NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 1/15/14

January 15, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Aaron Jackson

Innovative improv/sketch comic Aaron Jackson will entertain you in “Erik Dies, You’re Stupid and We Hate You”…

Henry Zebrowski

…and hilarious sketch comic Henry Zebrowski performs at a jam-packed new alt show in Brooklyn: Dean Street Comedy

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Scott Bateman’s live show about “fact-like facts” spinning off his book Disalmanac and website Disalmanac.com, with guests TBD at The PIT downstairs lounge: Disalmanac

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Musk and Detroit: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a silly, surreal sketch play that works largely thanks to the exceptional charisma of rising comedy star Aaron Jackson, charming lunacy of Brian Glidewell, and quiet oddness of Erik Dies. While the surreal script (written by Erik Dies, Aaron Jackson, and Josh Sharp) is best described as “weird,” it’s delivered with rapid-fire timing and infectious energy that shows off the talent and range of these impressive performers, making for a quite fun experience: Erik Dies, You’re Stupid and We Hate You

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Dan Black (FUSE, Death by Roo Roo, Ripley) performs a energetic one-man show playing a variety of extreme males in The Pageantry of Man

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “What happens when you take 4 comedians, give them a set of premises and joke formats, and see what delicious jokes they create?” Tonight’s comics partaking in the game are Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Michael Shawki (host of The Great Debate), and Clark Jones performing at Brooklyn’s Pacific Standard (82 Fourth Avenue) hosted by Sean Wilkinson, Raj Sivaraman, and Jason Marcus: Recipe: The Comedy Game Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Justin Silver (star of CBS’ Dogs in the City), Earthquake, and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kevin Meaney, Kurt Metzger, Rachel Feinstein, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, and Dan Soder at the 8:00 show, Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, Rachel Feinstein, and James Smith at the 9:45 show, and Greer Barnes and Marina Franklin at the 11:30 show, with Mike Yard hosting all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at the 2012 FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

8:30 pm ($5): Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), and Anna Suzuki perform stand-up, plus musical guest Mike Doughty, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI): The Electric Study Break

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Fine lineup of Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Henry Zebrowski (Wolf of Wall Street, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Michael and Michael Have Issues, award-winning sketch group Murderfist), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Micah Sherman (Baby Wants Candy, Myq & Micah, Second City, co-producer of The Scene and Act One), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Ben Kissel (Last Podcast on the Left), Chris Donohue, and Alissa Bissonnette performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Dean Street (755 Dean Street): Dean Street Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Dava Krause (FOX’s House), Ari Teman (VH1), Gabe Canan-Zucker, and Sean Gabbert performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors pair up for one night only at UCB Chelsea hosted by Vincent Moore: Couples Skate

9:30 pm ($5): Katie Kester interviews comics Henry Zebrowski (Wolf of Wall Street, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Michael and Michael Have Issues, award-winning sketch group Murderfist), Mike Kelton, Becky Chicoine, and Samantha Schecter at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Later Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): UCBT Maude Night group Bucky most notably includes red-hot rising star Sasheer Zamata. Since Sasheer just got hired by Saturday Night Live, I wouldn’t count on her participating; but ya never know… The group performs one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories) at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. (For tonight’s scheduled guests, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

Wednesday 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: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic for both stand-up and sketch, with sign-up starting at 5:30 and ending at 5:55, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Brian Frange & Rob Stern: Frange & Stern’s Stand-Up and Sketch Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

11:00 pm ($3): The debut of an “anything goes” biweekly comedy open mic for stand-up, sketch, improv, music, “and the occasional random nutjob” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Evan Jones: Mosh PIT

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; 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.