NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/6/14

February 6, 2014

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Congratulations to Joe Pera and friends for transferring
their weekly Creek show to UCB East, starting tonight at 10:30 pm

Shouting at the Screen

Wyatt Cenac and hip-hopper Donwill are back to dissecting blaxploitation films by Shouting at the Screen

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:

6:30 pm ($5): Two sketch shows audition at UCB Chelsea. First up is Langan Dice Kingsley: The Dicewoman Cometh. And then “Six months ago, Karin and Glenn started emailing each other every time they cried; they turned that list into a comedy show” titled This is Going to Hurt

7:00 pm ($10): Erin Bartley & David Craig play six women having lunch at the same Manhattan restaurant, directed by Josh Sharp, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ladies Who Lunch

7:00 pm ($5): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star;Conan O’Brien, Jimmy FallonComedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Asie Mohtarez (CNN, Glamour), Jeff Kreisler (Get Rich Cheating), and Ken Schultz performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 7:30 pm ($25; SOLD OUT!; but free afterparty at The Royal (127 4th Avenue) at 10:00 pm, just say Comedy Show Afterparty at the door): 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), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; former 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), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Josh Rabinowitz (FX’s Louie, MTV’s I Just want My Pants Back), Jared Freid, Sara Armour, and Tyler Gildin performing stand-up at The Merlin Room at Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues): Betches Comedy Show

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who starred in Comedy Central special Can a Brother Get Some Love?, and has been a series regular on Breaking Bad and Adult Swim’s Sperm Whale, headlines through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Lavell Crawford

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong and Vic Henley at the 7:45 show; Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Ali Wong, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar(117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

…and in the other half of this double-bill, unique comedy talent Brandon Gulya performs witty and surreal one-man show Who Are You People and Why Are You Watching Me?

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Acid Trip (“takes you on a journey through the layers of the mind, where meaning is a relative term and things can get pretty overwhelming…your brain is God”), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Chris Duffy 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

8:00 pm ($10): Storytellers Lisa Kleinman, Laura Willcox, Andrea Ilene Shapiro, Carly Ann Filbin, and Kerry Kastin tell “hilarious, gross, awkward, and heartfelt stories of how they started out in NYC” at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Mallory Schlossberg (“who actually is a Girls fan, but once lived in a basement): Real Girls:Lena Dunham Got It Wrong

8:00 pm ($5): Two musical improv groups make up song-and-dance based stories on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge, one with a taste for oiled brains and the other for Conium: Slick Zombie and Hemlock

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman showSpooky Jerks), Josh Gondelman (G4’s Attack of the Show), Abigoliah Schamaun (co-host of Dicks Open Mic; Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and Eli Yudin (SNL’s Weekend Update) performing stand-up at the Double Wide Bar(505 East 12th Street off Avenue A) hosted by Katie Hannigan and/or Julia Johns: Comedy at Double Wild

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jacqueline Novak, Matthew Maragno, Simeon Goodson, Ronnie Fleming performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun, Jawann Carmona, Conor Boylan, and/or Cassidy Kirch: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Joe Machi, Kat Burdick, Kyle Ayers, Maria Heinegg, and Oni Francis performing stand-up at The Creek’supstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Leah Bonnema & Tim Warner: Modern Day Philosophers

8:30 pm ($5): Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Maeve Higgins (visiting UK stand-up), Mike Brown, Chris Trew, and Tim Dillon performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes street in this delightful series by Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show) and Donwill (hip-hop group Tanya Morgan) in which the boys watch a blaxploitation movie and yell comments at it throughout. It all happens at Brooklyn’s Indie Screen (289 Kent Avenue), with tonight’s film a happy surprise: Shouting at the Screen

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp prove themselves among the finest writer/performers at UCB with a consistently charming and hilarious version of Forest Gump that covers the entire film in 30 minutes, and features a deliciously funny Jenny played by Brandon Gulya, who also directed, resulting in one of the best sketch shows currently playing on an NYC stage: GUMP

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a musical “based on the true history of the founding of America, in which Jesus Christ embarks on a journey to help build a country that’s courageous, pious, and gun-crazy enough for his precious Constitution…as long as the evil King Barrack Hussein George III doesn’t get in the way,” written by Eric Gersen and directed by John Flynn: Seventeen Seventy-Something

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): The UCB East debut of a weekly stand-up show (that previously had a long run at The Creek) hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera ((for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here) plus Charles Gould and Dan Licata. Tonight’s superb guests are Michelle Wolf (staff writer forSeth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men): Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($6 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1987 action flick Code Name: Zebra (tagline: “When It’s Revenge… All Hell Breaks Loose!”; for the trailer, please click here)—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit brutalized Gentle Touch with a win of 78-38. Tonight UCBT weekend improv group The Law Firm will go up against FTS to compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY 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 Hello Laser 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.