NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/17/14

January 17, 2014

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Talent Show

Over 20 of NYC’s comedic storytellers gather to show off their non-storytelling talents at Uncle Frank’s Ed Sullivan Show…

Broad City

…and Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson are interviewed about their TV series Broad City—debuting January 22nd on Comedy Central—at Jamie LeeLo’s Brunch Night

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 ($7): Two sketch groups performing at The Magnet theatre: CA$H and The Misses

7:00 pm ($8): Writer/performers Melanie Owens & Teresa Lee, plus some friends, draw back the curtains on what really happens in a sorority in this sketch comedy show at The PIT downstairs lounge: #WaitWhat: A Sorority Chapter Meeting

[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 Ben Bailey and Greer Barnes at the 7:00, 8:45, and 10:30 shows; Ali Wong, James Smith, Lenny Marcus, and Dan Soder also at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ali Wong, Nick Griffin, and Lenny Marcus 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] 7:30 pm: A massive gathering of top NYC storytellers who’ll perform anything except storytelling. The talent show includes Ophira Eisenberg, Adam Wade, Leslie Goshko, Andy Christie, Cammi Climaco, David Crabb, Cyndi Freeman (as Cherry Pitz), Peter Aguero, Micaela Blei, Elizabeth Blue, Dana Rossi, and about a dozen more, all performing at the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street) hosted by Frank Gauthier: Uncle Frank’s Ed Sullivan Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): 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.) Enjoy this new collection of sketches from these sexy performers (which I hope to see soon): Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Dave Hill, Jena Friedman, Eliza Hurwitz, and more share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish pm: 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), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Kevin Froleiks, and Bob Palos performing stand-up at the One and One Bar (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Tony Award-winning playwright/lyricist Greg Kotis (Urinetown) has written “a collection of seven short plays that explore love, sex, truth, sex, money, sex and justice. In that order” featuring wonderful comedic actors Julie Sharbutt, Micah Sherman, Dan Hodapp, Keisha Zollar, and Chris Robert at The PIT upstairs theatre: Give the People What They Want

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: The debut of a comedic game show that pits stand-up comics against each other—tonight featuring Amber Nelson, Andrew Short, Doug Smith, and Peggy O’Leary—plus additional comedy from Michelle Wolf, Reid Faylor, Brendan Eyre, and Joel Walkowski, all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Natalie Shure & Chip Dwyer: Stand-Up Showdown

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): DJ Cipha Sounds, Bklyn Mike, Omar the Comedian, and more headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Cipha Sounds Don’t Get Gassed

[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 ($26 & 2-drink min.) A former cast member of Saturday Night Live, and who’s appeared on VH1, Showtime, and CNN, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Dean Edwards

[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] [FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), Trieste Kelly Dunn (actress in Cinemax’s Banshee, lead in Loves Her Gun). Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair (Web series High Maintenance), and Max Silvestri (host of Big Terrific) performing stand-up and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan Street) hosted by Chris Rose with DJ Allison Pacelli: Late Night Basement

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

9:30 pm ($10): Jeanne Stafford (communications coach & fundraiser for the campaigns of President Reagan and President Bush), Robert A. George (New York Post), Tim Wainwright (Christianity Today), Lucas Zachary Hazlett (MTV), and many more gather to make fun of politics at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet—tonight with extra-special guest Tara Copeland, briefly back from LA—using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A showcase of NYC comics (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Creek Cave Live

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jackie Kashian (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Hodapp & Rothwell (ace improvisors & sketch comics), and Nat Towsen (co-host of The Moon Show, host of Downtown Variety Hour) performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer are interviewed about their new TV series Broad City that debuts January 22nd on Comedy Central, plus an interview with celebrity fitness trainer Joel Harper, at a late night talk show hosted by Jamie LeeLo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($8): “It’s simple. There is a mark. And we are the 11 thieves ready to make the biggest heist of our lives. The catch? You, the audience, suggest the heist. Whether it is stealing the Eiffel tower or a pack of cigarettes from a bodega, we will hatch an elaborate scheme to make sure you get what you want!” for the debut of this improv show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Brocean’s 11

[FREE] 11:00 pm: The debut of a free weekly stand-up show, with tonight’s comics Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Troy Allen, Henry Cruz, Julie Kottakis, and Christopher Wagner performing at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Keith Fuerstenberg: Dark Night Comedy

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from a group that explains what awaits you in the afterlife, and from friends Matt B. Weir and Matt J. Weir who, by total coincidence, have the same last names, at The Magnet theatre: The Junk Brothers: Immortal Family and We’re Matt Weir: The Murder Trilogy

Midnight ($5): A sketch show for those who “have a deep nostalgia for sitcoms such as Full House, Step-by-Step, and Family Matters but wonder what they might have been like without the interference of network censors” at UCB East from group Out of the Woods: TGIF

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] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[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

[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

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.