NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/21/14

February 21, 2014

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The Pete Holmes Show returns Monday at midnight on TBS
(following Conan) with guest Judd Apatow.
Meanwhile, watch Pete counsel Street Fighter’s Ryu here.

Dave Hill

Dave Hill hosts his monthly Brooklyn extravaganza Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets

Mary Phillips-Sandy

…and Managing Editor Mary Phillips-Sandy and many more satirize the news at Electoral Dysfunction

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:

[$] 6:00 pm ($15; no min.): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1) headlines, plus Perry Strong (VH1), Randy Humphrey (NBC), Francisco Aldorando, and Tyler Gildinat all performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Ryan Arnold: Dan St. Germain and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Kevin Brennan, John Joseph, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Roy Wood Jr., John Joseph, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:45 show; and Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, James Smith, John Joseph, Lynne Koplitz, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 10:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[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), 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), 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] 7:00 pm ($7): Storytelling on the theme of Black History Month from Charla Lauriston, Shacottha Fields, Teddy Shivers, Lauren Ashley Smith, Freddy Sheffield, and Michael Paul Britto at The Magnet theatre hosted by Alexis Lambright: The Griot Show

7:00 pm ($8): Writer/performers Melanie Owens & Teresa Lee, plus some friends, draw back the curtains on what really happens in a sorority in this sketch comedy show at The PIT downstairs lounge: #WaitWhat: A Sorority Chapter Meeting

7:00 pm ($10): All-gal improv group Gilda, plus guest group Team Lopez—which consists of improv puppets!—make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gilda’s Date Night

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Enjoy this new collection of sketches from these sexy performers (which I hope to see soon): Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): John Milhiser (Saturday Night Live), Ann Carr (Louie, The Actress), Shalyah Evans (MTV’s Girl Code), and more perform character bits at UCB Chelsea hosted by Justin Tyler and/or Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on 30 Rock and Comedy Central headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mark Viera

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth 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), Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon), Anthony Kapfer (Sirius XM Radio), and Carolina Hidalgo performing stand-up at the One and One Bar (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 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), Roy Wood Jr. (David Letterman, HBO’S Def Comedy Jam, TBS’s Sullivan & Son, COmedy Central), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Michael Kosta (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Roy Wood Jr., Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): From the wonderful Gyda Arber and friends, this theatrical event: “Join FutureMate for the latest in post-Cataclysm technology and find your perfect match! Your hosts Matt & Pam will take you through the FutureMate system and help you locate that special someone—who knows, you may even leave with a new mate! Come see all the benefits that await you for doing your part to rebuild our great nation” at Brooklyn’s The Brick Theatre (575 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L subway to Lorimer or G to Metropolitan): FutureMate Meet & Mate Session

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A comedic game show that pits stand-up comics against each other—tonight featuring Zach Broussard, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Jono Zalay, and Peggy O’Leary—plus stand-up sets from Justy Dodge, Alex Koll, and Neal Stastny, all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Natalie Shure & Chip Dwyer: Stand-Up Showdown

8:00 pm ($10): Melissa Gordon performs a one-woman show consisting of original songs and her sharing of their backstories at The PIT downstairs lounge: One Night Only: An Evening of Songs With Melissa Gordon

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door or $12.62 online): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country) hosts this monthly show, tonight featuring Nicholas Megalis, Walter Schreifels, Maeve Higgins, Jim Tews, Brad Steuernagel, Joey Pfeifer, T. Berry, and Dave’s band Valley Lodge performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[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 February 21, 22, 28, and March 1 at the LES’ COW Theatre (21-A Clinton Street) and is highly recommended: Naked in Alaska

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Mary Phillips-Sandy (Managing Editor of Comedy, Robert A. George (New York Post), Lucas Zachary Hazlett (MTV), Geoff Grimwood (Fake Church), Cathleen Carr (Sea Legs), Haley Finnegan (Funny or Die), David Kimball-Stanley (The Last Show), Jim Tosone (Improv Means Business), and host Nate Starkey (Big Black Car, Starkey & Grace) gather to make fun of politics at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Dan Koren (PBS), Matty Ryan, Bob Palos, and Nick Zielinski performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): “We can’t roast her. She’ll cry. So instead we’ll send her off to Florida with the best improv, comedic performances, and music we can come up with. Please come say farewell to Emily at what could potentially be a very embarrassing event, despite its not being a roast” featuring powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil as The Vigilante, host Leslie Moniot, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre: An Anti-Roast of Emily Morrow

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): All-gal stand-up, sketch, improv, and more from Amey Goerlich (Krompf), Kim Parker (The Story Pirates), Jo Firestone (host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Girls With Brown Hair, Nicole Pasquale (co-host of Totally Requesty), Ashley Brooke Roberts (host of The Dream Show), Mary Lordes (SiriusXM), Rekha Shankar (Kaleidoscope), Nicole Alexander, Johnna Scrabis, Julianne Cross, and Audrey Stanfield performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Time You Turned 30

11:30 pm ($7): Sketch from duo Matt B. Weir & Matt J. Weir, plus sketch from trio Tim Platt, Kati Skelton, and Branson Reese, at The Magnet theatre: We’re Matt Weir and The Junk Brothers

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts, with tonight’s theme “A Good Ole’ Fashioned Hoedown with live bluegrass music from MIPSO,” at UCB East hosted by superb sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp (GUMP): Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 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 Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by such brilliant improvisors as Shannon O’Neill and/or Morgan Grace Jarrett: The Lady Jam

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.