NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/2/14

April 2, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Amy Schumer

Great TV from the past couple of days include Tig Notaro doing a magical stand-up set on Conan O’Brien; a killer lineup of Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller, and Kumail Nanjiani on @midnight; and the premiere of Season 2 of Inside Amy Schumer, with highlights here

Broad City

…while UCB Chelsea tonight features Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson hosting the stage version of their hit Comedy Central series…

Broad City

…Broad City Live

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] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, plus a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents) tries out stand-up material every night through Sunday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Louis Katz

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 Apollo and First Lady: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Livia Scott (magical comedic chameleon; Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie; sketch groups Scrambled Legs and The Livia Scott Sketch Program), Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), Maris Kreizman (author of Slaughterhouse 90210), Liz Danzico (NPR Creative Director), Cocoon Central Dance Team, and musician Steve O’Reilly, all being interviewed and/or performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James Bewley: Dale Radio Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s strong lineups include Colin Quinn, Kevin Meaney, Gregg Rogell, and Greer Barnes at the 8:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Mark Normand, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, and Ralph Harris at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, James Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, Wil Sylvince, and Dan Soder at 11:30, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, writer/performers Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli demonstrate perfect comedic timing—coupled with sorta terrible singing, sketch comedy, and a PowerPoint presentation—for a very silly show aiming to prove “Billy Joel is the greatest recording artist of all time.” I hope these guys aim for something meatier and more resonant to tackle next time, because they’ve got chops, which is especially evident at the dynamic start when they interact with the audience; but in the meantime you’re likely to enjoy Sketches From an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “a comedic exploration of why we love to hate the women we do” written by & starring Abby Holland, Molly Gaebe, Jenn Roman, and Julie Rosing, and directed by the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski: Fuck Judy Towers

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of stand-up, storytelling, and more, tonight featuring Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime, host of Tell Your Friends), Chris Lamberth, and Jess Salomon performing at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by Beth Hoyt & Trish Nelson: Big Effing Deal

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Tanisha Long (MTV’s Girl Code), Rebecca Gold, and Daniel Levine performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Peggy O’Leary and/or Jonathan Yoni Lotan: Battle-Face

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups from all over the country compete for laughs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen: Border Wars

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably still get in if you don’t mind standing): Join Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson, the delightful stars of Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City, plus stand-ups (not announced) at UCB Chelsea for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Myq & Micah (brilliant comics performing as comedic singing duo), Bill Dawes (Broadway’s Bronx Bombers), Kate Hendricks (Nickelodeon’s Nick Moms Night Out), Giulio Gallarotti (MTV), Frantz Casseus (BET’s ComicView), Greg Stone, Josh Accardo, and Matteo Lane 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?

9:30 pm ($8): A one-man show by Matt Gehring that has something to do with Patrick Stewart and the history of humankind at The PIT downstairs lounge: Patrick Stewart Presents Man: An Evolutionary Study

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Will Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[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

[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 sketch/character comic Alan Starzinski and stand-up Katey Healy-Wurzburg; 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.