NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/25/17

May 25, 2017

Trevor Noah has the week off, but Anthony Atamanuik is still creating one of the very best shows on TV. Tune in to Comedy Central at 11:30 pm for a new episode featuring former CIA officer Evan McMullin discussing fake news: The President Show

Kevin Geeks Out About Famous MonstersA spectacular collection of hilarious film clips and guest movie & TV experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other creatures of horror (for a video teaser, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Famous Monsters (9:30 pm, $16 [buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas often sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)

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

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($5): Enjoy some of NYC’s best character comics when funny actors who survived the initial auditions for Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs Festival gather to be judged further at the UCB East theatre: Just for Laughs Character Audition Callbacks

6:00 pm ($7): A parody of comedy group reunions at The PIT Mainstage: Saint York

6:00 pm ($7): Duo improv & storytelling from Asian gal comics Aryn Cristobal & Missy Maramara at The PIT Underground: Spit in NYC

7:00 pm ($5): Professional clowns perform a silly show in hopes of changing your life at The PIT Underground: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy Improv from a six-person group performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Sunday School Dropouts

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

7:30 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Shalewa Sharpe (Keith and the Girl; comedy album Stay Eating Cookies), Sarah Kennedy, Liz Magee, Rob Haze, Kevin Froleiks, and Damon Millard performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Alex Fleming & John Bilancini: Stand and Deliver

7:30 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups Boris Khaykin, Neel Nanda, Tyler Richardson, and Melinda Taub perform at UCB East produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A pop culture debate, with this month’s topic Madonna vs. Cher argued by Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, plus drag performances, and music by DJ Molly Austin, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Matteo Lane & Christi Chiello: Battle of the Divas: Madonna vs. Cher

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Chloe Hilliard (The Nightly Show, Last Comic Standing, MTV, TruTV), Dave Lester (Sirius XM), and Jon Laster (BET) perform stand-up, plus music from Thug Passion, at The Mockingbird (25 Avenue B, between 2nd & 3rd Streets) for this new free weekly show hosted by Ayanna Dookie & Mike Brown (MTV) followed by a party: King Hippo Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storytellers share their true “coming out” tales, and then improvisors make up either a play or a musical based on each story at The PIT Mainstage: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Hero (making up a brand new superhero…played by eight improvisors exploring such questions as “What does it mean to be a hero? What does it mean to be human?”), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($3): Emmy Blotnick (rising star; staff writer & warm-up comic for Comedy Central’s spectacular The President Show; writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Patti Harrison (Seriously.TV), Amy Buchwald, Eudora Peterson, and Yaari Nadav Tal perform stand-up at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Yotam Tubul & Lisa Franklin: Runnin’ on Empty

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Comics compete with on-the-spot tweets…and you decide the winner in real time using your smart phone” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shelby Taylor: Like Me

8:00 pm ($7): A parody of female stereotypes in sitcoms at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Unique Lady Bits

8:00 pm ($7): Comics perform stand-up, sketch, improv, and/or more at The PIT Underground hosted by Jared Wilder: Laugh and a Draft

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Billy on the Street), Lucie Steiner (writer for HBO’s upcoming Jon Stewart show), Josh Johnson (Jimmy Fallon), Matt Reimann (The New Yorker), and Sam Zee (creator of Comedy Quarterly) perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Emily Winter, John Payne, and Janet Manley: BackFat Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince hosts Sean Patton, Liza Treyger, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Killer lineup of Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; staff writer for Emmy-winning Inside Amy Schumer; frequently invited lightning wit on @midnight; star of Comedy Central Snapchat series You’re Wrong with Mike Lawrence; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1; staff writer for CBS’ Superior Donuts), Erik Bergstrom (Comedy Central Half Hour, cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, writer for TBS’ People of Earth), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by rising stars Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) & Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The writers of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Alfredo: Late Show Writers Improv

9:30 pm ($7): Improv group Giggle Mountain makes up scenes at The PIT Mainstage: Giggle Mountain

9:30 pm ($7): Two sitcom pilots are performed in staged readings directed by Nancy Melchert at The PIT Underground: Co-Pilots

9:30 pm ($7): Lani Harms hosts standup by Jaboukie Young-White, characters by Emma Rogers, improv by group Sausalito, and music by Alex Pomerantz & Adam Snackwell at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Late Night with Lani

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Dan King: Swamp Thing

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Last week indie improv group Funky Hard Beats tore down team Hotel Hotel by winning 90 votes to 21. Tonight champion FHB, with four victories in a row, competes with improv group Snapshirt for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

11:00 pm ($5): Improv with feedback at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Matthew Woods & Dan Miller: Improv MD

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

5:45 pm-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per comic (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: The QED Thursday Mic

6:00 pm ($5 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

6:00 pm ($3): A weekly improv jam open to the audience in which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

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 (34 Pell Street, 2nd 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 a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:00 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursday After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/24/17

May 24, 2017

Chris Gethard and Jim TewsComics share rare and embarrassing footage of one of their first sets—and also perform new material for comparison’s sake—with tonight’s stand-ups Chris Gethard (comedy genius; star of HBO 90-minute special Career Suicide; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; co-star of Mike Birbiglia film Don’t Think Twice; host of Webby-winning podcast Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People; The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Jim Tews (rising star; Louie, Last Comic Standing; host of Homeschooled and co-host of Fresh Out; New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York; comedy album I Was in Band), Robert Dean, and Dava Krause hosted by Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, comedy album True Love): First Set (8:00 pm, $7, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six hours of free improvisation—including musical improv from group Vern (which includes superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman) at 7:15 pm, such stellar improvisors as Pat Swearingen and Langston Belton in Hero Complex at 8:30 pm, and star instructors such as Dana Shulman, Adrian Sexton, Chris Booth, and sometimes even PIT owner Ali Reza Farahnakian at The Faculty at 10:00 pm, all at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

7:00 pm ($7): Sketches about recent political events—which lately has offered an embarrassment of riches—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Swamp: This Week in Politics

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Justin Flanagan (MTV) tries out new stand-up material every night through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Justin Flanagan

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and a 10:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): Extending the improv showcased at UCB Chelsea’s Tuesday Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features house groups Top Heavy, Judy Big Mouth, and Horse Girl also making up scenes via the long improv form called The Harold: Lloyd Night

7:30 pm ($10): A game show that gives stand-ups more stage time for answering silly questions correctly, with tonight’s comics Blair Socci, Samantha Ruddy, Wanjiko Eke, and Sam Evans performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Adam Suzan: Time’s Running Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Sharp storytellers Halle Kiefer, Adam Wade, Carly Ann Filbin, and Jeff Hiller tell comedic tales on this month’s theme Moms at UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street) hosted by the charming & witty David Martin: The Nights of Our Lives: Mothers

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): Comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are Ansley Isham, Mike Brown, Rory Scholl, Hallie Bulleit, and Craig Mangum—join pioneering sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to tell tales at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Risk!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

8:00 pm ($7): The techs who are normally in the back booth handling the sound & lighting step into the spotlight for this show that gives them their chance to shine on The PIT Underground stage: Blackout: Indie Tech Takeover

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV) performs a club-length headlining stand-up set at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Sean Donnelly: Not Cool

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Erica Spera, Meghan Hanley, and Luke Thayer perform stand-up for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

9:00 pm ($10): This month’s theme is Escape Puzzle, featuring clues integrated into the venue and the show from five-guy improv group No Feelings, plus guest comics Lynn Bixenspan and Daniel Rathburn, and magician Igor Vincenzoat, all at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): No Feelings: Escape Puzzle

9:00 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes with the lights turned off, using everyday objects to add layers of sound—like a radio play created on the spot—at The PIT Underground: Blackout: Improv in the Dark

[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 hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a one-man play by Geoff Garlock about memories of a classic music festival: Rock and Roll Will Never Die

…and in the second other of this double bill, a mild parody of girl bands via “the world’s first Asian-American pop group from the USA. Join Baby Rice, Quirky Rice, Edgy Rice, Competitive Rice, and Brown Rice as they kick off their tour by dancing, singing, and rapping about boys, friendship, and systemic racism/oppression:” AzN PoP!: Live in Concert

9:30 pm ($7): Shane Torres (fresh, hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang) Carolyn Busa (Good Day New York), Luke Mones, Kim Parker, Katie Hoffman, Ethan Feldman, and Patricia Dinglasan perform stand-up, sketch, or improv at The PIT Underground hosted by Keith Panzarella & Dan Hofer: Too Nice

9:30 pm ($5): Indie improv troupes perform, plus a final set by host group New Greta, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): New Greta Has Friends: Indie Improv

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): At the UCB East theatre, an improv show will somehow be performed in both English and Spanish by bilingual comics—including Charlie Todd and Morgan Miller—that springboards off an interview with an audience member about an experience in a Spanish-speaking country or with a Spanish-speaking person: Fifty/Cincuenta

10:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes that somehow involve “the exciting world of hobbyhorse competition” at The PIT Underground: Hobbyhorse: The Exhibition

11:00 pm ($7): “Once upon a time The Fat Cat was the hottest jazz club in New York City. On any given night you’d find Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, or that kid from the movie Whiplash making sweet music. Unfortunately The Fat Cat is closing up shop to be replaced by a room full of dumpsters for Chipotle. Help say goodbye with a night of music, reminiscing, and all kinds of fun” at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Zach Cherry & Paul Laudiero: The Fat Cat’s Closing Night

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Monthly open mic for stand-up, characters, storytelling, improv, music, or anything else, providing 4 minutes per person—and a extra minute beyond that if the performer pays a compliment to a fellow performer in the room. Sign up via email by noon today at thecomplimentarymic@gmail.com for one of the 9 reserved spots, or try to nab one of the 5 walk-in spots tonight at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenn Wehrung & Coree Spencer: The Complimentary 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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

6:00 pm ($5 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 Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Anthony Velez: Recess

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

11:00 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic that provides 5 minutes per comic, with sign-up at 10:00 pm (maximum of 12 comics, so arrive early), at The PIT Underground hosted by Max Halpert: Awkward High Five Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans: The Improv Jam

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/23/17

May 23, 2017

Aidy BryantA lovely rare opportunity to see Aidy Bryant (star cast member of Saturday Night Live); plus Gary Richardson, Julia Solomon, and Mikey Heller performing stand-up hosted by Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Charles Gould (Comedy Central), and Dan Licata (The Chris Gethard Show): Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show (8:30 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s NY Distilling Company (79 Richardson Street; take L subway to Lorimer Street)

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:00 pm: Enjoy some of NYC’s best character comics when funny actors who survived the initial auditions for Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs Festival gather to be judged further at The Magnet theatre: Just for Laughs Character Audition Callbacks

5:30 pm ($7): Improv and stand-up (details not announced) “dumped here for your pleasure” at The PIT Mainstage: Dump

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): Comics perform solo characters at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Sarah Smallwood Parsons & Brittany McDonald: Perfect Strangers: A Character Show

7:00 pm ($7): Long form theatrical improv, with piano accompaniment, at The PIT Mainstage: High Status

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups Von Decarlo, Aminah Imani, Sally Brooks, Sidney Gantt, and Christine Meehan-Berg perform at Ridgewood Queens’ The Footlight Bar (465 Seneca Avenue) produced & hosted by Gracie Canaan: Wreck the Joint

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): A live taping of a terrific weekly Sirius XM Radio comedy show, with stand-ups Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, stellar Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself; Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Marina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show), Sam Morril (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, America’s Got Talent), Greg Fitzsimmons, and David Juskow, plus music from Helio Alves and the Come to Papa Trio, hosted by Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials): Come to Papa

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At this monthly game show, Emily Tarver (Orange is the New Black), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Rae Sanni, and Dan Black compete to see who can perform the best celebrity impressions at the UCB East theatre judged by Michael Hartney (TV Land’s Throwing Shade, co-host of Characters Welcome), and hosted by Andy Beckerman (host of podcast Beginnings, co-host of Couples Therapy) & Ramsey Ess: Snap Impression Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm: Rising stand-ups will do their very best to make you laugh at these auditions for the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Just For Laughs Stand-Up Audition Calbacks

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($10): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Nore Davis (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, Showtime’s Boardwalk Empire, MTV), and Emily Winter (writer for Fusion’s Come Here and Say That, co-host of Backfat Variety) perform stand-up and then sit down to chat with host Evan Rocha at Brooklyn’s C’mon Everybody (325 Franklin Avenue): The Talking Show

8:00 pm ($5): UCB house groups Mermaids and Some Kid make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 9:30 pm): Harold Night, Part 1

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): A stand-up with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Louie, and who’s also an Emmy-nominated comedy writer and talk show host, headlines at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Nick DiPaolo

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

8:30 pm ($7): A monthly stand-up & storytelling show in which comics are encouraged to hold nothing back at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Caitlin Brodnick & May Wilkerson: Brutally Honest with Caitlin Brodnick

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($10): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Jamie Lee (writer for HBO’s Crashing; Conan O’Brien, TruTV, MTV’s Girl Code, The Pete Holmes Show), Brandon Wardell (Comedy Central’s @midnight, Adam Devine’s House Party, The Meltdown, VICE’s Flophouse), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Half Hour), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:30 pm ($7): “The kids in Ms. Stevens AP English class were given a big assignment when the semester started: creatively combine all the texts on their reading list into one short play. But the life of a senior is busy, and they might have put it off a little too long. See The Catcher in the Rye, Oedipus Rex, Jane Eyre, and more somehow smushed together with teen angst, SAT vocab words, and plot lines from The Vampire Diaries the teens are praying their teacher doesn’t notice” at The PIT Mainstage: Ms. Stevens’ AP English Class Presents: A Play

9:00 pm ($7): An improvised game of Dungeons & Dragons at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Campaign

9:30 pm ($7): Sarah Tollemache, Mamoudou N’Diaye, Catherine Cohen, and Pedro Salinas perform stand-up or sketch at the UCB East theatre hosted by Brian Park in the name of a popular comedy site: CollegeHumor Live

9:30 pm ($5): UCB house groups By the Book and Ice Cold Baby make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 8:00 pm): Harold Night, Part 2

[$] 9:30 pm ($15): A sketch show imagining state-run Trump TV at The PIT Underground: Literally Must-See TV

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Matt Koff (staff writer for The Daily Show) and Tim Dillon (The Chris Gethard Show) perform club-length sets at the UCB East theatre hosted by Emmy Blotnick (rising star; staff writer & warm-up comic for Comedy Central’s spectacular The President Show; writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever): Big Long Sets

11:00 pm ($7): A variety of comics perform in celebration of Asian history at The PIT Underground: Asian Pacific Heritage Month Comedy Show

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

6:00 pm ($3): A chance for gals to get on stage and improvise with veteran female comics at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Blair Silverman and friends: Lady Jam

6:00 pm ($5 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

[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 upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Tuesday Night Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tuesday After Class: Slow Jam

11:00 pm ($5): Ten stand-ups whose names are drawn from a “golden bowl of destiny” will be given stage time, along with a few invited stand-ups, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Will Purpura: 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

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/22/17

May 22, 2017

Montreal Just for Laughs FestivalRising stand-ups will do their very best to make you laugh at these auditions for the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, with an 8:00 pm show hosted by Tim Dillon and a 10:00 pm show hosted by Aaron Berg at one of NYC’s best comedy clubs: Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions (8:00 pm & 10:00 pm, FREE using code JFL, no min., The Stand at 239 Third Avenue off 20th Street)…

…and also enjoy some of NYC’s best character comics when funny actors who survived the initial auditions for the Just for Laughs Festival gather to be judged further at the Montreal Just for Laughs Character Showcase Callbacks (5:00 pm, $5, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

[$] 7:00 pm ($20): A play based on the premise “What if being gay was the social norm and coming out as straight was the taboo?” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): A Straight Play

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Magnet house sketch teams—who tend to be excellent—perform what they consider to be their finest material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams: Best In Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts an all-star lineup of Judah Friedlander, Mark Normand, Gary Gulman, Dan Soder, Nick Griffin, Joe List, Monroe Martin, Jon Rineman, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Matt Negrin (writer/produxcer for The Daily Show), Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani (Vice News), Lauren Duca (Teen Vogue), and Mike Tolkin (2017 NYC Mayoral candidate) each chug two beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, comedy duo Amanda Giobbi & Kelley Quinn perform a Top 40 music-driven sketch show: Power Hour

…and in the second other of this double bill, a typically brilliant parody of Seinfeld made up on the spot: Improvised Seinfeld

8:00 pm ($7): The greatest science fiction anthology radio show of all time was X Minus One. Improvisors who know their genre history created this show in which they make up scenes of awe, mystery, and wonder at The PIT Mainstage co-starring the spectacular Rachel Scherer, with sound design & foley effects from Frank Todaro, and an opening musical improv set from Robin Rothman Taylor and improv pianist Eric March: X Plus One

8:00 pm ($7): Improv at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) from five-person group Janet

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($6): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot) hosts this monthly stand-up & music show, with tonight’s stellar guests Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, host of First Set, comedy album True Love), and Nat Towsen (VICE, College Humor, host of Downtown Variety) performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Myq Kaplan & Friends

9:00 pm ($7): A silent comedy one-man show by Parker Denton “focusing on humanity’s constant struggle with the physical plane of existence” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Delusions of Grandeur

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love): Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 ($7): House sketch groups Bundt and The Classic try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a rebellious comedy group at The PIT Mainstage: The Defiants

9:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform this show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Sandford: Permission to Fail

10:00 pm ($7): Indie improv groups (not announced) perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tough Butler Power Hour

10:30 pm ($7): Comedic storytelling “featuring black comedians, musicians, artists, poets, educators, and elders from around NYC” at The Magnet theatre hosted by Alexis Lambright: The Griot Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 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 (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

11:00 pm ($7): Improvisors perform scenes while taking on the roles of assigned Internet memes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Memeprov

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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 who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($5 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

11:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 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 theatre 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 Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base Jam

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/21/17

May 21, 2017

Picture This!On this unique show, as stand-ups do their sets their material is brought to visual life by animators. Tonight’s terrific comedy lineup consists of Drew Michael (SNL), Jim Tews, Emmy Blotnick, LIz Miele, Jono Zaley,and Danny Tamberelli, produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Ian Fidance: Picture This! (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

[$] 2:00 pm ($20): This musical with puppets is a family-friendly and interactive reinvention of the fairy tale The Three Billy Goats that urges the audience to work at improving the environment at The PIT Mainstage: Gruff!

[TOP PICK] 5:00 pm ($7): All-gal musical Improv group Redshirts (Catherine Wing, Jennette Cronk, Julia Lunetta, Sloane Miller, and Susan O’Doherty) creates new episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the spot, and also hosts group Who-Prov which makes up Dr. Who episodes, all at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Redshirts: Star Trek: TNG Musical Improv and Who-Prov

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): There’s nothing more unpredictable on a stage than an animal. In this show, pet owners perform improv along with their real-life pets at at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Pet Prov

6:00 pm ($7): Ross Berman, Priscilla Cintron, Michelle Drozdick, and Rob Verdino blend game show elements, audience interaction, and improv to have fun with online dating experiences at The PIT Mainstage: OK Stupid

6:00 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 Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, and Brian Urreta of improv group The Mannequin Room: Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Mike Birbiglia (one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country; feature films Don’t Think Twice and Sleepwalk with Me; three Comedy Central specials, multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live) tries out new material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Mike Birbiglia: Working It Out

7:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups compete for your laughs at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Bucket of Fun

7:00 pm ($5): Group Clyde performs a mix of sketch and improv at The PIT Mainstage: Hey Clyde

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, writer for TBS’ People of Earth), Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Billy Bonnell, Cliff Cash, and Zack Bornstein performing stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, MTV, TruTV) and hosted by Joe Zimmerman (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight, Comedy Central Half Hour): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] [$] 1:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among five shows, with four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression

7:30 pm ($5): Dana Shulman and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT Underground: Student Driver: Indie Road

8:00 pm ($7): Improv, sketch, and possibly other comedy forms in this variety show hosted by improv group Empress at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Empress’ New Groove

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($14.80 online using discount code BOX12, otherwise $18): My favorite FringeNYC 2016 show (out of over 60 seen) was a production taking place entirely inside a box, written & performed by breathtakingly talented sketch comic/actress/writer/singer Dominique Salerno (for my review, please click here). This amazing production is now enjoying a revival running Sundays at 8:30 pm at The PIT Mainstage through June 11th. Take advantage of this wonderful chance to experience The Box Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Comics who write for and/or have performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers—including Ryan Reiss and Phil Hanley—do stand-up at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street) hosted by Seaton C. Smith: Comedians of Seth Meyers

8:30 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Jean LeBec in which she “breaks out of the traditional storytelling format and guides the audience through three stories of her life” at The PIT Underground: Swept Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, stellar Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself; Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, writer for TBS’ People of Earth), Andy Sandford (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, The Beards of Comedy), Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Bravo, Oxygen, Sirius XM), and Maria Wojcieshowski performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

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

9:00 pm ($6): Two three-person groups of transplanted comics compete to determine “which will be accepted by the city and which will have to move back home” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Brendan Busee: Graft vs. Host

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) typically hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

9:30 pm ($5): Improv group Higgins looks at the Instagram photos of audience members and then uses them as springboards for comedy scenes at the UCB East theatre: Higgins: The Instagram Show

[ALMOST FREE] 10:00 pm ($1): This improv show is based on a Mullaney Chain (pioneered by Kevin Mullaney) in which the host invites a guest to improvise with him or her, then the guest independently invites a third person, who then invites a fourth person, and so on, creating a one-time-only lineup that will be a surprise to everyone involved at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kurt Guenther: The Telephone Show

10:30 pm ($7): Short stories are used as springboards for improvised scenes in this improv form created by Louis Kornfeld at The PIT Underground: Fact or Fiction

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): The debut of a show in which three five-member groups of comics compete in a Survivor-like game that tests them “in acting, writing, improvisation, character work, storytelling, and stand-up. The audience decides who goes to tribal council, but the tribe will actually vote and decide who is out of the competition” at The PIT Mainstage: Outwit, Outplay, Outlaugh: A Survivor Style Comedy Competition

Sunday Open Mics, Open Stages, and Jams

[FREE] 3:30 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Sam Rose: Bucket! We’ll Do it Live!

5:30 pm ($3): Email Michelle Thomas at improv10000hrs@gmail.com to improvise with experienced PIT performers at The PIT Underground: 10K Jam Jam

9:30 pm ($5): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT Underground, 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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[FREE] 11:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

 


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/20/17

May 20, 2017

Spare Rib by Winter MillerAn acclaimed comedic work-in-progress about abortion rights by playwright & activist Winter Miller gets a staged reading with a cast that’s likely to be stellar—see a write-up from The New Yorker about a previous reading here—directed by Mikhael Tara Garver, and with music from Grammy-winning cabaret star Lady Rizo, with proceeds going to the National Network of Abortion Funders’ Dr. Willie Parker Fund which supports safe, affordable, compassionate abortions for women in Alabama and Georgia: Spare Rib (8:00 pm, $20 suggested donation (or whatever you can afford), Judson Memorial Church at 239 Thompson Street)

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

[$] 11:00 pm ($20): A kid-friendly and autism-themed musical that “promotes positive messages of creativity, niceness, acceptance, and frivolity” by Lard Dog and his 6-piece Band of Shy at The PIT Mainstage: Life’s a Real Dream: Autism-Friendly Edition

[FREE; reserve tickets here] 1:00 pm: A rare lunchtime stand-up show for families, with all kids under 15 allowed on stage to tell a joke, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Paul Bennett: Guess What?

[$] 2:00 pm ($20): A kid-friendly musical—without the autism theme of the 11:00 am show—that “promotes positive messages of creativity, niceness, acceptance, and frivolity” by Lard Dog and his 6-piece Band of Shy at The PIT Mainstage: Life’s a Real Dream: Standard Edition

[TOP PICK] 3:00 pm-4:30 pm ($8): An early stand-up show for parents with babies (no cover charge or drink minimum for the babies) featuring Ophira Eisenberg (NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; host of Right Now; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Jordan Temple (writer for MTV’s Decoded), Casey Balsham, and Ryan Donahue performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sally Brooks: Baby & Me Comedy

6:00 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Malú Huacuja del Toro described as “a politically incorrect monologue on how to be a Mexican feminist in 15 minutes” at The PIT Underground: Quixota in the Time of Trump

5:00 pm ($7): Senior citizens perform improv at The PIT Mainstage: Geezers

6:00 pm ($7): Comedy groups are invited to perform any improv form (except montage) hosted by improv group My Brother’s Girlfriend at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Do Something Weird with My Brother’s Girlfriend

6:00 pm ($7): Solo improv by Dion Flynn (frequent sketch comic on Jimmy Fallon) at The PIT Mainstage: Works Well With Others

6:00 pm ($5): Four indie improv troupes perform at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): Improv group Women and Men interview audience members about a weird and/or wild birthday, wedding, bar mitzvah, or other social gathering and then make up scenes based on those anecdotes at the UCB East theatre: Women and Men: Party Jumpin’

7:00 pm ($10): 75 minutes of sketch comedy from group Teen Radio, plus an opening set from stand-up David Morton, at The PIT Underground: Teen Radio

7:00 pm ($7): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Electoral Dysfunction

7:00 pm ($10): Improv group BBC2 (which includes Patrick McCartney, Raquel Powell, Jennifer Bareilles, and Kevin Scott) make up scenes at The PIT Mainstage: BBC2

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedic musician Rachel Blithe, and stand-ups Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes) and Shauna Lane (Comedy Central) perform at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 13 million people on YouTube, please click here): Don’t Feed the Musicians

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A former MTV icon you either love or actively avoid headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tom Green

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): In this reverse roast battle, comics compete to compliment each other while getting the most laughs, with tonight’s terrific contestants Josh Gondelman, Matt Koff, Emmy Blotnick, Giulia Rozzi, Maeve Higgins, and Robert Dean, plus music from DJ Will Winner, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times): Boast Battle

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Gypsy Danger (which includes brilliant comics Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman, and which will make up a feature film on the spot) and The Baldwins (which includes brilliant comics Micah Sherman and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT Mainstage: Gypsy Danger: The Improvised Movie and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): 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

8:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from group Adam’s Summer Class (“come for the laughs, stay for the lessons”) directed by Chris Aurilio and choreographed by Joe Galan at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Adam’s Summer Class

8:00 pm ($10): Comics compete in “a gauntlet of trivia and challenges that, ultimately, don’t quite make sense” at The PIT Underground hosted by Ganesh Nair & Ryan Stanisz: Lightning Round: A Comedy Game Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A rare opportunity to see master improvisor Armando Diaz make up scenes with his former students Hannah Chase and Michael Lutton—who are now respected improv instructors as well—at The Magnet theatre: Teacher Teacher

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A highly talented freestyle rapping long-form improv group makes up scenes with fierce musical energy at The PIT Underground: North Coast

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): An improvised apocalypse from sharp comics John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Caroline Cotter, Joanna Bradley, David Bluvband, and Zach Cherry at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A talk & variety show, with this month’s comics Alyssa Lott, Tamsi M New, Taylor Ortega, Matty Frazier, and Christine Piñeiro, plus musical guest Adrien Pellerin, spearheaded by head writer & director Jacob Williams and producers Alyssa Lott & Jay Malsky at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jay Malsky (highly talented, super-charged improvisor & character comic; FringeNYC): This Live Show

9:30 pm ($10): A 5-man improv group consisting of Matt Higgins, Rory Scholl, Patrick McCartney, Jay Rhoderick, and Nick Balanan organically makes up weird scenes at The PIT Mainstage: Rutger Hauer Players

9:30 pm ($8): NYC stand-ups Alex English, Sharron Paul, Carlos Delgado, and Bob Hansen perform at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Cathy Humes: Tina Fey Will (Not) Be Here

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Casey Jost (former writer for NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and TruTV’s Impractical Jokers), and Lui Vega—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

10:00 ($5): Comics compete in freestyle rap games and battles, with the prize being stage time, at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Noah Savage with DJ Will Winner: So You Think You Can Rap

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each time—which this week is Shakespeare—at The Magnet: The Cast: Shakespeare Edition

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): 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

10:30 pm ($10): Comedic singing duo James Bruffee & Brian Hansbury perform and host musical guests at The PIT Mainstage: X-Ray-X Presents

10:30 pm ($5): Comics pretend to be infants at The PIT Underground: Babies Night

11:00 pm ($7): A parody of a late night talk show hosted by Roxy Cotten at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Nighty Nite Show

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Fredric Goldstein and hosted by Judith George: Last Stop Laughs

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): 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

Saturday Open Mics & Jams

4:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 2:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 5:00 pm-7:00 pm: Walk-in comedy open mic (lottery system, with sign-up starting at 4:30 pm) providing each selected comic 4 minutes on stage at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck & Veronica Garza: Murray Povich Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Walk-in open mic, with names drawn from a bucket (sign-up starts at 6:50 pm), and a designated beer drinker on stage who might chime in at any moment to riff with you during your set, at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Amy Shanker, Brett Hiker, and Cameron Ford: Power Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for character bits, stand-up, etc. at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Elise Edwards: Discount Disco

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/19/17

May 19, 2017

Did you catch Anthony Atamanuik’s brilliant episode of The President Show last night on Comedy Central with Deepak Chopra? If not, you can watch it right now by clicking here. (You are most welcome.)

Neon Joe Werewolf HunterAdult Swim provides a free screening of the first two episodes of Season 2 of Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter, followed by a Q&A with star Jon Glaser and director John Lee: Neon Joe Werewolf Hunter Season 2 Premiere Fan He-Yump-Vent (8:00 pm, FREE with RSVP, Brooklyn’s Bell House at 149 7th Street in Brooklyn; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A sketch comedy double-bill from Dinosaur Jones, a group that’s “part adventure, part absurdity, and all comedy” and The Executives, a tie-wearing group that leverages physical comedy, all at The Magnet theatre: Dinosaur Jones and The Executives

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Superb “overactor” Pat Swearingen and many more make up a ridiculous soap-operish TV movie on the spot at The PIT Underground: Improvised Lifetime Movie

[FREE, but donation requested] 7:00 pm: Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Bravo, Oxygen, Sirius XM), Dave Mizzoni (Pop Roulette), Eman El Husseini, Jess Salomon, and Jaboukie Young-White perform stand-up or storytelling at this LGBTQ-themed show at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) hosted by Bobby Hankinson: Kweendom

7:00 pm ($7): Four teams of improvisors make up theatre on the spot based on “the weirdest Off-Off-Off Broadway play and musical titles that ever existed” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Way Off-Broadway

7:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a play about the minutiae of small town politics directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel and featuring a seven-person cast: All in Favor

…and in the second other of this double bill, a play in which “Blue’s Clues meets Avenue Q in puppet comedy:” Simon’s Street

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

7:30 pm ($10): A sketch comedy group that formed in Chicago back in 2008 performs at The PIT Underground: Teenager of the Year

7:30 pm ($10): Stand-ups Anthony Devito, Dan Perlman, Lauren Vino, Karolena Theresa, and Jay Welch perform material that may include uncomfortable observations or revelations at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Erin Lynn O’Connor & Rosa Escandon: Awkward Stage Comedy Show

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A former MTV icon you either love or actively avoid headlines through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tom Green

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): A top-notch theatrical troupe that’s equally fine at compelling acting and split-second comedy uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes spearheaded by superb creators/performers Jen Jamula & Allison Goldberg—and this is the last time you can see them for a while, as they’re leaving for a few months to seek fame & fortune in LA—at The PIT Mainstage: Blogologues

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s twosomes are Alex English & Rosebud Baker (couple), Mike Brown & Dillon Stevenson (pals), Brendan McLaughlin & Chase Mitchell (pals), and Mike Recine & Frank Terranova (pals), all performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by lovers Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): Couples Therapy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A historical period or major event is explored comedically via stand-up, sketch, trivia contests, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Auslaender & Lindsay Boling: Annal Revue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a play on the spot springboarding off the writings of Jane Austen at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Being Jane Austen

[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 Phoebe Tyers and Sebastian Conelli: The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Alexandra Dickson, Silvija Ozols, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE PIZZA!] 9:00 pm: Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, writer for TBS’ People of Earth), Josh Johnson (writer for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central Half Hour), Joe Zimmerman (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Sarah Tollemache (Adam Devine’s House Party), and Scott Chaplain (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle) perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Big Irv’s (381 Hooper Street) hosted by Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central’s South Beach, host of The Secret Loft Show): Camouflage: A Comedy Show

9:00 pm ($10): Stand-ups and improvisors perform at The PIT Underground hosted by Matt Catanzano & Richie Moriarty: Simply Unemployable Live

9:00 pm ($10): NYC sketch comedy groups 17:38 and Horse Club perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Boogie Manja

9:30 pm ($10): An improvised transit hour inside a single NYC subway car—people come, people go, and the ride keeps rolling—at The PIT Mainstage: Strangers on a Train

9:30 pm ($7): Levi Penley & Robert Price perform duo stand-up, improv, freestyle rap, and banjo, and tonight also host San Francisco-based stand-up Helen Pappas at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Cheep Show

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

10:00 pm ($5): A guest visual artist shows off his/her work for 15 minutes. Then 5 comics each tell a story while being sketched by the artist, by the host/cartoonist Grant Lindahl—and, if you’re into it, you (bring a sketchbook!). The audience member crafting the best sketch wins a prize. It all happens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Art School Acid Dropout

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston 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 ($7): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT Underground with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically include Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), and/or many more, all declaring ChicaGoGo

[$] 10:30 pm ($12): Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, writer for TBS’ People of Earth), Dru Johnston (The Chris Gethard Show), Brendan Scannell (Heathers), and Clifton Cash perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($7): Talented improvisors make up scenes with fast & furious ferocity at improv The PIT Underground: Fury

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Honestly, I’m not sure this 1996 comedy is dreadful enough to merit inclusion in this “make fun of bad movies'” series; but at any rate, Space Jam will be screened and mercilessly savaged by Jordan Temple, Mamadou N’Diaye, Catlin Peluffo, and FreddyG at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersback: Movies R Dumb: Space Jam

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($10): Pop-punk cabaret band My Dark Little Corner channels the sound & spirit of such bands as Green Day, Blink-182, and My Chemical Romance while performing all-new sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: My Dark Little Corner: The Band Goes on a Road Trip

[$] 11:30 pm ($20): Lard Dog and his 6-piece Band of Shy normally does children’s musical theatre, but tonight performs an adults-only version of its comedy at The PIT Mainstage: Life’s a Real Dream

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): A unique show based on the premise “Let’s be honest, love doesn’t exist, couples suck, and Valentine’s Day is bullshit. We test real life couples to see if they are meant to be together (they aren’t). The couple with the least amount of points at the end of the night will have to break up, because we all die alone anyway and what’s the point of anything really? It’ll be fun!” at UCB East hosted by Carly Ann Filbin: Let Me Break You Up: An Anti-Dating Game Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: If you’re looking for something different: Former porn star Alia Janine hosts this show featuring sex workers ranging from dancers to strip club bouncers performing stand-up, plus more conventional comics, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Hardcore Comedy Show

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sydney Beveridge & Davey Melch: Queens Open Mic Fridays

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

6:00 pm ($5): A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Friday Night Mics

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic (drop your name in the bucket by 6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Hamilton: Scatterbrain

6:30 pm ($3): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at The PIT Underground for Happy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

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

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.