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Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic
7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Nintendo, Dr. Champagne, Featherweight, Chet Watkins, Horses, The Wrath, Flower Girl, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Brick at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
[FREE] 7:00 pm to 12:30 am: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre (running 7:00 pm-midnight), plus another five free hours of improv at the downstairs lounge (running 7:30 pm-12:30 am): Super Free Wednesday
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Killer lineup of Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), 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 Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): Whitney Cummings, Judah Friedlander, and More
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6): Stand-up from Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace) and Matt Koff (Onion News Network),, improv from world-class group Death by Roo Roo, sketch from troupe Boat, and more at Brooklyn’s Union Hall produced by Cipha Sounds and Lukas Kaiser: March Radness
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant improvisor Ellena Chmielewski proves herself to also be a brilliant comedic writer, and a young, fresh voice about relationships, in this mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea she co-wrote with John Zachary Townsend, and that holds the seeds for a longer commercial stage production and/or a series on a network like MTV. Come enjoy watching the foundation of a promising career at one of the best-scripted shows to grace UCBT in a while (and if you know Ellena, urge her to star or co-star in her next production, because she’s a gifted performer too): Standards & Practices…
…and in the second half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, young talents—gay and otherwise—put on a meta-musical spoofing Broadway musicals of the future that’s hit-or-miss, but fun overall:The 2017 Tony Awardz: A Parody of Musical Proportions
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Seating at 8:30, show at 9:00 pm (RSVP to confirm your spot at FreeComedyWednesdays@gmail.com): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and more performing stand-up at Ella (9 Avenue A) produced by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), JR Havlan (7-time Emmy winning writer for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Robert Dean, and Gabe Pacheco performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any squabbling) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Longtime UCBT stars Neil Casey (writer for Saturday Night Live; Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea directed by Michael Delaney: Small Men
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($8 at the door or $10.70 in advance online): Stand-up from TV & movie star Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), and Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), and sketch from Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever) and Henry Zebrowski (HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Michael and Michael Have Issues, award-winning sketch troupe Murderfist), all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Nick Turner & Acquaintances
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Rising stand-up stars—Mark Normand, Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Dan. St. Germain, Michael Che, Emily Heller, Jeffrey Joseph, Dan Soder, Barry Rothbart, Calise Hawkins, Joe List, Pat Dixon, and/or Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regulars
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased; comedy troupes Doppelganger, The Prom, Bucky) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s stellar scheduled guests include Johnny (a.k.a. Jawnee) Conroy & Neil Casey, Don Fanelli, and Megan Maes; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night
[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets
[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Joe LIst, Kurt Metzger, 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.