NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/8/13

August 8, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Tomorrow kicks off this year’s spectacular FringeNYC

Murderfist

NYC’s heavy metal sketch troupe celebrates its 10th Anniversary tonight in Brooklyn…

Murderfist

…Murderfist

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 ($8): Veteran improvisors who’ve had children—including wonderful couple Mary Archbold and Pay Shay—make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Mamas and the Papas

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril with hosts J. W. Crump and Jordan Hirsch: Gas Station Horror

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Tim Gage (Comedy Central) tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Tim Gage

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!), Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show); for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), Jay Nog (MTV, AMC), and Sam Simmons performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 ($15): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a show that’s sure to be memorable at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Murderfist: 10th Anniversary Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using code CQUBTX online or at the box office): Your last chance to see TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn perform 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). This is the final night of the run for Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blackout (long form improv in which “scenes are edited solely by blackouts created by the director in the booth and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene”), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Erin Barker 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) pitting last week’s winner against Vulcan: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show) performs a club-length headliner stand-up set at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Jermaine Fowler Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): At this PIT upstairs theatre double-bill, award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up at Swords, and puppeteers Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer put a hand-puppet through improvised therapy at Shrink

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): John Flynn (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and Steve Forrest performing stand-up 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A one-man show by Arthur Meyer (The Onion; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men) at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) debut 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:” Guilty Bystanders

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): An evening with Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), and maybe one or two of his stand-up friends, at at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Nick DiPaolo

9:30 pm ($5): Come experience the magic of improv transform The PIT downstairs lounge into a live radio show, with patter, call-ins, commercials, and songs all made up on the spot: WPIT-FM: Radioprov

[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), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Dave Attell, Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, and More

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Saturday UCBT improv giant What I Did For Love easily dispatched last week’s champion Apollo, winning 93 votes to 66. WIDFL tonight competes with team Stripe Club at UCB Chelsea for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Storytelling and carny join forces to bring the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, hosted by Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life), and tonight featuring storyteller Dawn Fraser (The Moth, Unchained Tour), stand-up from Guy Branum (Chelsea Lately, Totally Biased) and Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), and burlesque from Vada James (burlesque tribute to Arrested Development) and Mr. Gorgeous (Coney Island), all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

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: Robin Gelfenbien (host of storytelling show Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC) 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.