NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/26/13

December 26, 2013

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Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

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:

7:00 pm ($8): An improvised musical made up on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre by  The Shady Bunch

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Jon Fisch, James Smith, Lenny Marcus, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:00 show, Todd Barry and Nick Griffin at the 10:30 show, and Dave Attell and Joe List at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), and Amy Stiller (Inside Amy Schumer) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.): A former co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tracy Morgan

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a one-man show by Arthur Meyer (writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon; David Letterman; sketch groups Pangea 3000, Fambly, Two Fun Men) that features some hilarious songs, especially the last one that’s a show-stopper homage to what rock ‘n roll is all about: Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Todd Barry, Kurt Metzger, Godfrey, and more performing set lists on the spot provided by Paul Provenza at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Set List with Paul Provenza

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for, Josh Gondelman (G4’s Attack of the Show), Mike Denny, and Alex Carabfio performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun & Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

8:00 pm ($8): A comedy variety show starring & hosted by Scott Swayse (sketch group Slap Fight) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Swayse’s Silly Solo and Friends

8:00 pm ($5): Members of established musical improv groups join into one-night-only combinations to make up song-and-dance-based tales on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Musical Improv Mix-Em-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that features free cotton candy (“You will laugh and then have a sugar crash”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Matteo Lane: Free Cotton Candy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), 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), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry stand-up; Conan O’Brien; writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Jake Young, and Hadiyah Robinson performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Marc Theobald (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A night of musical comedy for Jews based around the theme “Suck It, Christmas (A Chanukah Album)” hosted by Rachel Bloom (Robot Chicken) and Dan Gregor (How I Met Your Mother) with musical guests and storytellers at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Suck It, Christmas: A Musical Jewtacular

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Reportedly talented improvisors aim to create terrible improv on the theory that bad = funny. “This show explodes the notion that rules must be followed, intelligence should be applied, and that just because you’re talking to your Mom in a scene it doesn’t mean that she’s not a space chicken. This show will not be fit for children or adults” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Worst Improv Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Comedy, music, and lots of love” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick J. Reilly: I Love You Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($6 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1983 Santa slasher flick Don’t Open Till Christmas (tagline: “The Gift of Terror That Just Won’t Wait;” for the 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): In celebration of the holidays, improvised Jews battle improvised Christians for supremacy—via audience laughs and votes—at UCB Chelsea. Overall, history favors the Christians. But this is New York, where Jewish comics may well have the edge. There’s no telling what will happen…which is one of the great pleasures of the extravaganza Cage Match: Jews Vs. Christians

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-up from Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Asie Montarez, and Stephen Straub, plus improv jams led by Cipha Sounds and the Soul Glo team at this free monthly variety show at UCB East hosted by Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) and Poupak Sepehri: The Soul Glo Jam

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 2 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

9:30 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

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.