NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/16/14

January 16, 2014

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Sara Schaefer

The luminous Sara Schaefer performs at Lasers in the Jungle…

Chris Gethard

…and Chris Gethard is interviewed as an Internet star at Still Buffering

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] 6:30 pm ($5): UCB performers audition a full-blown musical on the UCB Chelsea stage: Missionary in Manhattan: A Mormon Musical

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril with hosts J. W. Crump and Jordan Hirsch: Gas Station Horror

7:00 pm ($10): All-gal improv group Gilda, plus a guest team TBD, make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gilda’s Date Night

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CNN, TBS), Dave Rosinksy, and John F. O’Donnell 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 ($27.25 & 2-drink min.)  A one-of-a-kind comedy star headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm show ($10.35 in advance online, $15 at the door; price includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Storytellers Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show), Melanie Dunea (Top Chef, My Last Supper), Bonnie Levison (The Moth Podcast), and Adam Linn (author of American Sexy) tell true tales at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Kevin Meaney, Lenny Marcus, James Smith, and Dan Soder at the 7:45 show, Ali Wong, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Ryan Hamilton at the 9:45 show, and Dave Attell and Big Jay Oakerson at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Stand-ups perform set lists on the spot provided by Paul Provenza, with tonight’s comics Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Brooks Whelan (cast member of Saturday Night Live), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1) and more thinking quickly on their feet at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue hosted by hosted by Big Jay Oakerson: Paul Provenza’s Set List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “In 2006, Ali Farahnakian (SNL, Adult Swim, owner of The PIT) and Dion Flynn (Jimmy Fallon) took a hiatus from their 18-month comedy partnership so they could go and produce a total of three children with their respective wives. Guess what? They’re back. Come see the duo first united over the fact that they were roughly the same size” performing improv at The PIT upstairs theatre: Farahnakian & Flynn

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and The Boss performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by One-Hit Wonder (veteran musical improvisors make up the story of a band: how they met, how they became successful with their big hit song, their downfall, and where they are today), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from star storyteller Ophira Eisenberg (host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone) at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code QUAKE; no min.): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Earthquake (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), 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), Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Michelle Wolf, Earthquake, MIchelle Buteau, and More

8:00 pm ($6): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company), Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, host of Midnight Stand-Up), Ben Kissel, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall produced by Cipha Sounds and Lukas Kaiser: Radness

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious deadpan Andy Kaufman-like stand-up; one time I saw Joe sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; another time he ended his set by slicing milk; and when headlining at Carolines he had a first date on stage with a random member of the audience; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Joyelle Nicole Johnson, Zach Erwin, and Cory Jarvis performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun, Jawann Carmona, Conor Boylan, and/or Cassidy Kirch: FTH Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Two young musical improv groups make up song-and-dance based stories on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Washingtons and Moose

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: A free screening at UCB East (which used to be an indie movie theatre) of the initial episodes of Abbi Jacobson’s & Ilana Glazer’s new TV series that debuts January 22nd on Comedy Central: Comedy Central Presents Broad City

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this new show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Chelsea stage, who tonight include Mindy Raf, Becky Yamamoto, Nick Turner, and Hardly Working: CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code QUAKE; no min.): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Earthquake (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Luis J Gomez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mike Lawrence, Earthquake, Matt Koff, and More

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): This year’s Cage Match improv playoffs continue, pitting the best against the best. Last week Scrambled Legs stomped all over The Stepfathers, winning 110-61. Tonight improv legend Death by Roo Roo goes up against formidable indie troupe Namaste in what’s likely to be a vicious fight for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Comedy genius Chris Gethard (Conan O’Brien, The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York) is tonight’s guest at this variety show that provides Interviews, sketches, stand-up, and/or music about Internet stars at the UCB East theatre: Still Buffering

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

[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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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.)

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.