NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/20/14

March 20, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Michael Che

Red-hot rising star Michael Che headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

Baby Wants Candy

…and Baby Wants Candy is among the highlights of this 2nd day of the PIT’s 5-day NYC Improv Festival

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] 6:30 pm to 1:00 am ($10-$15 per show, or $60 for all-festival pass): Over 12 hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge—including world-famous musical improv troupe Baby Wants Candy at 10:00 pm—for this 2nd day of the 5-day 2014 NYC Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.27 online; cover price includes free drink; no min.) A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, with tonight’s guests the wonderful Ben Moskowitz, Susan Kent, and Aaron Wolf performing at The Tank (151 West 46th Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

7:00 pm ($5): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Andy Hendrickson (David Letterman), Joel Walkowski (The Short Bus), and Jake Young performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): A hilarious red-hot rising star who’s a staff writer for Saturday Night Live, and has performed on David Letterman, Comedy Central, and VH1, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Che

[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 Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Ryan Hamilton, and Keith Robinson at the 7:45 show; Paul Mecurio, Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Keith Alberstadt, Rachel Feinstein, Ralph Harris, and Joe List at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, James Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, 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] [FREE] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm (FREE if you use code BIGJ online): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) records a comedy album live tonight—and you can be part of it, with your laughs immortalized, at either this 8:00 pm show or a 10:00 pm show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Live Comedy Album Taping with Big Jay Oakerson

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated; long-time writer/performer for Conan O’Brien), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), and Craig Baldo (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion) performing 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: Jon Glaser and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 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] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser 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 storyteller Tim Manley 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Myka Fox, Christian Polanco, and Garry Hannon performing stand-up at Mr. Dennehy’s Irish Pub (63 Carmine Street) hosted by Troy Bynum & Carrie Gravenson: The Tomfoolery Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Miguel Dalmau, Caleb Barge, Joseph Vecsey, and Kunal C. Arora performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

8:30 pm ($5): Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), George Gordon, Derrick Brown, Rojo Perez, and Nick Maritato 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 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] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this new show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[TOP PICK] [FREE] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm (FREE if you use code BIGJ online): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) records a comedy album live tonight—and you can be part of it, with your laughs immortalized, at either this 10:00 pm show or the earlier 8:00 pm show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Live Comedy Album Taping with Big Jay Oakerson

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): 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, with tonight’s guest comics TBA: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit won its 7th victory in a row by grinding to dust team Greg 96-27. Tonight FTS competes against Lloyd group Detroit 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 PhoningItInMic@gmail.com 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 Hello Laser 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 info@oldmanhustle.com 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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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 upstairs theatre 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)

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.