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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 $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (might be 9:00 pm only), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby
[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. Nate’s & Paul’s favorite comics from this open-mic will be selected to perform at their midnight Beastmasters show: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic
[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. I haven’t yet seen this latest show which debuted recently, but will soon; among its writers are the delightful Silvija Ozols, and Brandon Gulya…who also directed: Stone Cold Fox: Hey, Look Over Here!
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. Tonight is the debut of this concept, with The RZA from Wu-Tang Clan “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Chris Gethard, Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Brandon Gardner, and Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip Hip Improv Show
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($19.62 in advance online, $18 at the door): A top-notch theatrical troupe that’s equally fine at compelling acting and split-second comedy uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes. Tonight is the debut of the 12th edition of the series (begun in 2011), and—appropriately for Spring—focuses on all things sexy. While everyone in the cast is exceptional, standouts such as Wendy Joy, and the show’s producers Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula, are worth the trip all by themselves. For a video sample (a pale shadow of the live show), please click here. Another reviewer called this “like Forbidden Broadway for the Internet,” and that’s pretty close to the mark. This is running March 28-30 and April 4-6 at 8:00 pm. Grab tickets in advance before it sells out, and then enjoy this production at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place): Blogologues: #SexyTime
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A comic’s comic who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, HBO, FX’s Louie, CNN, FOX, and three Comedy Central specials, and has been a frequent guest on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Howard Stern, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal stand-up from Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), Hadiyah Robinson (BET), Carrie Gravenson (Pink Comedy Tour), and Kaytlin Bailey (Pink Comedy Tour) at Brooklyn’s Postmark Cafe (326 6th Street) hosted by Luke Thayer: The Living Room
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): One of the very finest stand-ups in the country, who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and The View, starred in two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials, and frequently opens for Louis C.K., headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers Rob Cantrell, Jim Mendrinos, and Deb DiGiovanni), the wonderful Ted Alexandro
[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 ($10): A gathering of comedic musicians, who tonight include Myq & Micah (comedic singing duo Myq Kaplan & Micah Sherman; for a song about distribution of natural resources, please click here) and Squirm & Germ performing at UCB East hosted by superb musical group Summer & Eve (for samples, please click here): Earworm Funny Music Party Show
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code WARD, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. BWC is running every Friday night through April 4th at the Soho Playhouse. Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy
[$] 10:00 pm ($20): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Russ Meneve, and More
[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] 11:00 pm ($8): Improvised scenes by duos—Steve Soroka & Paul Gutkowski, Ashley Ward & David Rysdahl, Beth White & Ariel Karlin, and Bill DiPiero & Kaitlin Fontana—based on the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist at The PIT upstairs theatre: Missed Connections Two-Prov
[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
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here) is tonight’s headliner at this UCB East show that features a top comic, plus comics that did well at the 7:00 pm Hot Chicks Room open mic, plus two comics whose names will be drawn from a hat, hosted by Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and Paul Oddo: Beastmasters: Up From the Mic
[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage
[TOP PICK] [$] 12:15 am ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show): Marina Franklin, Big Jay Oakerson, 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.