NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/27/13

December 27, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Aaron Berg

Aaron Berg tells tales of working in the sex trade at Dignified Degenerates…

Tracy Morgan

…and Tracy Morgan continues his headlining run 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:

[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 Michael Che at all shows, plus SNL’s Kevin Meaney and Greer Barnes at the 7:00, 8:00, and 8:45 shows, Nick Griffin and Greer Barnes at the 10:30 show, and Date At/ tell, Kevin Brennan, and James Smith at the 12:15 show, 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: “Aaron Berg & Kaytlin Bailey tell intimate and funny stories about their shared experiences working in the sex trade industry. These performers give the audience an opportunity to share the insight they’ve acquired through two fully lived and deeply examined lives. At the end of the show Aaron and Kaytlin return to the stage to answer any and all questions provoked by this provocative performance at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Dignified Degenerates

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Elana Fishbein performs an unusual one-woman improv show at The Magnet theatre: Pepita; plus improv group The Theme From Jurassic Park, and duo improv from Chris & Dmitry

7:00 pm ($8): Feline-based improv from duo David Frasure & Jenn Welch at The PIT upstairs theatre: CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS!

[$] [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): 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] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 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] [$] 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. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Tonight is the kick-off of a brand new collection of sketches from these sexy performers: Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Alan Starzinski (Sandino), Matt Starr (Legs for Days), Matthew Robert Gehring (lots of TV commercials), Natasha Vaynblat (Namaste), and Frank Hejl (Onassis) performing character bits at UCB Chelsea hosted by Justin Tyler and/or Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Todd Barry, Joe Matarese, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups aiming to slay audiences at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Destroy All Humans

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from “a deliberately multi-cultural team” at The PIT upstairs theatre: We Need a White Girl

8:00 pm ($8): Members of established improv groups join into one-night-only combinations to make up scenes on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Very Merry Mix-Em-Up

[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

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s starred in a Comedy Central Presents special, and performed on ABC, FOX, MTV, Showtime’s Weeds, and Chelsea Lately headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Bret Ernst

[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 ($10): At UCB East, improv troupe Sandino—which includes Aaron Jackson, Brandon Gulya, Don Fanelli, and Kate Riley—interviews an audience member about some puzzle and then acts out scenes providing an unexpected answer: Sandino: Unsolved Mysteries

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with antlers and the other with a taste for brains: Moose and Slick Zombie

9:30 pm ($8): Members of established improv groups join into one-night-only combinations to make up scenes on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Very Merry Mix-Em-Up

[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] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Todd Barry, Joe Matarese, Rachel Feinstein, and More

[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

10:30 pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (super-likeable dark comic rising star; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Mike Cannon, Jon Tyler, and Jim Tews (“clawing my way to the middle for nearly a decade”) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (super-likeable dark comic rising star; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC) is the stand-up guest at this mostly-improv show (with surprises) starring Matt Fried at The PIT downstairs lounge: Obligatory Holiday Comedy Show

[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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady Jam

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 host 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] 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.