NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 11/6/13

November 6, 2013

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Today kicks off this year’s New York Comedy Festival

Running Late with Dick Cavett and Andy Borowitz

TV star Dick Cavett and New Yorker writer Andy Borowitz are interviewed at Running Late With Scott Rogowsky…

Jackie Kashian

…and UCB Chelsea helps kick off the New York Comedy festival with an hour of stand-up from Jackie Kashian

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] [$] The New York Comedy Festival features some of the best stand-ups in the world doing headlining sets in major NYC theatres such as the Beacon, Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall during November 6-11. Among the stars performing this year are Stephen Colbert, Maria Bamford, Bill Burr, John Mulaney, Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, Bill Maher, Chris Gethard, Hannibal Buress, Michael Che, Nikki & Sara, Julian McCullough, Baron Vaughn, Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes, Charlie Murphy, Jim Jefferies, Jackie Kashian, W. Kamau Bell, Moshe Kasher, Vanessa Bayer, and Nick Swardson; plus such giants as Larry David, David Cross, and Nick Kroll will be interviewed. To explore the entire schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival

[FREE] 6:00 pm: “A community event for any and all NYC-based comedy ladies—stand-ups, storytellers, sketch performers, improvisers, character actresses, bookers, producers, podcasters, etc.—for cookie decorating and hang time” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Rebecca Trent & Selena Coppock: Lady Gathering at the Creek

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for SNL’s Mike O’Brien, Chris Gethard, Christina Gausas, Tami Sagher, and/or Aidy Bryant: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Colin Quinn and Rich Vos at 9:00, SNL’s John Mulaney and Hannibal Buress at 9:45, and Paul Mecurio and Nikki Glaser at 11:30, plus unannounced drop-ins from the New York Comedy Festival, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm: Four free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show) hones stand-up material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Keith Robinson for the Hour

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Hotspur and Never Never: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Jackie Kashian (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, Last Comic Standing, The Dork Forest podcast; for hilarious animated bit about pet owners, please click here) performs for about an hour at UCB Chelsea as part of the New York Comedy Festival: Jackie Kashian

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12 at the door or by calling 212.864.5400 using code SCOTT, otherwise $15): TV star Dick Cavett, New Yorker writer & comic Andy Borowitz, and more being interviewed at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, off 95th Street): Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any squabbling) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Al Jackson (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Upload with Shaq, MTV), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Nathan Macintosh, Cory Jarvis, Tracie Jayne, and Emma Willmann performing at this free weekly comedy show at Antler Beer & Wine Dispensary (123 Allen Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Matt Braunger (Comedy Central) and friends perform stand-up at UCB Chelsea as part of the New York Comedy Festival: Matt Braunger

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 10:00: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City as part of the online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show) and/or Nathan Anderson (Uncoolio): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased, MTV’s Hey Girl, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky) and Charla Lauriston (host of Free Cable) host as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; plus Sasheer is going to be a huge star, so catch her in this intimate setting while you can. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Veronica Osorio and Aaron Glaser; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

Wednesday 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: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic for both stand-up and sketch, with sign-up starting at 5:30 and ending at 5:55, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Brian Frange & Rob Stern: Frange & Stern’s Stand-Up and Sketch Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Benel Germosen: Cracking It

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

6:30 pm (no cover, $5 min. for both comics and audience members): Walk-in open mic stand-up at the Bamifyan Afghan Restaurant (358 Third Avenue at 26th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with group Brick: Magnet Improv Mixer

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.