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] 7:00 pm-1:30 am ($10 per show, all-you-can-see with $40 festival pass): The PIT hosts its annual NYC Improv Festival, running for six hours today in both its upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge. Among the notable offerings tonight is Chica Go-Go at 11:00, featuring brilliant Chicago-trained improvisors and, if you’re lucky, the legendary Joe Bill. In addition, there are workshops and a free symposium happening through Saturday: NYC Improv Festival 2013
[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic
[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($10): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) debuts a multimedia sketch production she’s spearheading with the help of a small army of writers (including Meghan O’Neill) and performers (including Sasheer Zamata and Brandon Gulya) at the UCB East theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. As for the new script, I know nothing about its quality, but among its writers are the delightful Silvija Ozols, and Brandon Gulya…who also directed: Stone Cold Fox: Hey, Look Over Here!
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:45 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, Craig Ferguson, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Tony Woods (David Letterman), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show): Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, and More
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A gathering of superb comedic musicians, who tonight include the wonderful Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), the delightful Erin and Her Cello (for video samples, please click here), , musical sketch group Political Subversities, Happy Rappies, Liz Elkins, and Tim Girbach & the Garden State Sax Quartet, all performing at UCB East hosted by superb musical group Summer & Eve (for samples, please click here): Earworm Funny Music Party Show
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code WARD, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. BWC is running every Friday night through April 4th at the Soho Playhouse. Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy
[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Visiting from the legendary Annoyance Theater in Chicago for one night only, the sketch/improv cast of Holy Fuck (Steph Cook, Matt Barats, Anthony Oberbeck, Joey Dundale, John Reynolds, Gary Richardson, and Conner O’Malley) performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Emily Axford, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, and/or other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder
[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail
[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage
[TOP PICK] [$] 12:15 am ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson: Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Nikki Glaser, 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.