful World of Boning

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, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): A notable lack of top headliners tonight, but to give benefit of the doubt maybe there’ll be some major drop-ins… All shows are at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [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): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Jordan Carlos (writer for The Nightly Show; MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, VH1, Adult Swim), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Two improv groups each make up a musical on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: [title of team] and Royals

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A comedic juggler tries out material tonight and Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Marcus Monroe

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, possibly your last chance for a while to catch delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proving 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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($8): Sex educator Lux Alptraum teams with comics Griffin Newman and Lucas Hazlett to “take a tour of classic sex education videos, where some of America’s best community theater actors teach our nation’s youth all about puberty, sexual health, and what’s happening down at the STI clinic” at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: The Wonderful World of Boning: Sex Ed With a Sense of Humor

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A star of Saturday Night Live and writer for Chris Rock (and one of the actors in Chris’ movie Top Five) headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club:Leslie Jones

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; 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, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central specialPassive Aggressive), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Vladimir Caamano, and Dan Naturman performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Marina Franklin, Christian Finnegan, 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

8:00 pm ($8): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentaryMetaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, TruTV’s Friends of the People, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), James Mattern, Subhah Agarwal, and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at the One and One Bar’s Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Dave Severino: Grass Fed Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, sketches, and music for this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre:Take It Or Leave It

[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 Sebastian Conelli (2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy): The Friday Night Sh*w

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Connor Ratliff, Jordan Klepper, Don Fanelli, Silvija Ozols, 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

9:30 pm ($10): Eight stand-ups compete for laughs by telling jokes on topics handed to them just this morning atThe PIT downstairs lounge refereed by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Stand-Up Showdown

9:30 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) hosted by Carmen Christopher: The Juice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott performing with a three-piece rock ensemble—plus tonight’s guests Ali Farahnakian (owner of The PIT), J. Elaine Marcos (Broadway’s Annie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, A Chorus Line), Mike Burton (founder of Improv Maui), and Julien Theresette (visiting from Lyon, France)—all at The PIT upstairs theatre: Centralia

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; 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, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central specialPassive Aggressive), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Vladimir Caamano, and Dan Naturman performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Marina Franklin, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics (not announced) “attempt to unravel the worlds craziest conspiracy theories” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Ray Kump: False Flag

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv, first from seven-member group Good Catch, and then from Tourist Trapwhich consists of members from world-class group Baby Wants Candy and more, all at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Good Catch and Tourist Trap

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, improv group What I Did For Love,one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Jon Tyler (CBS), and Halle Kiefer (MTV, Friends of the People, Vulture) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Gentlemen Party tonight plays with TV tropes, presenting “adorable alien buddies, BBC period dramas, politicos talking really fast, and at least one Olive Garden commercial…and that’s just the written half! The other half is improv” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party:White Teen Lake—The Series Finale

11:00 pm ($5): Ali Levin plays 13-year-old Bat Mitzvah gal Alexandra performing a lighting ceremony, aided by comics Ginny Leise & Soojeong Son (hosts of The Shame Game), Lyssa Mandel (host of The Bitch Seat), Pat Regan (improv group Witch), Ilana Michelle Rubin, and Tom Johnson all performing at The PIT downstairs lounge:Alexandra’s Candle Lighting: A Variety Ceremony

11:30 pm ($7): Anarchy-themed comedy groups The Stank and Psycho perform improv and/or sketches at The Magnet theatre: The Stank and Psycho

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): An unusual show that blends joke-telling and improv by having stand-ups make up their sets on the spot, with tonight’s guests 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), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), , and more performing at UCB East hosted by Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host ofMidnight Stand-Up): Strange Magic: The Improvised Stand-Up Show with Mark Normand, Mike Drucker, and More

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

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre forHappy Hour

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

[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 various Maude Night groups: 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)

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.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/16/15

April 16, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for select comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Kevin James is on David Letterman;
Will Ferrell and Chelsea Peretti are on Jimmy Fallon
(repeated from 3/18);
an especially great lineup of Tim Minchin, Rhys Darby,
and Rich Fulcher on @midnight

David and Katie Get Re-Married

Katie Hartman & David Carl have a show so wonderful that The PIT painted the duo’s faces on its outside window. I’ll be seeing the updated production tonight, and you should join me for this epic sketch-based play filled with loud, unsettling songs and many fights: David and Katie Get Re-Married

Olympia Dukakis

…plus Olympia Dukakis is among the guests at Catie Lazarus’ & Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan’s Employee of the Month

Leslie Jones

…and Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

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 ($5): A one-woman show by Sarah Peele who “inspired by the greatest decade ever plays four weird characters” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sarah Peele’s 90s Mixtape

7:00 pm ($5): Talented improvisor James III and friends play characters at The PIT downstairs lounge: James III and Friends

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A comedic juggler tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Marcus Monroe

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A star of Saturday Night Live and writer for Chris Rock (and one of the actors in Chris’ movie Top Five) headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Leslie Jones

7:30 pm ($5): Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Jenny Rubin, Alex Grubard, and Grant Gordon performing stand-up atUCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro, Joe Machi, Marina Franklin, Lynne Koplitz, Jonathan Kite, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Lenny Marcus, Dov Davidoff, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; and Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson ,and Sam Morril 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Brilliant character comics David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) team up to become singing explosive forces of nature (when I saw the first version of this in June they almost destroyed the stage, with cake, champagne, and imaginary blood everywhere) at The PIT upstairs theatre: David and Katie Get Re-Married

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), 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; comedy album Still Got It), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), and Luis J. Gomez performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Wyatt Cenac, Mark Normand, Dan Soder, 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 The Blackout (long form improv in which “scenes are edited solely by blackouts created by the director in the booth and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene”), at 10:00 pm by favorite sketches of established groups in Bonus Round, 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

[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, 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 ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show by Don Fanelli as “Mr. Jersey presenting to you the real people that make New Jersey amazing: the poets and musicians, restauranteurs and strippers. Take Exit 17 off the turnpike for a night celebrating these lovable, totally normal characters” at Mr. Jersey’s Neighborhood

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece put on a pretend kids’ show in which “you learn valuable life lessons about friendship, expressing your individuality, fucking the family members you love the most, and much much more” at Through the Back Door

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from group The Dog Committee at The PIT downstairs lounge: “Help I Need Somebody!”

8:00 pm ($5): John Early, Phil Hanley, Eliot Glazer, Josh Gondelman, Brett Davis, Max Silvestri, and Naomi Karavan performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[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

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups, Salt and Gun Club, make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Salt + Gun Club

8:40ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Saurin Choksi (TruTV), Kerry Overfab Coddett, Marie Faustin, Brian Grossi, and LeClerc Andre Darguin performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Franklin Bar and Lounge (739 Franklin Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan & Mike Eltringham: It’s Sooo Up and Coming

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): “When an aging playwright attempts to re-invigorate his career online, he sparks a flame war that summons the ghostly spirits of Theatre Past, Present and Future, who expose his brutish behaviors from the past, but offer him the chance to course-correct his fate. The evening devolves into the recreation of sixteen plays, once thought all but lost to time…all performed in under an hour” at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents The Average Was Lousy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Improv giants Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman produce and host this show featuring three improvised one-act plays at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Scene

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): 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; comedy album Still Got It), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Mary Mack (Last Comic Standing), and Tony Hinchcliffe (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($25 at the door or $24.50 in advance online, plus 2-item food/drink min.): This show that interviews luminaries about what it’s like to have a dreamy job tonight features Olympia Dukakis (Oscar-winning actress), Cindy Chupack (Emmy Award winning writer/producer for such shows as Modern Family and Sex and the City; author of book Between Boyfriends), Betty Halbreich (famed Bergdorf personal shopper), and Justin Sayre (2 Broke Girls, The Meeting) at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place) hosted by Catie Lazarus, plus music from Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan: Employee of the Month

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

[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

[DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code ComedyWeek; no min.): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Ricky Velez (correspondent for The Nightly Show), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Ben & Josh, Subhah Agarwal, Giulio Gallarotti, and Luis J. Gomez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Dan Soder, Ricky Velez, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from guests Anna Drezen, Brandon Scott Wolf, and Devin Richie, plus improvised therapy sessions from host Ali Levin playing “Miami’s most beloved spicy Cuban holistic wellness counselor, Viviana Cortez is on a quest to answer life’s toughest questions while healing her clients one churro at a time” atThe PIT downstairs lounge: The Sessions with Viviana Cortez

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—possibly performing in a camp tent—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Aaron Friedman: Campfire Comedy

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata host this stand-up show with guests Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever) and Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour) at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Curtains and Women & Men compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A character-based open-mic happening monthly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character 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

[TOP PICK] [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—plus tonight only, storyteller Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion) and Katey Healy-Wurzburg (improvisor, stand-up, and storyteller)—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee & Patrick Clair: 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 Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

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

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

[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.

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 4/15/15

April 15, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for select comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Michael J. Fox and Amy Sedaris are on David Letterman;
Billy Crystal is on The Daily Show;
Nick Kroll is on James Corden;
Tim Allen is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Chris D’Elia, Ian Edwards, and Fahim Anwar are on @midnight

Dan Soder

Superb stand-up Dan Soder headlines for one night only at Carolines...

One Direction Replacement Auditions

…nearly a dozen comics perform in hopes of taking over from Zayn Malik at the One Direction Replacement Auditions

Rejection

…and comics share their tales of TV networks rejecting their material at Not Suitable for Television

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): Superb comics David Carl, Sean Hart, and many more perform in this sketch-based talent show: “Zayn Malik from One Direction just quit the band. The boys are looking for a replacement immediately. They need someone who can capture the true essence of being a boy band member. Watch some very lucky candidates who have gone through multiple callbacks to make it to tonight’s finals” at The PIT downstairs lounge: One Direction Replacement Auditions

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A comedic juggler tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Marcus Monroe

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) Dan Soder is a smart, edgy rising star stand-up who’s performed onConan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, and VH1. I’ve seen Dan’s razor-sharp writing frequently earn bigger laughs than that of established stars. If you haven’t yet experienced Dan, take advantage of this one-night-only event of him headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club: Dan Soder

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Southpaw, Ronin, and This Old House: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) seamlessly blends stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience. In this show Chris achieves a new maturity to his already stellar career with a beautifully honest look at his experiences with mental illness and suicide that reaches exceptional heights at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Even highly talented comedic writers are frequently told “no” by television. Tonight The Lucas Brothers, Jared Logan, J.R. Havlan, Nick Rutherford, Streeter Seidell, Mike Recine, and Opus Moreschiand share their entertaining tales of rejection at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Aaron Glaser: Not Suitable for Television

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Lenny Marcus, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show, and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and Ricky Velez at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; 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 Morgan Murphy, Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Aaron Berg, Casey Balsham, and Yassir Lester performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Robby Slowik: Stand-Up on the Spot with Morgan Murphy, Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Pat Brown, Gideon Klein, Lisa Sobin, and Chris Williams performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Bob Hansen: Train Wreck Stand-Up: Jared Logan, Adam Newman, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central), Luke Thayer (MTV, Lifetime), Omar Shaukat, and Ken Perlstein performing for this free weekly stand-up show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, Jackie Jax, and Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm ($3, or free if you’re a gal and arrive before 8:15 pm): Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Subhah Agarwal, Erik Bransteen, Khalid A. Rahmaan, and Erin Harkes performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Boris Khaykin, Corinne Fisher, Justin Perez, and/or Ashley Morris: Club Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: James Ferrarella & Eric Smith perform as a musical comedy duo, and also host other comics, atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Listen Brother

[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), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), Nathan Macintosh, and Ayanna Dookie performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): 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), Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Sue Smith, Sachi Ezura, and Doug Smith performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

9:30 ($5): Over a dozen talented female improvisors—including Lauren Adams, Natasha Vaynblat, and Caitlin Bitzegaio—parody all-gal opinion shows such as The View, making up most of the show on the spot based on a loose outline, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Female Gaze

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($5 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Chris Cotton, and Alexis Guerreros performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, Dan Soder, Carmen Lynch, and More

[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 Natasha Rothwell (staff writer for Saturday Night LIve) & Dan Hodapp (Jimmy Fallon, co-star of smash FringeNYC show Tail! Spin!): Couples Skate

[TOP PICK] 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 the charming Jackie Jennings (The Chris Gethard Show, improv group Smalls): 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 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

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: Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3 1/2 minutes, at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Benel Germosen:Chocolate Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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