NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 1/29/14

January 29, 2014

For more, please visit

The first episode of Broad City featured comedy giants Chris Gethard and John Gemberling. Tune in for Episode 2 at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central.

Masters of the Universe

The big-screen version of the He-Man saga is eviscerated at “We Hate Movies: Masters of the Universe”

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 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): “The animal gangs of New York are at war in Ft. Tryon Park. A squirrel must save his brother. And he’s just one squirrel … one squirrel against the world! A one-woman psychedelic rock opera cartoon experience” at The PIT downstairs lounge: It Happened in the Park

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 First Lady and Musk: Lloyd Night

[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, Greer Barnes, and Dan Soder at the 8:00 show; Ali Wong, Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, and Keith Alberstadt at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, James Smith, Joe List, and Jermaine Fowler 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

8:00 pm ($40; no min.): A fundraiser for City Kids featuring Janeane Garofalo, Ted Alexandro, Christian Finnegan, Sheng Wang, Aaron Berg, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): City Kids Fundraiser with Janeane Garofalo, Ted Alexandro, Christian Finnegan, and More

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Allie Kokesh & Matthew Brian Cohen explore their failed relationship, both as themselves and with Amanda Ratti & Josh Sharp as their doppelgangers, in a show that’s just as insular as it sounds but is nonetheless a pleasant way to spend 30 minutes: Why We Broke Up

…and in the second 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Emmy Blotnick, Emily Fleming, Ashley Bez, Joe Rumrill, and Nick Naney perform in the debut of this monthly show that “puts comics inside of a video game that plays itself” and offers prizes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Steven DeSiena & Stephen Whalen: You and the Screen

[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

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Jenn Welch about how “after losing her marriage, her grandparents, and custody of her pug over the course of a single year, she suddenly found herself crying. In public. All the time. Tonight she presents a collection of stories about acknowledging and honoring our stupid, stupid emotions” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Crying in Public

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Eli Yudin, and Nick Naney performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar hosted by Tom Cowell & John Anderson: Heavy Metal Laser Plane

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Andy Hendrickson (David Letterman), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), DC Benny (Comedy Central Presents), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Josh Accardo (Artie Lange Show), Will Miles, Erika Wasser, Scott Sharp, and Steve Serra 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?

9:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Detroit and Hotspur: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Comedy troupe Private Cabin has been skewering trashy cinema since 2010 via its podcast, and tonight will make entertainingly harsh comments about He-Man flick Masters of the Universe (for the so-bad-it’s-good trailer, please click here) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Andrew Jupin, Stephen Sajdak, Chris Cabin, and Eric Szyszka: We Hate Movies: Masters of the Universe

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are David Crabb, Peter Aguero, Michelle Markowitz, Christian Capozzoli, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s topic Tales of Gym Class, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[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. Tonight’s lineup includes Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp, Hari Kondabolu, Giulia Rozzi, and Justy Dodge; for the complete list, 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 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] 10:30 pm: Your opportunity to get on stage for an improv jam at UCB East hosted by master DJ Cipha Sounds: Hot for Teacher: Student Lounge

[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

[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

11:00 pm ($3): An “anything goes” 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 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)

(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.