NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/18/13

July 18, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Check out Mike Lawrence’s comedy album Sadamantium

Chris Gethard

Chris Gethard and more tell stories about movies at Low Standards with John & Matt…

Wyatt Cenac

…and Wyatt Cenac and more take suggestions to make up sets on the spot at Set List: Stand-Up Without a Net

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] 7:00 pm: Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show) tries out new stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Christian Finnegan

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm show ($10.35 in advance online, $15 at the door; price includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Foodies Beth Kracklauer (Food Editor at The Wall Street Journal), Matt Gross (Editor of BonAppetit.com), Kat Kinsman (Managing Editor of CNN’s Food Blog Eatocracy), and Joshua David Stein (restaurant critic of the New York Observer) tell tales on this month’s theme Cold Shoulder: Stories of Rejection From the Culinary World at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

7:30 pm ($5): Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Nore Davis (Comedy Central), Jacqueline Novak, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Sasheer Zamata (rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky, sketch group The Prom; host of UCBT’s School Night), and Halle Kiefer (host of Splitsider and Tumblr’s Dog and Pony Show) tell stories about movies at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by John Murray and Matt Fisher: Low Standards with John & Matt

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($9.75 online using code SET; no drink min.): Top stand-ups are given a never-before-seen list of of strange and outrageous topics the moment they get on stage, and try to perform seamlessly as if it’s the set they normally do…while the audience follows their topics on a projection screen. Tonight’s “comics in the moment” are Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Taylor Negron performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Set List: Stand-Up Without a Net

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer): Storytelling from 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), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Steven Weinberg (writer), and Jon Reiss (writer) gather to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street) guest-hosted tonight by Sean Donnelly (MTV, FOX News; host of many shows): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Medusa (all improvisers stay on stage at all times, and alternate between speaking roles and playing inanimate objects), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Micaela Blei 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 Call Tokyo vs. Trike: 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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using code CQUBTX online or at the box office): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, just a few blocks from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) running through August 8th: Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

8:00 pm ($10): “Best friends Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell created an internet phenomenon by challenging pairs of women to double date them, and documenting the hilarious results for YouTubers everywhere. Two hundred dates later, their experiences were translated into reenactments, educational songs, and valuable lessons in everything from dancing to kissing. Tonight, these “dating experts” will improvise demonstrations inspired by audience participation, in an attempt to enlighten on the art of romance…and perhaps do a little bit of matchmaking along the way” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Dave and Ethan: Dating Coaches

[$] 8:00 pm ($53 & 2-drink min.) Former co-host of The Man Show and Loveline, and now host of one of the most popular comedy podcasts on the Net, headlining—and doing a live podcast—tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Adam Carolla

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Reggie Watts (music improv comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Electric Company; for video samples, please click here), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), sketch group Boat, Josh Gondelman, Jim Tews, and David Smithyman performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[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

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Chelsea stage—along with comics Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Arthur Meyer (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Dan Gurewitch, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

9:30 pm ($8): A mix of sketch and stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Garlic Jackson Presents

[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), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Modi (Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno): Dave Attell, Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, and More

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv legends Death by Roo Roo steamrolled over fellow UCBT weekend team The Curfew by 141-30—ouch! Tonight the likely victim is Apollo at UCB Chelsea as they compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, improv group Sandino—which includes Aaron Jackson, Brandon Gulya, Don Fanelli, and Kate Riley—interviews an audience member about some puzzle and then acts out scenes providing an unexpected answer: Sandino: Unsolved Mysteries

[$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), and Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): The Nasty Show: Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, and More

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here) is tonight’s guest co-host 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 (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives): 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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group 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, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 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.