NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/4/14

January 4, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ali Wong

Ali Wong performs stand-up at the 8:45, 9:15, 10:30, and 12:15 shows of Comedy Cellar…

Reid Faylor

…and Reid Faylor makes stand-ups do anything EXCEPT stand-up—and then gives you free cake—at Underbelly

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Steve Zimmer (The Moth GrandSlam Champion), Micaela Blei (The Moth Unchained Tour), Catie Lazarus (host of Employee of the Month), and Rory Scholl. Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Gilda, The Theme From Jurassic Park, The Gang, and Big Fat Liars kicking off Saturday evening at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 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, comedy dynamo Ali Wong at the 8:45, 9:15, 10:30, and 12:15 shows, and Dave Attell at the 10:30 and 12:15 shows (which means tonight’s best will probably be at 10:30 pm and 12:15 am), with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[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 (probably 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm only), Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): Gal trio Lindsay Bracco, Michelle Petterson, and Katherine Korsak “once upon a time longed to be a part of the picture-perfect world of Disney movies. Then reality set in. Watch them unravel as their dreams turn into nightmares in a series of sketches, songs, and dance numbers designed to tickle, tease, and torment” at The PIT upstairs theatre: B.R.B. Presents Google That Sh*t

7:00 pm ($8): Duo sketch from Ruby Marez & Joanna Brown about annoying sisters at the PIT downstairs lounge: Biddies

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Kevin Meaney, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and Adrienne Iapalucci

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) “risk getting slapped by Satan himself. Actually, he hosts only bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

8:00 pm ($8): Stand-up comics make jokes about TV shows, with tonight’s guests Claudia Cogan on Boardwalk Empire, Josh Gondelman on Seinfeld, John Poveromo on Finding Bigfoot, Aaron Kominos-Smith on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Carolyn Castiglia on whatever she feels like at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Emily Dickson: TV Tag

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who won Last Comic Standing Season 3, has performed on Jay Leno, and starred in his own Showtime one-hour special Who’s Paying Attention?, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Alonzo Bodden

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A comedy veteran who’s performed on David Letterman and Jay Leno, and starred in HBO and Showtime specials, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club, with openers Ophira Eisenberg, Ryan Hamilton, and Wali Collins: Jake Johannsen

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and last year crushed 15 improv groups in Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): “In November of 2011 Michelle Ward was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. She took to her pink ukulele Lucille and broke the news on the Interwebs with an original titty ditty. Join us for a night of show tunes, boob tunes, raffles, and more as we raise money for her Avon Walk for Breast Cancer team” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Boob Cancer & Show Tunes

9:30 pm ($10): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Laurie Kilmartin (Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing), Comedy Central, VH1), and Pete Dominick (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Kevin Meaney, Ari Shaffir, Laurie Kilmartin, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus free cake!] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—with tonight’s comics Joe Pera, Erik Bergstrom, Amber Nelson, Anna Drezen, Joel Walkowski, Mike Cody, Ryan Beck, and Nick Naney performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short, and followed post-show downstairs by free cake: Underbelly

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with typically terrific NYC comics (not announced)—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): 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), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, Nat Geo; host of Sweet), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and more performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Laurie Kilmartin (Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing), Comedy Central, VH1), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Luis Gomez, and more performing “cringe” stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Cringe Humor: Big Jay Oakerson, Laurie Kilmartin, Pete Davidson, and More

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

11:00 pm ($10): PIT students selected at random mix it up with improv veterans at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Draft

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.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; rare Upper East Side club, with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; rare Upper West Side club, with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 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.