NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/5/14

February 5, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Abbi pursues a neighbor’s package on tonight’s new episode of Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Dave Hill

Dave Hill (above), Michelle Wolf, Nick Vatterott, and more…

Smiling at Wolves

…celebrate the release of Joe Zimmerman’s first comedy album Smiling at Wolves

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-9:00 pm: All NYC-based gal comics—stand-ups, storytellers, sketch performers, improvisers, character actresses, bookers, producers, podcasters, etc.—are invited to hang out and network at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Selena Coppock & Rebecca Trent: Lady Gathering at The Creek

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

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Apollo and First Lady: 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 Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Keith Robinson, and Dan Soder at the 8:00 show; Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:45 show; and Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Vic Henley, and Wil Sylvince 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 ($8): Celebrating Joe Zimmerman’s first comedy album Smiling at Wolves are Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), and Steve Forrest performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Joe Zimmerman’s Sweet, Sweet CD Release Party

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp comic Alan Starzinski (Sandino, Fat Penguin) performs a clever one-man sketch show in which he plays characters ranging from Aquaman to Gary Busey to the rescue pilot at the end of Jurassic Park at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guys You Love to Hate

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Terry Withers “tells you his jokes you already know with slight twists you can anticipate:” A Very Normal Stand-Up Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), 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), Earthquake (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Jason Lawhead, and Doug Smith performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Christian Finnegan, Nikki Glaser, Earthquake, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): Matt Graham, who’s a former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron, performs a one-man show at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club: Stand-Up Against Everything

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups from all over the country compete for laughs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen: Border Wars

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Laura Prangley (contributing writer to SNL’s Weekend Update), Justin Williams (Comedy Central), Ben Rosenfeld (TruTV’s All Worked Up), Mike Feeney (Food Network), and Brian McGuinness 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] 9:00 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

9:30 pm ($5): Feline-based improv from duo David Frasure & Jenn Welch at The PIT upstairs theatre: CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS!

9:30 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, writer/performers Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli demonstrate perfect comedic timing—coupled with sorta terrible singing, sketch comedy, and a PowerPoint presentation—for a very silly show aiming to prove “Billy Joel is the greatest recording artist of all time.” I hope these guys aim for something meatier and more resonant to tackle next time, because they’ve got chops, which is especially evident at the dynamic start when they interact with the audience; but in the meantime you’re likely to enjoy Sketches From an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; 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), 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), 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), Perry Strong (VH1, TruTV), Molly Austin, Randy Humphrey, Ryan Arnold, and Craig Mahoney performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Mike Lawrence, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improv group Bucky makes up 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. (Tonight’s lineup includes Adrienne Iapalucci; 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 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

10:30 pm ($3): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[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

[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.