NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/20/13

June 20, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Myq Kaplan has a new comedy album; check it out here

Tom Shillue

Tom Shillue performs at Lasers in the Jungle…

Chris Gethard

…then hosts genius storytellers Chris Gethard & Elna Baker at Funny Story

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] 7:30 pm ($5): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller, host of Funny Story, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; currently releasing a new storytelling album each month), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry stand-up; writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, host of Big Long Sets), Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out), and Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm (call 212.757.4100 for cover charge; plus 2-drink min.): The co-star of NBC’s Whitney and star of a Comedy Central Presents special, and who’s also performed on Showtime and TBS, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer): Three of the finest storytellers alive—Chris Gethard, Elna Baker, and host Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; currently releasing a new storytelling album each month)—plus Baron Ambrosia, Clay McLeod Chapman, and Nat Towsen gather to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street) for this super-charged show: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Round Trip (long form improv—directed by Armando Diaz—which tells the story of group of characters over the course of three separate monoscenes), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from ace storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here) at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring All American vs. The Music Industry: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), 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), 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), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Colin Quinn, John Mulaney, Tom Papa, Gary Gulman, and More

[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 ($8): An energetic 8-member sketch group at The PIT upstairs lounge: Nerds on Fire

[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] 9:30 pm ($5): This UCB Chelsea double-bill kicks off with a one-man show by Arthur Meyer (writer for Jimmy Fallon and The Onion; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men): Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

…and then “a sketch show about men who stay out of the fray. Because the fray is chock full of death, basketball, and lions. Come and sit this one out with us,” written by and starring Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy): Guilty Bystanders

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up three one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by brilliant comics Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 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), Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Trevor Noah (South African comic; Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, one-man show Born a Crime), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Dave Attell, Neal Brennan, Nick Griffin, Trevor Noah, and More

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv team Scrambled Legs was a surprise juggernaut, winning 7 matches in a row. Last week it faced one of the finest groups in the history of improv, Death by Roo Roo, and finally lost…but by a thin margin of 85-76. Kudos to SL, which will be back for the annual championship competition. Meanwhile, Death by Roo Roo is in place to stomp out a slew of challengers, starting tonight with The Regulars. Come watch these groups at UCB Chelsea compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open-mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: The lovely and supportive Julia Wiedeman (host of UCB East’s Monday storytelling open mic show) subs tonight for John Flynn, hosting this terrific weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress: Oh, Hey Guys!

[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

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 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, Comedy Juice on Tuesdays, and more; 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.)

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.