NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/6/13

December 6, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Pete’s most recent guests include comedy giants John Mulaney and Marc Maron. For highlights of The Pete Holmes Show, please click here.

Point Break Live

A stage recreation of a Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze movie classic: Point Break Live…

Ben Bailey

…Ben Bailey (Cash Cab) performs at the 8:00, 10:00, and midnight shows at The Stand, and also the 12:15 am Comedy Cellar…

Susie Essman

…and Susie Essman (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite people in the world, the delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor), and her talented comedy partner Jana Schmieding spearhead a sharply written & performed sketch show at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

7:00 pm ($8): Christmas-themed Sketches about “Santas, Scrooges, snowmen, and the absurd notion of peace on earth” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Perfect Gift: A Holiday Sketch Show

7:00 pm ($8): Improv spinning off the mythic TV series The Golden Girls at The PIT downstairs lounge: Four Broads and Cheesecake: Golden Girls Improv

[$] 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 Gary Gulman and Ryan Hamilton at the 7:00 show; Greer Barnes and James Smith at the 8:00 show; Jeff Ross, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show; Jeff Ross, Ryan Hamilton, and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:00 show; Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, James Smith, and Tony Woods at the 10:30 show; and my [TOP PICK] Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Nick Griffin, Tony Woods, Big Jay Oakerson, and host Keith Robinson at the 12:15 am show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($5): Stand-up from Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, The Office, 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) and Michael Haar (East Village Radio), and sketch from The Sabzi Brothers (Jawnee Conroy & Bardia Salimi) and The Moon Players (Jordan Clifford & Tim Skinner), all at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen (co-host of The Moon Show): Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) does a show based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26): The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 movie classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—keep an eye on David Carl, a rising star playing the Gary Busey role, and expect extra laughs when a random audience member (maybe you) is chosen to take on the Keanu Reeves character—all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Point Break Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), 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), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Dan St. Germain, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest writer/performers alive. His NYC production last year was the most revealing I’ve seen from him, but distancing at the same time, essentially opening himself up to tell us that he’s not very good with trust or intimacy. This year he’s doing a show in which he doesn’t speak a word, but instead plays recordings of his and other voices (draw your own conclusions…). I haven’t seen this because of massive deadlines, but you can read a carefully balanced and nuanced review from Jason Zinoman of The New York Times here and a blunt review from Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post here. Expect a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is something special. Nab tickets for this run playing every day except Mondays from November 22nd through December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): Analog,Ue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Terrific comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, a.k.a. Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, reprise their delightfully dark FringeNYC comedy about the rise and fall of a child star at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Just waking up for your graveyard shift at the strip club? Brewing that first pot of coffee before your overnighter at the parking garage? Then wake up with hosts Ross Hyzer and Eric Grundhauser as they welcome the hottest guests of the 90s, and a fresh perspective on news and pop culture that’s sure to keep people talking all night long” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Good Morning Nights

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up (numerous appearances on Conan O’Brien, HBO one-hour special) headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[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 ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[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 Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Phil Jackson, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Russ Meneve, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; SOLD OUT, but you can show up early and request being added to a standby list): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Eliza Kingsbury (smart, inventive young comedic actress to keep an eye on; for a sample video, please click here), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Nat Towsen (co-host of The Moon Show), and Eddie Brawley performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Indie musical improv troupe Petting Zoo takes an audience member’s confession and turns it into a Broadway musical on the spot for this Two Year Anniversary celebration at The Magnet theatre: Petting Zoo

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Fine lineup of Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), 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), and Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy) performing stand-up, plus sketch from trio Boat, at UCB East hosted by Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable, co-host of School Night): Something Cool Stand-Up

[$] Midnight ($20; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), 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), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Ben & Josh, and Giulio Gallarotti performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Dan St. Germain, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

Friday 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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[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 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)

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.