NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 1/25/15

January 25, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep

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

The Interview

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please clickhere and here) debuts a one-man show—which I’ll be attending, and can hardly wait to see—described as “low-key jokes and calm stories, the performance will be like listening to Garrison Keillor but actually funny but not so funny that you don’t mind falling asleep in the middle; feel free to bring a blanket” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre(367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Rachel Feinstein, Pete Lee, and More

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

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/24/15

January 24, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

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

Trevor Noah

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

Dave Gorman

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

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

[$] 6:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

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

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

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups such as Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Improv Teams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Philip Markle (Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre): Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/23/15

January 23, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Louis CK Alert: Any event at Madison Square Garden is the opposite of an intimate experience, and Louis CK’s MSG show reflects that—his finely crafted material about babies, animals, death, and The Wizard of Oz lean heavily on the silly and surreal, and is geared more for mass appeal than vulnerable self-revelation. But lack of nuanced variation aside, the jokes are funny; and watching one of the greatest stand-ups in history having fun soaking in the energy of 18,000+ fans—most of whom have surprisingly fine senses of humor and timing, a testament to the sort of folks Louis attracts with his ferocious intelligence—is an experience worth having. There are still a very few tickets left for Louis’ third Madison Square Garden show on Saturday at 8:00 pm here, and a healthy number of tickets left for his MSG show on Tuesday January 27th at 8:00 pm here. For the best experience, I recommend the $65 tickets. Otherwise Louis may be a moving dot on stage, but you can still see him up close via giant TV monitors in front of your $45 or $25 seats.

TV Alert: Garry Shandling and Jeff Goldblum are
hosted by Judd Apatow on The Late Late Show;
Sara Schaefer is on Carson Daly (repeated from 9/29/14);
Michael Keaton is on David Letterman (repeated from 10/27/14)

David Carl

Ace sketch comics David Carl…

Katie Hartman

…and Katie Hartman host a new show devoted to colorful solo characters in Riled Up With David and Katie

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show, and Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Lori Palminteri, Lenny Marcus, and Sam Morril at the 12:15 am show. Lineups for the other time slots are too relatively anemic to mention, but it’s quite possible celebrity drop-ins will fill out those shows. 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

7:00 pm ($10): Kaitlin Fontana and Luke Ward, the hosts of We Love TV, tonight deviate from their parody format to host readings of two TV pilot scripts they’ve written at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV: Two Pilot Readings

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Favorite sketches from Magnet house groups and indie groups (not announced) hosted by Matt Antonucci & Joe Lepore: Bonus Round

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Kristen Bartlett & Jason Gore perform a sketch show about dealing with losing their dads within months of each other “but it’s funny, we swear” in The Dead Dads Club

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who starred in Comedy Central special Can a Brother Get Some Love?, and was a series regular on Breaking Bad and Adult Swim’s Sperm Whale, headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Lavell Crawford

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon,Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Tammy Pescatelli (finalist on Season 2 of Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Kurt Metzger, Sherrod Small, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Two of NYC’s finest sketch/character comics, David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) and Katie Hartman (wonderfully brave and dark sketch comic; Hartman & Carl, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), host this brand new show devoted to solo characters, with tonight’s terrific guests Christine Bullen (The Groundlings, ace UCB one-woman show My Melonbasket), Beth Hoyt (Inside Amy Schumer), Jon Bander (musical Improv group Dagger), and Jenn Dodd (extreme character performer; host of Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout), all performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Riled Up With David and Katie

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Janelle James, Julio Torres, Billy Prinsell, and Chip Dwyer performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, 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

9:00 pm ($5): A variety show hosted by Danielle Wheeler & Adam Cole featuring stand-ups, storytellers, musicians, dancers, artists, and/or more performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Two Catz

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon,Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Tammy Pescatelli (finalist on Season 2 of Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Kurt Metzger, and More

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

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

10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv group Tourist Trap uses audience suggestions for a genre and a title to make up a complete story with song and dance on the spot at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Tourist Trap

10:30 pm ($10): Megan Gailey (MTV), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), and Nat Towsen (Vice) performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by improvisors Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): Screenings of new sketch comedy videos at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Video Show

11:30 pm ($5): Show biz refuse that doesn’t fit anywhere else now has a home at The Magnet hosted by Kyle Levenick & Branson Reese: Garbage Day

[DISCOUNTED] [FREE] Midnight (FREE online using discount code WINTER; no min.): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Crystian Ramirez, Esther Povitsky, Chris Cotton, and Nick Mullen performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Adrienne Iapalucci, Cipha Sounds, and More

Midnight ($5): “Join filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick, Jar-Jar Binks, as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema,” with guests Alison Rich (writer for Saturday Night Live) and Brooks Whelan (former cast member of SNL) being interviewed at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Connor Ratliff & Shaun Diston: The George Lucas Talk Show

Midnight ($5): Staged readings of two TV comedy pilots written & performed by UCB comics at the UCB Chelseatheatre hosted by Katherine Maughan & Winston Noel: Active Development

[FREE] Midnight: “A live staged reading of an episode of the hit sitcom Fraser. And all the actors are drunk. And they will just get drunker and drunker as the episode goes on. With live commercials” at Queens LIC’s The Creekupstairs theatre spearheaded by Aaron Glaser: Wasted Fraser

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/22/15

January 22, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: : Adam Sandler, Lena Dunham, and Maria Bamford
are hosted by Judd Apatow on The Late Late Show;
Jennifer Anniston is on Jon Stewart;
Sebastian Maniscalco is on Seth Meyers;
Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, and Judy Greer are on @midnight

Sara Schaefer

Sara Schaefer records her first comedy album—with your help—at 7:30 & 9:30 pm at Brooklyn’s Union Hall

Sarah Nowak

…and Sarah Nowak performs a virtuoso comedic one-woman show at 8:00 pm at The PIT

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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Auditioning for a run at UCB Chelsea is a show that asks “What does it mean to be woman? It means a lot of bullshit. Joining a sorority is bullshit, being a mom is bullshit, even dying is bullshit. A sketch show all about women’s bullshit” written and starring Natasha Vaynblat, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Madalyn Baldanzi, Caroline Haubold, and Sarah Tollemache: Bullshit Women

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn practices a show he’s previously performed off-Broadway and presumably has more plans for (a TV taping?) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre for this Monday through Thursday only:Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), and Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web seriesMansome) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Jermaine Fowler, Jared Logan, Liz Miele, and More

7:00 pm ($5): Frank Todaro (host of paranormal radio show The Invisible World) presents a multimedia lecture about “the reality vs. fiction of early spirit photography and the strange phenomenon surrounding them. Commonly held mysteries will be debunked as he explores the crazy world of modern day phenomena seen through the eyes of yesteryear”at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Invisible World

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 in advance online): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There) records her first comedy album—helped by your laughs—at 7:30 & 9:30 tonight, with an opening set by Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy), all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Sara Schaefer Live Album Recording

[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 comics include Hannibal Buress, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:45 show; Hannibal Buress, Jermaine Fowler, Lenny Marcus, Sam Morril, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 8:00 show; all-star lineup of Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, and Judy Gold at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Sherrod Small, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant improvisor & sketch comic Sarah Nowak performs a smart, hilarious, and memorable one-woman show about her life and the odd characters she’s encountered that tonight costs only $5 but I predict will go on to bigger things than The PIT downstairs lounge: Sarah Nowak’s Killer Great One-Woman Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, ace improvisors Connor Ratliff, Molly Lloyd, Terry Withers, and more somehow create an improvised murder mystery on the spot—with the audience committing the crime!: The Terry Withers Mysteries

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): A mash-up of two stand-ups on stage at the same time, tonight featuring Kurt Metzger & Sherrod Small, Sabrina Jalees & Liza Treyger, and Brooks Wheelan & Nick Rutherford performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci & Luis J. Gomez: The Comedy Mash-Up Show with Kurt Metzger, Sabrina Jalees, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by This Is Your Life (eight improvisors make up scenes based on an interview with an audience member), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Kelly Kreye at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow,and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show), and Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up) performing at this show for stand-up, music, and sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Jo Firestone, Rob Cantrell, and More

8:00 pm ($10): “After getting super dumped, all Lizzie Carmichael has left is her champagne taste, her beer budget, and a 2004 Toyota Corolla. An inspiring story about what happens when you move into your car and, like, on with your life” written and starring Alexandra Fiber & Carlye Wiseland at The PIT upstairs theatre: Lizzie Who Lives in Her Car

[FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

8:30 pm ($5): Amanda Seales (VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Smart, Funny, and Black), Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City), Ryan McKee (MTV’s Guy Code), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), and Nick Maritato performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): A monthly sketch show designed to make you howl with laughter at The PIT downstairs lounge:Forever Dog

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Tara Clancy, Andrea Allan, Myka Fox, and host Kevin Allison tell stories revolving around the theme How Bizarre at The PIT upstairs theatre for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[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

10:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Gary Richardson and Stone & Stone performing at this weekly show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Grandma’s Ashes and Warren compete in this year’s semi-finals 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] 6:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/19/15

January 19, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer (Broad City)
are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Michael Ian Black is guest-hosted by
Jim Gaffigan at The Late Late Show;
Iliza Shlesinger is on Jimmy Fallon;
Kathy Griffin is on David Letterman (repeated from 1/5);
Patton Oswalt, Pete Holmes, and Kyle Kinane are on @midnight

Jonathan Braylock

On MLK Day, Jonathan Braylock promises to let you feel what it’s like to be black for one night only at The Black Experience

Colin Quinn

…and Colin Quinn performs free at The Creek through Thursday to practice bits of his previous off-Broadway show Unconstitutional

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star ofThe 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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn practices a show he’s previously performed off-Broadway and presumably has more plans for (a TV taping?) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre for this Monday through Thursday only:Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation—which include group Holiday at 9:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Hannibal Buress, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, Seaton Smith, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

…and in the second half of this double-bill, charismatic performer Jonathan Braylock performs a series of sketches on “the ins and outs of the African American experience:” The Black Experience With Jonathan Braylock

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Hasan Minhaj (writer for The Daily Show), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), and Joe Zimmerman performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn):Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Terrific character comics Christine Bullen (one-woman show My Melonbasket, sketch group Goodbye Handsome), Ann Carr (Louie, web series The Actress), Don Fanelli (30 Rock, improv groups The Stepfathers and Fuck That Shit), Jon Bander (musical improv groups Aquarius and Dagger), Chelsea Davison, and Filip Jeremic performing sketch character bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nore Davis (Comedy Central), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Lawrence DeLoach, Janelle James, and Emma Willmann, plus music from DJ Cipha Sounds, all performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted & produced by sisters Kerry Overfab Coddett & Krystal Coddett: Brooklyn, Stand Up

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: (212) (which includes performers Langan Kingsley, Veronica Osorio, Cody Lindquist, Eddie Dunn, and Rob Cuthill, and stellar sketch writer Achilles Stamatelaky) and One Idiot (which includes writer Nathan Min): Maude Night:(212) and One Idiot

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 ($12): Oscar Montoya is moving to LA. Bidding him au revoir are Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show and podcast Risk!, owner of The Story Studio), Matt Rogers (Pop Roulette, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee), Jillian Green (Bizarre Behavior), musical guest Jacob Mondry, and drag queen Grizzly Kiki, all at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bowen Yang and Oscar: Ethnic Realness: The Oscar Montoya Goodbye Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Great lineup of Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets onJimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), 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), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Paul Virzi, Mike Finoia, and Blair Socci performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Sean Patton, Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Adrienne Iapalucci, Monroe Martin, and More

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Ace gal improvisors Megan Gray, Rosie Whalen, and more springboard an audience suggestion to create a terrible Lifetime TV movie (“come prepared to watch a live film filled with heartbreak, disease, violence, despair, hope, courage, sassy neighbors, murders, heroes, whores, assholes, dumb babies who take up all your time, revenge, love, sex, hate, and chocolate”) at The Magnet theatre: Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/17/15

January 17, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Kevin Hart hosts Saturday Night Live at 11:29 pm on NBC

The Imbible - A Spirited History of Drinking

A barbershop quartet sings about alcohol at The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Sinbad

…and Sinbad concludes his headlining run at the Gotham Comedy Club

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] 1:00 pm ($30): There are hundreds of walking tours in NYC, but my favorite so far is this survey of artwork in the New York City subway system. While guide Phil Desiere isn’t in any way a comic, the artwork itself primarily is comedic (and often includes a comic book sensibility). If you’d enjoy having your eyes opened to the whimsical art strewn about heavily traveled NYC subway stations that millions of busy commuters never notice, treat yourself to this 2½ hour expedition happening on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 1:00 pm: New York City Subway Art Tour

[$] 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 Cronuts, Foxtrot, TJ & Blood, and Group Of Dads At A Bar performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Kyle Dunnigan, Lynne Koplitz, Sherrod Small, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Judy Gold, Sherrod Small, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:15 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Ben Bailey, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Ted Alexandro, Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Ricky Velez, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Dov Davidoff, Sam Morril, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), 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), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club: Todd Barry, Ben Bailey, Christian Finnegan, Judy Gold, and More

[$] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($37.50 & 2-drink min.): A unique comedy star with numerous TV and movie appearances headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sinbad

7:00 pm ($10): Improv duo Katie Hammond & Daniel Tepper make up all the characters in a town on the spot and craft a full-blown musical from that at The PIT upstairs theatre: What Town?: The Musical

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

7:00 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

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

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

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

[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

8:00 pm ($10): “A computer beeps at random intervals, might be 2 seconds, might be 10 minutes. Every time it beeps, and only when it beeps, the performers jump into a new scene. What happens when nothing you can do can make the scene go longer nor end sooner? When only this instant is guaranteed?” at The PIT downstairs lounge: /Switch/

[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

8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Women & Men will spin off scenes from the tales of a monologist at the UCB East theatre: Women & Men

[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 Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever), the show’s producer Lukas Kaiser, and more, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Jimmy LeChase & Niles Turner: Showcasey Jones

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): An all-gal improv show mixing women from The PIT’s free improv nights with those on PIT improv house teams at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ladies of the PIT

9:30 pm ($10): There’s no description yet, but I’m guessing this is a comedic game show that pits stand-up comics against each other at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Stand-Up Showdown

[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

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

11:00 pm ($5): This inexpensive variety show features improv by group Three Guys, improv by duos Ronny Pascale & Michael Delisle and Giarcarlo Osaben & Brian Hansbury, stand-up by Sandy Chansemone, and a magic act by “Christopher T. Magician,” all performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Really, Really Cheap Date Show

[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

Midnight ($5): Talented comics slap together an entire evening of sketch in one day and then perform it at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sketch Cram

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 1:00 pm: The only open mic stand-up show for kids under 15 years old (to learn more, visit its Facebook page) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Guess What? Kids Open Mic

[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: The Amateur Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/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 1/16/15

January 16, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Mel Brooks is Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 12/18/14)

Sinbad

Iconic comedy star Sinbad headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

Eleanore Pienta

…and Eleanore Pienta (above), Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani reinvent the art of dance as Cocoon Central Dance Team

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro, Gregg Rogell, Steve Byrne, Kyle Dunnigan, Lynne Koplitz, and Sherrod Small at the 7:00 show; Greer Barnes, Steve Byrne, Kyle Dunnigan, and Sherrod Small at the 8:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Greer Barnes, Steve Byrne, Mike Yard, and Marine Franklin (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, Steve Byrne, Dov Davidoff, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and David Attell, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, Dov Davidoff, and Ricky Velez at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), 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), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), Jordan Rock, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($7): The debut of a variety show hosted by Sebastian Conelli, tonight featuring storytelling from Rob Penty, stand-up from Brian Frange, sketch from group Bedlam, and music from group The Great American Drifters, all performing at The Magnet theatre: A Variety Show with Sebastian Conelli

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($16): Redefining our concept of dance are a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience them tonight or Friday at Brooklyn’s Triskelion Arts’ Aldous Theater (118 N. 11 Street, 3rd Floor): Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Wyatt Cenac, NIkki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and Chris DiStefano

[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

[$] 8:00 pm ($37.50 & 2-drink min.): A unique comedy star with numerous TV and movie appearances headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sinbad

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

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Performers Dan Chamberlain, Gary Richardson, Ryan T Bennett, Edy Modica, Brian Fiddyment, Bob Palos, and Leva Miseviciute are invited to share their feelings about the only definite outcome of living…becoming dead. And they must record their last words with you as their witness. Plus sketches, characters, heartfelt stories, and more…about death” at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Lorelei Ramirez & Steve DeSiena: I’m Afraid of Dying

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Improvisors remake a blockbuster film (suggested by the audience) in the style of indie filmmaker Wes Anderson at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wes Anderson Remakes Your Favorite Movie

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Wyatt Cenac, NIkki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and Chris DiStefano

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up 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 ($10): Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men), and more performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($10): A young improv group performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tickle Party

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

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

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[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 sketch group Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/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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