NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/3/13

October 3, 2013

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New York City Comedy Festival 2013

The PIT hosts a mammoth 4-day sketch comedy festival, with all-you-can-see passes just $50: New York City Sketch Festival 2013

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:

6:00 pm ($5): “Experts and historical figures discuss the most important topics of the day in this comedy panel show” at UCB East hosted by Erik Tanouye and/or Will Hines: What’s All This Then, America?

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm-12:30 am ($8 per show, $50 for all-you-can-see festival pass): A full evening of sketch comedy, consisting of 11 shows playing at The PIT upstairs theater and downstairs lounge, kicks off this annual festival running today through Sunday: New York City Comedy Festival 2013

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20 at the door or $26.50 online using discount code DAISEY; no food/drink min.; SOLD OUT, but you can try for a standby line): Why is genius yarn-spinner Mike Daisey telling 29 new stories in a row (working off mere one-page outlines) in a 29-night, 44-hour monologue? Part of the answer appears near the start of Show #10: “I’ve always been willing to throw myself right off a cliff. It’s a beautiful feeling to know that below awaits the water or the rocks. When you’re suspended in that high arc above the brilliant blue, for a moment you are released, you are free…because you could live or die. I crave that.” If you crave seeing that, too bad, because this final night is SOLD OUT at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place); but you can experience this epic adventure at your convenience for FREE via iTunes (and Mike, kudos to you for pulling it off): All the Faces of the Moon

7:30 pm ($5): Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), Guy Branum (Chelsea Lately), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Matteo Lane, and Rojo Perez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($5): Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Phil Hanley (Jay Leno), Emma Willman, and Matteo Lane performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun & Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[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 Sleepover (long form improv with elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Robert Weinstein 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 MalBec against Pumpkin: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Storytellers Ted Travelstead (brilliant, hilarious writer/comic; Vanity Fair, author of The Petraeus Files and Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk), Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here), Margo Herre, and Mike Brown performing at this biweekly storytelling show at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by JR: The Jenny Rubin Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), 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): John Mulaney, Michael Che, Ryan Hamilton, Carmen Lynch, and More

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Dan Black (FUSE, Death by Roo Roo, Ripley) performs a one-man show “as a student of the dude game” in The Pageantry of Man

..and in the other half of this double-bill, a three-person comedic mini-play about real estate and murder: Greasy Lake: Key to the City

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15; no drink min.): Writers and performers for FX’s Totally Biased, and moreincluding Aparna Nancherla, Janine Brito, Jordan Rock, Kevin Avery, and Eliza Skinner—performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Writers, Performers, and Friends of FX’s Totally Biased

[TOP PICK] [FREE—OPEN VODKA BAR 8:30-9:00] 9:00 pm: Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Alison Leiby (host of It’s a Long Story), Mark Anthony Ramirez (MTV, Howard Stern), Missy Baker, and Dwayne Murphy performing stand-up at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Leah Bonnema (out of town this month) and Tim Warner: Modern Day Philosophers

[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

9:00 pm ($5): Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Marcella Arguello, Casey Ley, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Emily Heller and/or Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) perform 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

…and in the other half of this double-bill, 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1983 historical drama Adam and Eve Versus the Cannibals (for the painfully bad trailer, please click here) at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Juggernaut improv group Namaste rolled over challenger Hungry Boys 77 votes to 39, marking five victories in a row. Tonight this champion will face improv musical hip-hop troupe North Coast at UCB Chelsea, competing for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Interviews, sketches, stand-up, and/or music at this variety show about Internet stars, tonight feature The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Julian Kiani, and more at the UCB East theatre: Still Buffering

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

[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 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 The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:00 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[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)

(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.