NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/8/14

February 8, 2014

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Saturday Night Fever

Ace storytellers provide introductions to screenings of movie classics Saturday Night Fever

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 2:00 pm ($12): An extra special edition of this show in which people tell stories revolving around songs or movies, featuring Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko), Cammi Climaco (co-host of Ask Me Stories), and Dana Rossi (host of this show) relating personal experiences about the film Saturday Night Fever followed by a screening of the classic film at Queen’s Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue): The Soundtrack Series: Saturday Night Fever

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($12): An extra special edition of this show in which people tell stories revolving around songs or movies, featuring Jason Bailey (author of Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece), Abe Goldfarb, and Nat Cassidy relating personal experiences about the film Pulp Fiction followed by a screening of the classic film at Queen’s Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue): The Soundtrack Series: Pulp Fiction

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Ali Wong, Gary Gulman, and Greer Barnes at the 7:15, 8:45, 9:15, and 10:30 shows—plus Ryan Hamilton at the 7:15, Ryan Hamilton and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45, Lynne Koplitz at the 9:15, and Nick Griffin and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:30; and Dave Attell, Nick Griffin, Nikki Glaser, and Marina Franklin at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), 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), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): All-gal improvisors Ashley Ward, Brigid Boyle, Alexis Saarela, and Elizabeth Findlay, plus guests, perform at the PIT downstairs lounge as group Taco Supreme

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 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] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: The wonderful Camille Harris ((irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, music album Silly Jazz) debuts this variety/talk show, with tonight’s guests Kyle Supley, Myka Fox, Ben Fisher, Sara Dobrinich, and Kenny Effin Pickett and his band performing at the Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston, between Avenues B and C): The Camille Harris Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Missy Baker, Alison Leiby, Chloe A. Hillard, Rojo Perez, and Sean Wilkinson, and improv troupe Butts, perform at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

8:00 pm ($10): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($20 online using discount code HY): Valerie Hager was one of the breakout stars at last year’s FringeNYC Festival. A dazzling artist who can pretty much do it all, Hager performed a one-woman show based on her true-life experiences in her 20s as a stripper in Mexico, Alaska, and California. The writing is smart, honest, and brave; and just as impressive is Hager’s ability to bring the other people in her story to life using voice and movement. Plus Hager’s pole skills are spectacular. (For my full review, please click here.) This award-winning show is back in NYC for a brief run tonight, Feb. 14-15, Feb. 17, and Feb. 21-22 at the LES’ COW Theatre (21-A Clinton Street) and is highly recommended: Naked in Alaska

9:30 pm ($11.34 online or $15 at the door): “Fast-paced, high energy sketch comedy show that involves music” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Defiance

9:30 pm ($10): Improvisors make up new episodes of a TV classic at The PIT downstairs lounge: Saved by the Bell: The Lost Episodes

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford, Noah Gardenswartz, and Steve Forrest are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy; in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group; was recently written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times; and is spearheaded by Henry Zebrowski, who’s a co-star of Wolf of Wall Street, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Original comedic songs are showcased, with tonight’s terrific singers Ben Lerman, Harmon Leon, Girls with Brown Hair, Anna Rose Roisman, and Ray Muñoz performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Justin Perez and guest-host Selena Coppock: Total Requesty

11:30 pm ($5): Superb comics Josh Sharp & Matt Dennie host & direct this show starring Anthony Apruzzese and featuring many others—tonight including Elvis impersonator Bob McArthur & singers Libby & Kevin Pawtuckett—all performing at this sketch comedy/talk/variety show at the UCB East theatre: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Mike Bocchetti (Artie Lange Show), and Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever) performing stand-up or sketch at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($15 online using discount code CRINGE; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Mike Stanley, Luis Gomez, and more performing “cringe” stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Cringe Humor: Kurt Metzger, Nikki Glaser, Chris Distefano, and More

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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.