NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 2/18/14

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Sherlock Holmes

Anthony Atamanuik plays Sherlock Holmes searching for an improv premise at The Tony Show

The Pajama Men

…and The Pajama Men perform at Seth Herzog’s Sweet

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:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Improv troupe Punctual Drunks interviews an audience member about his or her favorite fairy tale, and then picks up the story where it left off so you can find out how it really ended, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Punctual Drunks & Friends

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm show ($10.35 in advance online, $15 at the door; price includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Storytellers Rick Younger (The Today Show), Kate Tellers (Moth StorySlam host), Vanessa Shealy (Kennedy Center Award Winner), and Kambri Crews (author of Burn Down the Ground) tell tales on this month’s theme “Married” at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups –Graceland, The Regulars, and Namaste at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code BUSINESS; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), and Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Janine Brito, Michelle Wolf, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Kevin Meaney, Gregg Rogell, Ryan Hamilton, Marina Franklin, and More

8:00 pm ($10): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

8:00 pm ($5): Short-form improv is best, argues Terry Withers: “New York City is filled with lowest common denominator long-form improvisors. Sure, that type of improv gets laughs, but nine out of ten scenes are cheap and undisciplined. Get to the heart of what’s great about spontaneity using short-form classics that point to hidden truths: Party Quirks, Match OUTMATCH, Freeze, Ape Nest, and The Slam Pun Competition feed the soul and edify the mind” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Short Form Is the Only Art Form

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Corinne Fisher, Alison Klemp, Megan McCoy, and Sam Grittner performing for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

8:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match.” On the improv side is the US National Improv Team; while the stand-ups are Phoebe Robinson, Josh Gondelman, and Charles Gould, all performing at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sarah Tollemache, Matt Pavich, Brad Austin, Lance Weiss, Nick Maritato, and Jeff Seal & Chris Manley performing at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts: The Dream Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Jim Tews (co-host of Cheat Hair), Dave Stone (Craig Ferguson), and more performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): The Pajama Men (international pranksters), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s ISA (348 Wythe Street) hosted by Frank Liotti and/or Emma Willmann: Family Circus

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (typically announced by 1:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups GoodGirl, Higgins, and Bucky at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv, tonight becoming Sherlock Holmes trying to find the missing elements of an improv game (aided by producer Andy Rocco as Watson); plus stand-up from Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), and Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing Premise

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Lyssa Mandel who “wrote a lot of stuff when she was 14: the purplest prose, the greatest expectations, the highest stakes, the desire to run screaming from suburbia. Sixteen years older, possibly wiser, certainly more shameless, she shares the genuine article. And nothing’s as genuine as adolescent desires” at The PIT downstairs lounge: A View From the Bitch Seat

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Vic Henley (David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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

[FREE] 6:15 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys Open MIc

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening 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 PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge, with host Jake Hart and tonight’s guest Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying): The Dump

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:15: Sign up at 9:30 pm for the opportunity to make up a musical on the spot with The Magnet improv group College: Magnet Musical Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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.

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