NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/8/13

November 8, 2013

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Click for the full schedule of the New York Comedy Festival

Bill Burr

Bill Burr performs at The Beacon…

Whitney Cummings

…and Whitney Cummings performs at Town Hall tonight as part of the New York Comedy Festival

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 tonight are Maria Bamford (sold out), Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Kathy Griffin, Charlie Murphy, NIck Swardson, plus an interview with David Cross (sold out, but see directly below). To explore the entire schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: The New York Comedy Festival interview with TV star David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Modern Family) at the Museum of Television and Radio is sold out. However, you can watch the live stream from the comfort of your home for free by clicking here at 6:30 pm: An Evening With David Cross

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include SNL’s Darrell Hammond at the 7:00 and 8:00 shows, Ali Wong at the 7:00, 8:00, 10:30, and 12:15 shows, Dave Attell at the 8:00 and 8:45 shows, and Julian McCullough at the 10:30 show (CC bookers, more Julian McCullough, please), with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($8): Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure,” and are joined by friends (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hodapp & Rothwell

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more—hopefully including surprise New York Comedy Festival drop-ins to make up for this weekend’s lack of advertised headliners— performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. Tonight is the kick-off of a collection of the very best sketches the team has performed since it began in 2011: Stone Cold Fox: The Best of 75 Years

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): 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), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Sue Smith, and Justin Grace performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer: Splitsider and Tumblr’s Dog and Pony Show

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Jim Dodge (Comedy Central), Jay Nog (MTV, AMC), Carrie Gravenson (Pink Collar Comedy), and Tracie Jayne performing at this monthly stand-up show at the One and One Bar (12 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Jeff Cerulli and the delightful Chelsea White (MTV, VH1, TLC, co-host of Call Us Crazy): What Else? Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($16.52 in advance online, $20 at the door): A top-notch theatrical troupe that’s equally fine at compelling acting and split-second comedy uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes. This 15th edition of the series (begun in 2011) focuses on Fame at the LES’ COW Theatre (21-A Clinton Street): Blogologues: Fame – Show Us Your Tweets. #twerkingtothetop

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; 2-for-1 tickets): Fearless, innovative dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) return to The PIT upstairs theatre to create fresh sketch comedy every month, with tonight’s guest Mark Douglas (Web phenom The Key of Awesome): Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Chris Gethard, Anthony Atamanuik, Brandon Gardner, Phil Jackson, and Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Chatting about dumb things they and/or their friends have done are hosts Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1) and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), who tonight hang out with friends Baron Vaughn (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1) and Andy Haynes (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing) at UCB Chelsea as part of the New York Comedy Festival: My Dumb Friends

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

9:30 pm ($8): “Each month the Buttski & Glasscock Talent Agency brings you the best of the worst this small town has to offer. As only two career-savvy former showgirls can, they comb through Craigslist ad after Craigslist ad; but you will determine which act gets a one-year contract.” Tonight’s lucky hopefuls are Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Cara Kilduff, Lauren Maul, Elke TeeVee Reid, and Kelly Fitzpatrick, all performing comedic characters at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Jenn Dodd: Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A “competitive talk show” to determine the best talk show guest in “a hybrid of two of America’s least respected television genres, talks shows and games show,” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Guy Branum: Talk Show: The Game Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15): Baron Vaughn (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1) performs stand-up at UCB Chelsea as part of the New York Comedy Festival: Baron Vaughn for the Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15): Michelle Wolf (super-likeable dark comic rising star; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Samantha Martin (haven’t seen Sam yet but am hearing good things), Ben Kissel (Last Podcast on the Left), and Jim Tews (“clawing his way to the middle for nearly a decade”) performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A rotating cast drawing from over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

Midnight ($5): “A live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons: Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

Friday Open Mics

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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and/or Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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.