NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 3/1/14

March 1, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ed Herbstman

Master improvisor Ed Herbstman joins duo Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney for tonight’s Trike

Rebecca Vigil

…and Rebecca Vigil, Myq Kaplan, and other superb comedic singers are in rap competition Battlicious

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Cyndi Freeman (Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, burlesque performer , co-host of And I Am Not Lying and The Standard Issues), Steve Burns (Nickelodeon’s Blues Clues, The Moth Radio Hour), Joey Novick (New Jersey Councilman, political humorist), and Andy Ross (host of Real Characters) . Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[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 HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[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 Ali Wong at all shows except for the last one; PLUS Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:00 show; blowout lineup of Ted Alexandro, Paul Mecurio, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin at the 7:15 show; Russ Meneve, Greer Barnes, and James Smith at the 10:30 show; and Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Big Jay Oakerson 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): A musical Harold—that is, long-form improv with song and dance—at The PIT downstairs lounge from group Big D and the Closers

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group Boy Girl Boy Girl

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

[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). This is the final show of the run, so attend tonight or risk staying single: FutureMate Meet & Mate Session

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Russ Meneve, Kurt Metzger, Carmen Lynch, Michelle Buteau, and More

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 plus 2-drink min.): The co-star of NBC’s Whitney and star of a Comedy Central Presents special, and who’s also performed on Showtime and TBS, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia

8:00 pm ($10): Smart & silly sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from group The Foolhardy Manor

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Chris Laker, Frank Liotti, Trey Galyon, Casey James Salengo, and John F. O’Donnell “risk getting slapped by Satan himself. Actually, he hosts only bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matt Wayne & Doug Smith: See You in Hell

[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

[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

9:30 pm ($10): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and/or Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[$] 9:30 pm ($11.34 online or $15 at the door): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 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—which was just accepted by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival—is back in NYC for just one last night at the LES’ COW Theatre (21-A Clinton Street) and is highly recommended: Naked in Alaska

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), 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), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Paul Mecurio, Dan St. Germain, Kurt Metzger, Michelle Buteau, and More

[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] [FREE—plus free cake!] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—with tonight’s comics Jono Zalay, Alison Leiby & Alyssa Wolff, Charles Gould, Jessica Watkins, Ryan Beck, Kyle Ayers, Eli Yudin, and Casey James Salengo performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short, and followed post-show downstairs by free cake: Underbelly

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Master improvisor Ed Herbstman joins sharp improv duo Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney making up scenes at The Magnet as comedy trio Trike

11:00 pm ($10): An hour of sketch comedy aimed to make you howl at The PIT downstairs lounge from group Forever Dog

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with NYC comics—who tonight are Myq Kaplan (top stand-up and comedic singer), Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer), Joyelle Johnson, and returning champion Chaz Kangas—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: Battlicious

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up: Ali Wong, Jena Friedman, Frank Conniff, and More

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($20; no min.): 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 TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), and Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): MIke Lawrence, Dan St. Germain, Adrienne Iapalucci, Michelle Buteau, and Big Jay Oakerson

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)

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.