NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/13/14

March 13, 2014

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See Michelle Wolf almost get engaged on Seth Meyers; check out a fine set from Jared Logan on The Pete Holmes Show; and enjoy Thomas Middleditch deliver joyful comedy with Pete Holmes here and here

10-Minute Play Festival

UCB Chelsea hosts a dozen one-acts (six at 8:00 and six at 9:30) at its Ten Minute Play Festival

Jessi Klein

…and stellar comics Jessi Klein (above), Todd Barry, Leo Allen, Larry Murphy, and Jo Firestone perform at Brooklyn’s Myrtle Comedy

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] 5:30 pm: Sketch comics perform character bits in this audition for the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at the UCB East theatre: Character Auditions for Just For Laughs

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC; leader of musical group Tigers & Monkeys), and Billy Prinsell performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:00 pm ($8): Musical improv based on audience neuroses—”about the hidden, shameful, and most vile portions of your subconscious, and then getting the entire room to sing a chorus about them”—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Possum Fondue: (Your) Group Therapy Session

[$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Nick Griffin, Marina Franklin, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson at the 7:45 show; Ali Wong, Wil Sylvince, Lynn Koplitz, and Ralph Harris at the 8:00 show; strong lineup of Ali Wong, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Ralph Harris at the 9:30 show; and strong lineup of Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, James Smith, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; head writer for Inside Amy Schumer,writer for Kroll Show, former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Leo Allen (Comedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die; writer for Comedy Central’s Review; former long-time writer for Saturday Night Live; former director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van; host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), and Jo Firestone (rising star; Punderdome 3000, host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase) at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by 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) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Todd Barry, Jessi Klein, Leo Allen, Larry Murphy, Jo Firestone, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Six 10-minute comedic plays by such superb writer/performers as Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, and Ari Scott, and performed by such talents as Morgan Grace Jarrett and Ann Carr, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The UCBT’s Ten Minute Play Festival, Program A

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Genus ((long form improv that takes the suggestion of a genre and then improvises an entire show in that genre), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from star storyteller Robert Weinstein at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($8): Two musical improv groups make up song-and-dance-based stories on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Washingtons and Moose

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Craig Baldo (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), and Chloe Hilliard telling stories about movies at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by John Murray & Matt Fisher: Low Standards with John & Matt

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), Hadiyah Robinson, Chris Lamberth, and Kat Higgins performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups (not announced) perform at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jenny Jaffe (former staff writer for MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live): Camp Time

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups (not announced) audition to be included in the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC comics (not announced) performing stand-up or songs at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jay Dean: In The Garage

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), and Casey Jost (Head Writer of truTV’s Impractical Jokers, former writer for Jimmy Fallon), Jono Zalay, and Ramon Rivas performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Six 10-minute comedic plays performed by such superb talents as Ryan Karels, Ann Carr, and Siobhan Thompson at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The UCBT’s Ten Minute Play Festival, Program B

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), 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), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Nikki Glaser, Christian Finnegan, Pete Lee, and Aaron Berg

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-ups (not announced) audition to be included in the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever) and Nimesh Patel (co-host of Broken Comedy), performing on this weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera ((for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[$] 10:30 pm ($6 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—which hasn’t been announced for the second week in a row, which means this is the last time this show will be listed here until Laughing Devil gets back on the ball—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit easily captured its 6th victory in a row, this time against The Curfew with an impressive 91-63 win. Tonight FTS competes against team Greg for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

Thursday 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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email with subject line Phoning Thursday 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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.