NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 2/16/14

February 16, 2014

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Sasheer Zamata

SNL star Sasheer Zamata performs in Brooklyn at Hannibal Buress’ Comedy Night

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] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour (and a Half)

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5; show up early because this will probably be packed): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows), Jo Firestone (host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Rob Michael Hugel (Onassis), Jacqueline Novak, Charles Gould, and Danny Tamberelli performing (mostly) stand-up—plus a kissing booth, love songs, and slow dancing—at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Brian McElroy: The Macaulay Culkin Show: Valentine’s Day Edition

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink) performs a one-woman show about her parents passing away within three weeks of each other—which she’ll somehow make funny—at The PIT upstairs theatre: You’re Doing Great! A Bold-Faced Lie

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah spent last night selling out this show. Tonight’s the last chance to catch this vibrant performer and superb impressionist perform 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”) headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jay Pharoah

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Josh Gondelman (G4’s Attack of the Show), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Nore Davis, and Steve O’Brien performing stand-up at UCB East guest-hosted by Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), and Nathan Rand performing stand-up that rips something or someone deserving to shreds at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Invitation to a Beheading: Rachel Feinstein, Carmen Lynch, Pete Lee, Mark DeMayo, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Improvised puppetry from Team Lopez, host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl), and more make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include SNL’s Michael Che at all shows, plus SNL’s Kevin Meaney and Greer Barnes at the 7:00 and 8:45 shows; Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Jay Oakerson at the 10:30 show; and Jena Friedman, Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

8:00 pm ($8): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” tonight featuring Athalie Paynting, Naomi Ekperigin, and Sue Smith performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by devoted to hosts Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Kevin Avery (Totally Biased), Dan Wilbur (author of How Not to Read), Kelly Fastuca, Matteo Lane, and Katie Hannigan performing stand-up at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Live stage readings of popular Saved By The Bell episodes, with each cast member allowed an optional 3-minute Zack Morris style “time out” for episode-specific stand-up or a fan fiction bonus scene at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Bayside Myself

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Brooks Whelan (SNL cast member), and Matty Ryan performing stand-up, plus music from the delightful DJ Roofeeo, at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace): Comedy Night

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show) performs a headlining stand-up set, plus an opening set by Brian Frange, at The Magnet theatre: Matt Koff & Friend

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Matt Ruby, Missy Baker, Julia Johns, Will Miles, Brad Howe, and Nathan Anderson performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 2 minutes per walk-in performer picked at random from a bucket of names, at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jonathan Morvay and/or Evan Williams: Child Support

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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.