For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Jim O’Grady (The New York Times, WNYC Radio, Moth GrandSlam Champion) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, hosted by the wonderful John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!
6:00 pm ($5): Three shows I know nothing about—How to Be Nice, Pretty, and Invisible; Apocalypse in Connecticut; and An Epic, Legendary, Neato Guy—audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank
[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life at UCB East, hosted by magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie), guest-hosted tonight by delightful singer/sketch comic Tanya O’Debra, and featuring Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown), Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color, MTV, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and Avery Monsen (shadow puppeteer): Livia’s Castle of Enchantment
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): A one-man storytelling show by Adam Strauss: “Inspired by a scientific study showing that hallucinogenic mushrooms can effectively treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, Adam Strauss embarked on his own program of vigilante psychopharmacology. By turns hilarious, harrowing, and heartrending, a show guaranteed to change your life* at The PIT upstairs theatre: Varieties of Religious Experience
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck
8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful improvisor Ellena Chmielewski co-wrote and directed this comedy mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea co-written & co-starring John Zachary Townsend: Standards & Practices…
…and in the other half of this double-bill, frankly, the worst UCBT show I saw in 2012—terrible writing, acting, direction, a perfect storm of bad. The folks involved are very nice (sometimes things just don’t work out…); but why this is still on the schedule is utterly baffling. Anyway, please consider yourself warned: The State vs. Josh: The Trial of the Millennials
[$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Matt Simonds (David Letterman, Jay Leno), Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Jon FIsch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1): Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, and More
[$] 8:00 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), Poppi Kramer, Danny Cohen, and Cara Kilduff performing stand-up for this monthly gay-themed show at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.) hosted by Adam Sank: Queens of Queens
[$] 8:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.) A writer/comic who plays Leon Black on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed on Saturday Night Live, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, The Chris Rock Show, and in such feature films as Pootie Tang and Mr. Deeds, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Featherweight, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Blackout (scenes are edited by blackouts created by the director in the booth, and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring last week’s winner vs. Dr. Champagne: The Magnet’s Night Out
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), Zachariah Durr, Meg Cuppernal, Jason Burke, David Foster, and Michael Joyce at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co -creator of Chappelle’s Show), Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color, MTV, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), Jackie Kashian, and Rojo Perez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out
9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it plus like-minded comics on the UCB Chelsea stage—tonight including The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), and Josh Rabinowitz: CollegeHumor Live
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) International stand-ups Azhar Usman (Indian-American), Mo Amer (Arab-American), Saurin Choksi (Indian-American), and more hosted by Anish Shah (Indian-American) performing at the Carolines Comedy Club: International Incident
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Jim David (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Andy Hendrickson performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Jon FIsch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1): Neal Brennan, Mark Normand, and More
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1973 blaxploitation movie The Black Six (IMDB ranking 2.6 out of 10; for a trailer, please click here)—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week’s Cage Match was a delight, with Doppelganger proving itself one of the most energetic and organic groups in the country (among memorable moments was Keisha Zollar explaining her character’s penis was unusually red and shiny and bright, and Nicole Byer instantly responding by diving for it with the words “Merry Christmas!”). Then long-established improv stars including Fran Gillespie and Neil Casey performed a more leisurely, but highly skilled and inventive, style of improv that was almost as good. The audience was closely split, but Doppelganger deservedly won with a vote of 74-70.
Tonight the most winning CM improv troupe in 2012, Airwolf, goes against hip-hop musical improv troupe North Coast, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match
11:00 ($5): NYC stand-ups Chris Grace, Michelle Wolf, Josh Gondelman, and Corey Reppond performing at UCB East as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show): /r/standup
[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color, MTV, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Sam Morril (Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: The Nasty Show: Jermaine Fowler, Mark Normand, Jon Fisch, and More
From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.