NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 3/16/14

March 16, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch performs at matinee children’s show Two Juice Minimum

Mark DeMayo

…and cop turned stand-up Mark Demayo performs his one-man show about his 20 years in the NYPD: 20 & Out

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] 3:00 pm ($10): The spectacular Rachel Dratch (former Saturday Night Live cast member) performs in this sketch and stand-up show for kids—with no irony, this is for children aged 4-10—hosted by Mark Malkoff at The PIT upstairs theatre: Two Juice Minimum

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

6:00 pm ($7): Live traditional Irish songs, performed by John Borland & Brendan Jordan, are used as springboards by eight sharp improvisors—including Megan Gray—to create an hour of scenes made up on the spot at The Magnet theatre: SceneSongs: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

6:00 pm ($10): Sketch, improv, and audience participation, with tonight’s special guest Ali Farahnakian (SNL, owner of The PIT) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Night Out with The Pin-Up Squirrels

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): 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), John Milhiser (Saturday Night Live, sketch group Serious Lunch), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, VH1), sketch group Good Cop Great Cop (Funny or Die), and more performing stand-up or sketch—plus surprises—at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Brian McElroy: The Macaulay Culkin Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): New groups Baby Shoes and Action Park perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Dov Davidoff, and Gina Yashere at the 8:00 show; Nick Griffin and Gina Yashere at the 9:45 show; and Mark Normand, Joe Matarese, Marina Franklin, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Guest improvisors Micah Sherman, Joe Schiappa, and Kevin Cragg, guest improv groups Gypsy Danger and Junior, and host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl), make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Live stage readings of popular Saved By The Bell episodes, with each cast member allowed an optional 3-minute Zack Morris style “time out” for episode-specific stand-up or a fan fiction bonus scene at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Bayside Myself

8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $12.62 online): 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), Jolenta Greenberg, Louis Peitzman, and Alex Edelman performing stand-up or storytelling at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Mara Wilson: What Are You Afraid Of?

8:00 pm ($5): Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Robert Dean (co-host of Comedy at Alligator Lounge), David Smithyman, Chris Lamberth, and Julio Torres performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Miguel Dalmau, Gabe Pacheco, and Drew Michael performing stand-up at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Jim Tews (co-host of Cheat Hair), Carmen Lagala, Andrew Michael, and Jay Welch performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

9:00 pm ($7): Sketches written, performed, and directed by literally dozens of female comics at The Magnet theatre: Lady Sketch Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm ($15): Typically terrific NYC stand-ups (not announced this week) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City and Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show; former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace): Comedy Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Mark DeMayo was an NYC cop for 20 years—who then retired to pursue his true passion, stand-up comedy. Tonight Mark debuts a one-man show sharing the highlights of his time on the force at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Peter Michael Marino: 20 & Out

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 5:30 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 Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 2 minutes per walk-in performer picked at random from a bucket of names, at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jonathan Morvay and/or Evan Williams: Child Support

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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.