NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/26/14

February 26, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Abbi & Ilana explore Facebook dating on tonight’s Broad City
at 10:30 pm & 2:30 am on Comedy Central

Ophira Eisenberg

Ophira Eisenberg is among the stand-ups celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Eric Vetter’s No Name Comedy

Carolyn Castiglia

…and Carolyn Castiglia hosts Dave Hill, Rebecca Vigil, and more making up jokes or songs on the spot at Rifftown

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 ($17 online, $25 at the door): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Ophira Eisenberg (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), 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), Leighann Lord (HBO, ABC, Comedy Central), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever), and Michele Carlo performing stand-up at United Palace of Cultural Arts (4140 Broadway at 175th Street) hosted by Eric Vetter celebrating 20 years of doing this show: No Name Comedy and Variety Turns 20

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($16.50 online using discount code SPARKLE, plus 2-drink min.) All-gal stand-up from Michelle Wolf, Adrienne Iapalucci, Bonnie McFarlane, Michelle Buteau, Leah Bonnema, and Kate Riley, plus sketch from the wonderful Livia Scott, at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michelle Wolf, Adrienne Iapalucci, Bonnie McFarlane, Livia Scott, and More

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): “Remember the happy, bouncy, Broadway-loving Rosie O’Donnell of the ’90s? Jody Shelton, Douglas Widick, and Sudi Green sure do! Come see them recreate the primarily color-heavy, Tom Cruise adoration-filled show that you loved watching with your mom” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Rosie O’Donnell Show!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), 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), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and more performing stand-up—plus maybe some improv—a UCB Chelsea hosted by NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN): SXSL: Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, and More

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups First Lady and Musk: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly show in which “stand-ups throw their set lists out the window for a night of wild riffing. Comics premiere a story that they’ve never told anyone, improvise a stand-up set based on an audience suggestion, or rant off the cuff. Also expect freestyling and musical improv in an anything goes atmosphere that makes for a one-of-a-kind experience.” Tonight’s superb comics are Dave Hill, Abbi Crutchfield, Nore Davis, and Jean Grae, plus music from Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer The Vigilante), all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Carolyn Castiglia: Rifftown with Dave Hill, Rebecca Vigil, Carolyn Castiglia, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Meggie Spellman (UCBT’s The Prom) and Anne Clark (The PITs Totally, Yes!) perform duo sketch comedy, and tonight are joined by Shalyah Evans (MTV’s Girl Code, ace sketch group Legs for Days, improv group The Regulars), Katey Healy-Wurzburg (improv group Detroit), and Natasha Vaynblat (sketch group Absolutely, improv group Namaste) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Black Magic Lab Variety Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight Mike Yard hosts all shows, featuring Gregg Rogell, Chuck Martin, Ryan Hamilton, and Sherrod Small at the 8:00 show; Kevin Meaney, Mark Normand, Lenny Marcus, and Dan Soder at the 9:45 show; and James Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at the 2012 FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

9:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Detroit and Hotspur: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Erik Charles Nielsen (NBC’s Community), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), Josh Spear (Last Comic Standing), Jim Tews (co-host of Cheat Hair), Brian Parise, and Nick Naney performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?: Myq Kaplan Mike Dobbins, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Jim O’Grady, Adam Wade, Julia Wiedeman, Anna Roisman, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s topic Most Triumphant, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Victor Varnado, Jim Florentine, Molly Austin, Shakir Standley, Matteo Lane, Rojo Perez, and Lauren Maul performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Dave Hill, Nate Bargatze, Carmen Lynch, Pete Lee, Kurt Metzger, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Your opportunity to get on stage for an improv jam at UCB East hosted by master DJ Cipha Sounds: Hot for Teacher: Student Lounge

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. (Tonight’s lineup includes guest co-host Phoebe Robinson; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

Wednesday 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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

11:00 pm ($3): An “anything goes” comedy open mic for stand-up, sketch, improv, music, “and the occasional random nutjob” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Evan Jones: Mosh PIT

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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.