NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/24/14

October 24, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Tenacious D is on Craig Ferguson;
Jerry Seinfeld is on David Letterman (repeated from 9/25);
Sarah Silverman and John Mulaney
are on Seth Meyers (repeated from 10/2)

Draculas

Every take on The Count imaginable at The Magnet’s Dracula: Entirely From Memory

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): Ted Alexandro (one of thevery finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Jordan Rock, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): Chris Roberti performs a one-man show directed by Jodi Lennon at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Cult of Relentless Positivity

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): An improvised Halloween feast in the Great Hall of Hogwarts “jam-packed with magical adventure” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Harry Potter and the Improv Spooktacular

[$] 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.): No notable headliners tonight, but the usual solid stand-ups, 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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show from Christian Capozzoli: Nutso Facto

…and in the second half of this double-bill is one of the finest sketch groups in the country. Its writers include stellar comics Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya (Brandon also directed this show); and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolves around the mass shopping experience: Stone Cold Fox Goes to the Mall

[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 ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Color headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tommy Davidson

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $12.75 online): Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows; co-host of Myrtle Comedy), and musical guests Corn Mo, Shonali Bhowmik, and The Forgiveness, all performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: 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] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, webseriesHow Many Questions), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), and Dustin Wesley performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): In this unique variety show, “a bunch of daring comics get ballsy as each does something on stage he or she has never done but has always wanted to” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Peter Michael Marino (creator of SoloCon) and the brilliant & lovely Amanda Duarte (host of Dead Darlings; young): Cojones

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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: 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 ($10): Comics Drew Michael, Adam Cole, Joe Kwaczala, 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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Eight performers from the Ten Bones Theatre Company attempt to recreate the story of Draculausing only what they can remember from books and movies. To add to the fun are a few rules: “Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience; performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth; one lucky audience member will be given a bell that they can ring three times—once rung, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in Dracula but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story” at The Magnet theatre:Dracula: Entirely From Memory

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: “Old grudges are settled and new grudges are formed” when stand-ups have to fight before telling jokes at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Andy Sanford and/or Adam Sokol: Fight Mic

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “We’ve locked four contestants in a room for your enjoyment for one night only. If they survive the night, they win a million dollars. But don’t worry, we know that’s not what you sickos want. You paid to see blood and guts, baby. So they’re gonna die. We don’t have a million dollars anyway, so we’d be in big time trouble if they won. They won’t win.” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Dr DJ Presents: Oh You Know There Will Be Blood

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Comics Langan Kingsley, Laura Wilcox, Sean Hart, and more have each been assigned a tale from the classic childhood horror anthology Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and will springboard a set from it. “Come see all your favorite scary stories made cool, weird, or shitty” at UCB East hosted by superb sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp (GUMP): Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/23/14

October 23, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Nathan Lane, Garry Marshall, and “Weird Al” Yankovic
are on Seth Meyers (repeated from 9/30);
Neil Patrick Harris is on Conan O’Brien;
Casey Wilson is on Ellen DeGeneres

Kevin and Matt Geek Out About Zombies

Superfans Kevin Maher & Matt Glasson celebrate the undead with dozens of amazing movie clips, plus fascinating lectures from eclectic guests…

Kevin and Matt Geek Out About Zombies

…and Sara Reiss’ free treats (eat them before they eat you!) at Kevin and Matt Geek Out About Zombies

Leslie Goshko

…and the delightful Leslie Goshko might tell a tale…

Tater

…about her sea-faring cat Tater at the Halloween edition of Sideshow Goshko

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer), Tara Clancy (The Paris Review, The Moth), Thomas Pryor (author of I Hate the Dallas Cowboys), and Steven Berkowitz (Scientific American) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) hosted by the lovely Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) and featuring such charms as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company,Arrested Development), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), and Maeve Higgins (UK comic) performing stand-up—plus Katina tries Tinder!—all at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($10): A new episode of TV’s Power Rangers made up on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Morphin’ Time: The Return of the Power Rangers

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Color headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tommy Davidson

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Gina Yashere, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:45 show, and Dave Attell, Nikki Glaser, Jon Fisch, Big Jay Oakerson, Phil Hanley, and Joe List (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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “In 2010, Kristen Bartlett’s and Jason Gore’s dads died within months of each other. Kristen and Jason formed a grief-fighting force that is often tough, but occasionally falls apart when Big Fish is on HBO. This is a sketch show about what it’s like to lose a parent and realize that you are going to die too, and there’s nothing you can do about it. (But it’s funny, we swear.)” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Dead Dads Club

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Alingon Mitra performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, The Lucas Brothers, Dan Soder, Rachel Feinstein, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Hello Laser and The Boss performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Senses (improv focused on the stimulation and deprivation of taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Robby Weinstein 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): Stand-ups Jeff Leach, Jacqueline Novak, Kenny Zimlinghaus, Ken Reid, and Ryan Donahue performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jordan Temple, Justin Peele, Jessica Michelle Singletonberg, and Jack Wilkinson performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s This American Life, MTV, VH1), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), and Mary Mack (Last Comic Standing) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): Chris Roberti performs a one-man show directed by Jodi Lennon at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Cult of Relentless Positivity

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($13): Superfan Kevin Maher brings back his genius pop culture show Kevin Geeks Out, which screens dozens of amazing film clips on a particular oddball subject coupled with fascinating lectures by an eclectic group of guests. Tonight Kevin focuses on Zombies, aided by filmmaker Matt Glasson, plus free zombie treats from Sara Reiss, and more, all at Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema (125 East 11th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues): Kevin and Matt Geek Out About Zombies

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Julia Wiedeman, Lynn Bixenspan, Jenny Jaffe, Anne Thomas, and host Kevin Allison tell daring personal tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s Halloween theme Eek! 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 show at A Non-Daily Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): This monthly show is dedicated to an artist or a work of art that has had a significant impact on the lives of various performers from around the city. This month features the Nickelodeon TV series Are You Afraid of the Dark? as “NYC’s comedic talent will recreate The Midnight Society and present their own horror stories inspired by AYAOTD, making it a night no one will ever forget” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Oscar Montoya: I Will Always Love You…Are You Afraid of the Dark?

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Gina Yashere (Showtime 1-hour special, Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Giulio Gallarotti, and Ben & Josh performing stand-up atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Gina Yashere, Damien Lemon, and More

10:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from two visiting New Orleans-based groups: four-man team Stupid Time Machine (for sample video, please click here) and gal duo Rude (for sample video, please click here), all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Stupid Time Machine and Rude

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company,Arrested Development), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, TruTV’s Friends of the People), and Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased) performing stand-up 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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Duo Play by Play (improv veterans Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines) handily defeated Lloyd team Rizzo with an audience vote of 81-67. Tonight PBP faces another improv duo, My Privacy (Matt Calanese & Michael Hernandez), competing 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] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/22/14

October 22, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Wyatt Cenac and Tenacious D are on Conan O’Brien;
Jason Schwartzman is on Craig Ferguson;
Craig Ferguson is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 9/16);
Billy Eichner and Jason Bateman are on
David Letterman (repeated from 9/11);
Terry Gilliam is on Jimmy Fallon (repeated from 9/17)

Jessica Delfino, The Reformed Whores, and Camille Harris

Ace musical comics Jessica Delfino, The Reformed Whores, Camille Harris, and more tunefully make you laugh at The Stand’s CMJ Comedy Music Showcase

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm-9:00 pm: All NYC-based gal comics—stand-ups, storytellers, sketch performers, improvisers, character actresses, bookers, producers, podcasters, etc.—are invited to hang out and network at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Selena Coppock & Rebecca Trent: Lady Gathering at The Creek

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

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

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Boombox, Rizzo, and Witch: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “Stand-ups throw their set lists out the window for a night of wild riffing. Comics premiere a story that they’ve never told anyone, improvise a stand-up set based on an audience suggestion, or rant off the cuff. Also expect freestyling and musical improv in an anything goes atmosphere that makes for a one-of-a-kind experience,” with tonight’s guests Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Dave Lester, and Shalewa Sharpe performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), plus Kid Lucky (MTV) on beatbox: Rifftown

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers Josh Sharp, Adam Wade, David Bluvband, and wonderful host Dave Martin tell tales that are brutally honest and hilarious on this month’s Halloween-based theme Nightmares at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code GRIFT; 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), and Janelle James performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Dan Solder, Big Jay Oakerson, Phil Hanley, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Adam Lucidi, Frank Liotti, Lois Thompson, and Sooyah Jun performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Ashley Morris: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($10): Duo sketch comedy from Joe Cilio & Alex Ramsey at The PIT downstairs lounge: Cilio & Ramsey: Comedy For Weird Children

[FREE] 9:00 pm: The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Dan Wilbur (author of Better Book Titles), Maria Shehata, Nathan Macintosh, Brian Jian, and Kevin James Doyle performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

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

9:30 pm ($10): Nore Davis, Alington Mitra, and Joel Walkowski performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Some of the finest musical comics in NYC—Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player onThe Moon Show, new music album Silly Jazz), Paper Anniversary (Andy Stucky of Stucky & Murray and Andy’s wife Maggie), Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), quartet Summer & Eve, and The Dreamstalks— perform at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) for one memorably tuneful night only: CMJ Comedy Music Showcase

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

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): The UCB Touring Company consists of some of UCB’s finest improvisors who show audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For this monthly show, however, the traveling troupe will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($10, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s early Cellar shows are weak, but the 11:30 is a solid lineup of Dave Attell, Nikki Glaser, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Jeff Leach performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 10/21/14

October 21, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Bill Murray is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Bill Hader is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 9/15);
Sara Schaefer is on Carson Daly (repeated from 9/29)

Marnie Stern

Guitar goddess Marnie Stern and her Web-famous dog are among the stars telling road stories at Rumble Strip Show

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, five 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 showthat 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

7:00 pm ($5): Matt Gehring and Sudi Green perform sketch comedy springboarding off Twitter messages at The PITupstairs theatre: Matt Gehring’s Tweet Show

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nick Alexander (Sirius XM) hones a long stand-up set one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Nick Alexander

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

[$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Hannibal Buress, Kyle Dunnigan, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Nick Griffin, Greg Rogell, and Jeff Leach at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Keith Alberstadt, and Joe List (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Adam Newman and Paul Hooper, guitarist Marnie Stern (Kill Rock Stars), and world-famous Instagram dog Marnie (300,000 followers and counting) tell their “funniest, weirdest, most-depraved stories about being on the road” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Brian McManus (Village Voice Music Editor): Rumble Strip Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytelling genius Chris Gethard, plus Anna Drezen, Nathan Min, Charles Gould, Alise Morales, Julio Julio Julio, Steve Whalen, Manolocy Mirenno, and Pat Regan, all spin Halloween horror tales in the dark at The New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street, inside the Archive Building) hosted by the spectacular Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase): Scary Stories in the Dark

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Great line-up of 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), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standingand on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’sComic View), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC): Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Rich Vos, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[FREE, plus FREE PIZZA while the slices last] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer), Doug Smith, Nick Naney, and Ashley Bez performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by JF Harris, Lukas Kaiser, John Szeluga, and Sue Smith: Amazingtown

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Storytellers Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Jiji Lee, Marie Faustin, and Steve Zimmer tell true tales about this month’s themeCreeps at 2A (25 Avenue A off 2nd Street) hosted by Andrew Linderman: Local Stories: Creeps

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): 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), Jeff Leach (UK star), Mary Mack, Tim Harmston, and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) guest-hosted by Greg Barris & Dion Flynn: Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Josh Gondelman (Last Week Tonight), Mike Brown, Christy Coffey, and Aaron Weaver performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh), plus NYC stand-ups (not announced), all performing at the UCB East theatre:The Tony Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): 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), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Crystian Ramirez, and Alexis Guerreros performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Illuminati Party: Chris Gethard, Bonnie McFarlane, and More

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Sachi Ezura and a whole bunch of other NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Beth Hoyt, David Agyekum, Nicole Pasquale, Chelsea Davison, Joe Bonacci, and Michael Canfield performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis (playing a new character at every show): The Tuesday Special

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Typically superb stand-ups (not announced) performing at this new free weekly stand-up show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with 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

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

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Wonderlandto 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 PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 10/20/14

October 20, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: , Casey Wilson is on Conan O’Brien;
Lena Dunham and Melissa McCarthy are on Ellen DeGeneres

Wyatt Cenac 20

Comedy treasure Wyatt Cenac celebrates the release of his second stand-up album Brooklyn at Night Train

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

7:00 pm ($5): Story, song, and dance made up on the spot based on an audience suggestion from a young musical improv group at the PIT upstairs theatre: Good Catch

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

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nick Alexander (Sirius XM) hones a long stand-up set tonight and Tuesday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Nick Alexander

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Hannibal Buress, Nick DiPaolo, Robert Kelly, Lenny Marcus, and Zainab Johnson (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Big Jay Oakerson, Colin Jost, and Dan Soder (hosting) at the 11:30 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.70 online): Celebrating the release of Wyatt’s new comedy album Brooklyn are Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), probably Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), and surprise guests, all 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Mark DeMayo was an NYC cop for 20 years—who then retired to pursue his true passion, comedy. The charismatic DeMayo blends stand-up and storytelling in this highly engaging, funny, and memorable one-man show about his time on the force at The PIT upstairs theatre, directed by Peter Michael Marino: 20 & Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), Don Fanelli (30 Rock, The Stepfathers), Melissa Gordon (The Story Pirates, Hello), Tim Harrington (Les Savy Fav), Vinny Lopez (Two Jasperjohns), and more performing sketch character bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

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

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a brand new episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

[FREE] 8:00ish pm: Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel) performing stand-up at this monthly show at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by DJ Cipha Sounds (Hot 97) and Kerry Overfab Coddett: Brooklyn, Stand Up

[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): Sketches from participants of this past September’s National Sketch Month, which challenged writers to craft 30 sketches in 30 days, brought to life on The Magnet stage: NaNaSkeWriMo Unplugged: The National Sketch Writing Month Sketch Show

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): All-gal comedic storytellers Ashley Ward (Baby Wants Candy, 50 Shades! The Musical Parody, Hello, Taco Supreme), Julia Lundy, and Katie Hutch performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Val Roder: Story Time

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Kendra Cunningham, Miguel Dalmau, Kyle Daniel Bostic, Maya Klausner, and Alex Fossella performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) hosted by Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), Frank Liotti, Stacey Prussman, Crystian Ramirez, and Alex Pavone performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Ryan Hernandez, Danny Hatch, and Taylor Clark tell tales on “the shitty things they’ve done and don’t feel bad about” at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Nick Padilla: Antagonist Storytelling Series

10:00 pm ($7): Magnet instructors Louis Kornfeld and Rick Andrews pair for a night of improvisation as comedy duo Kornfeld & Andrews

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/17/14

October 17, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Lenny Marcus is on David Letterman;
“Weird Al” Yankovic is on Craig Ferguson;
Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick are on The View;
Jeffrey Tambor and the Impractical Jokers are
on Seth Meyers (repeated from 10/7)

Baby Wants Candy

One of the best musical improv troupes in the country, Baby Wants Candy, is among the highlights at Day #2 of The Magnet’s New York Musical Improv Festival

Rocky Whorer PIT-ure Show

…and at midnight at The PIT, Halloween is celebrated by The Rocky Whorer PIT-ure Show

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm-12:30 am ($10-$15 per show): It’s the second of four nights of The Magnet’s Sixth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, featuring groups from NYC, Chicago, and more performing for nearly six hours, with highlights including the 10:00 pm double-bill of Baby Wants Candy and a one-woman improvised opera. For the complete schedule, please click New York Musical Improv Festival

[$] 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.): Relatively anemic lineups tonight, with no notable headliners but some fine stand-ups including Joe Matarese at the 8:45 show and Russ Meneve 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

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Lorraine Cink & Leslie Collins play Atlantic City act The L’Amour Sisters, making up terrible lounge songs on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: L’Amour Lounge

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Ben Kissel (MTV, Spike TV; Murderfist, The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen) hones a long stand-up set every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Week at the Creek: Ben Kissel

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Christine Bullen performs a one-woman show about her adventures answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the other half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

[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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), Jenny Zigrino (TBS), Shakir Standley (Last Comic Standing), Ray DeVito (MTV), Molly Austin, Kris Tinkle, and Eli Sairs performing stand-up at the One and One Bar’s Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

8:00 pm ($5): Chris Roberti performs a one-man show directed by Jodi Lennon at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Cult of Relentless Positivity

[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

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on Louie, HBO, and CBS’ upcoming The 2-2, and starred in two Comedy Central specials, headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with Jon Fisch opening): Robert Kelly

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), and Steve Hernandez performing stand-up, music, and/or storytelling at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

9:30 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

9:30 pm ($10): Josh Krebs performs a one-man show about such characters as “an angry 13-year-old girl with a penchant for art films, an alcoholic rocker whose claim to fame is a theme to a popular children’s show, and a salesman with a time share of a lifetime on the moon” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Maniac

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Steven Forrest, and Joel Walkowski, plus science writer Calla Cofield, explore scientific topics such as evolution, the big bang, the environment, the human brain, the politics of science, and the future at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre: Universe City Live

[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 ($10): Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard, Lonely,and Vicious), Gary Richardson (Comedy Central, host of School Night), Brendan Fitzgibbons (Huffington Post), 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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

11:00 pm ($10): Musical sketch comedy from group Nancy, plus sketch from guest duo Girls With Brown Hair, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Nancy Presents Songs in the Key Of Life

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($10): Pre-Halloween, a small army of comics pay homage to the cult classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show at The PIT upstairs theatre: Rocky Whorer PIT-ure Show

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): One of UCB Chelsea’s most popular shows is Cage Match, and that’s in part because of its wrestling subplots that play in between the improv competitions. Tonight the improv is left behind so that these sideshow elements can explode onto the stage for a full hour. Expect at least a half-dozen matches combining sketch comedy and genuine wrestling choreography. For videos of past battles, please click here. As the show description states, “Only 14,000 seats are available, so get your tickets now before the UCBW Arena sells out!” Experience the pre-Halloween bloodbath men call UCBW AutumnSlamn

[FREE] Midnight: NYC comics perform stand-up in the nude (audience members can choose to be clothed or naked) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Naked Show

Midnight ($5): Josh Patten (SNL) and Mike Rubens (HBO’s Last Week Tonight) are guests on this “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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/16/14

October 16, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Rachel Maddow and Wyatt Cenac are on Seth Meyers;
Jenny Slate is on David Letterman;
Jason Schwartzman is on Jimmy Fallon;
Chelsea Handler and John Mulaney are on Ellen DeGeneres;
Brett Gelman, Jon Daly, and Scott Aukerman are on @midnight

New York Musical Improv Festival 2014

The Magnet kicks off its 6th Annual celebration of song & dance stories made up on the spot: New York Musical Improv Festival

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-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Tonight kicks off the first of four nights of The Magnet’sSixth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, featuring groups from NYC, Chicago, and more performing for five hours at a total cost of just $10. For the complete schedule, please click New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…” sharing tales atThe PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

7:00 pm ($5): Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), Tom Cowell, and Chris Calogero performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Ben Kissel (MTV, Spike TV; Murderfist, The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen) hones a long stand-up set every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Week at the Creek: Ben Kissel

[$] 7:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A co-star of CBS’ 2 Broke GIrls headlining for one night only at the CarolinesComedy Club: Jonathan Kite

7:30 pm ($10): Pioneering TV series Will & Grace presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn and Dov Davidoff at the 7:45 show; Colin Quinn, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, and Gina Yashere (hosting) at the 8:00 show; and Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Wil Sylvince, 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): 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), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Matteo Lane performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jonathan Braylock & Steve Way: The Lockdown: Myq Kaplan, Michelle Wolf, Sabrina Jalees, Phil Hanley, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Eliot Glazer has too many things he wants to share with you, so consider this variety show one big mashup featuring comedy, dance, video, special guests, maybe a dog, and definitely nudity”—with tonight’s guests TBD—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Mashterpiece Theater

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storytelling from Elna Baker (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 clickhere), and stand-up from Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), and Steve Hely performing at this weekly variety show for stand-up, sketch, and more at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Elna Baker, Erik Bergstrom, and More

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Zainab Johnson (Arsenio Hall, Last Comic Standing, BET’s Comic View), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental,documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Christian Finnegan, Mark DeMayo, Zainab Johnson, and More

8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers friends to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s lineup Avital Isaacs, Brian McCarthy, and Mike Pepino: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NY stand-ups Taylor Ketchum, Brandon Collins, Zach Erwin, and Kali Comedy performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): 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 Soupand We’re All Friends Here), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and Jay Welch (McSweeney’s) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Jaqi Furback: Big Ups Comedy: Mark Normand, Jason Saenz, Sean Donnelly, and More

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

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

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company,Arrested Development), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Sefa Urgenc performing stand-up 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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Lloyd team Rizzo easily defeated Improv Nerds last week with an audience vote of 83-40. Tonight it aims for a third victory, this time against duo Play by Play (improv veterans Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines), competing 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] 5:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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