NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/15/14

February 15, 2014

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First Comes Love: A Series of Adult Scenes for Adults

Staged readings of amateur porn screenplays at First Comes Love: A Series of Adult Scenes for Adults

Another Evening of Awkward Romance

…and a one-night revival of the top sketch show at last year’s FringeNYC: Another Evening of Awkward Romance

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: “Kyle Ayers posted a fake Craigslist ad seeking porn script intro scenes. He received dozens of responses. These are some of them. Part variety show, part comedy play that brings together some of NYC’s perkiest performers who will act out a series of unbelievable barely sexy scripts written without irony by real live aspiring porn writers. There will be nuns, guns, a séance, President Obama, one of the scripts has a song. You know, standard stuff.” To give you a taste, the first scene is titled “Don’t Cum or I’ll Blow Your Brains Out.” Performers include Anna Drezen, Sarah Tollemache, Peggy O’Leary, and Missy Baker. It all happens at Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan Street) hosted by Kyle Ayers, and produced by Kyle, Jo Firestone, Steven DeSiena, and Joe Cocozzello: First Comes Love: A Series of Adult Scenes for Adults

[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 SNL’s Michael Che at all shows and Big Jay Oakerson at all shows except 7:15—plus: SNL’s Kevin Meaney, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin at the 7:00 show; Kevin Meaney and Greer Barnes at the 7:15 show; Kevin Meaney and Dan Soder at the 8:45 show; Greer Barnes and Marina Franklin at the 9:15 show; Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Dan Soder at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, and Kurt Metzger 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

7:00 pm ($10): Storytellers Ellie Pyle (Marvel Comics) and Chris Booth (Slapfight) tell personal tales that talented improvisors—including Julie Sharbutt and Ashley Ward—then springboard into scenes at the PIT upstairs theatre: True Story

[$] [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), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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 ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah isn’t a great joke writer, but he’s a vibrant performer and superb impressionist…and if you’d like to see him do his full range of characters (“on SNL I don’t do white people, but if you break me in half like a coconut, white just spills out”), catch him headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jay Pharoah

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Fake Church

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Ed Larson & Ben Kissel (Murderfist), Joe Larson (Comedy Central), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Andy Sandford (Comedy Central), Paul Oddo, and Kenji America performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($18): A superb romance-based duo sketch show written and co-starring Wendy Herlich that was one of the top highlights at last year’s FringeNYC returns for one night only at The Tank Theater (151 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues): Another Evening of Awkward Romance

[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

[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 through March 1st at the LES’ COW Theatre (21-A Clinton Street) and is highly recommended: Naked in Alaska

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($11.34 online or $15 at the door): A sketch show about dating that’s written & starring gal duo Angela Spera & Laura Lane, with help from a few friends—including stand-up by Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC)—at The PIT upstairs theatre, directed by Scott Swayze: This Is Why You’re Single: Valentine’s Day Edition

[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] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Angelo Lozada performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Joe Materese, Rachel Feinsteain, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Gay and lesbian comedy at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michelle Delgado: Queer in the Cave

[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 and guest improv partner Louis Kornfeld make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($10): A one-woman show by Leila Ben-Abdallah about “the rise and fall of a former Vaudeville comedienne turned Hollywood starlet, Beverly Blondell, a brilliant yet tortured performer whose relentless pursuit of success, addiction to alcohol, and fascination with death often alienated those around her” directed by Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) at The PIT upstairs theatre: How Did I Get in Here? The Beverly Blondell Story

11:00 pm ($10): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:30 pm: Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Women and gay men perform comedy as straight men for this unique show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Scott Talentt: Dudes Being Dudes Being Dudes

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.