NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/4/14

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Stellar hour-long specials from Anthony Jeselnik, Neal Brennan, Hannibal Buress, and Joe Rogan are reprised starting at 12:30 am on Comedy Central

Nick DiPaolo

Star stand-up Nick DiPaolo headlines at Carolines

Michelle Buteau

…and Michelle Buteau tells tales at Shut Up Storytelling

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] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Tony Woods at the 7:00 show; Paul Mecurio, Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Tony Woods, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 8:00 show; Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 8:45 show; and Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, James Smith, Lenny Marcus, Tony Woods, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 10:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[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), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite people in the world, the delightful Lauren Olson (brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor; Nat Geo’s Going Ape; member of sketch & improv groups Genus, Chet Watkins, and 20/400; powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC show Our Condolences), and her talented comedy partner Jana Schmieding spearhead a showcase for comedic characters performed by themselves and eight other comics at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

7:00 pm ($8): A one-woman “reading and slideshow” by Emma Tattenbaum-Fine about growing up as the daughter of lesbians at The PIT downstairs lounge: Two and a Half Women

[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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) does a show based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

7:30 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups Missy Baker, Steve Whalen, Rich Grasso, Joe Alfano, Joe Rumrill, Frank Terranova, Jay Welch, and Roberto Cepeda performing at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Rachel Lenihan: Oven Fresh Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” tonight featuring Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show), Veronica Osorio (sharp sketch comic, improv group 212), and Malaika Gordon performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($36 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno; performed three of his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; was a regular on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Shorties Watchin’ Shorties; is a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show and the Opie and Anthony radio show; hosted his own radio program on NYC’s 92.3 Free FM; creates periodic Web-based free audio shows for Blog Talk Radio; and has acted on such TV shows as HBO’s The Sopranos and Lucky Louie, and was nominated twice for an Emmy award for his writing on The Chris Rock Show, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo

8:00 pm ($8): A half-hour one-man show by Chris Roberti “exploring joy, desires, and living together” at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Cult of Relentless Positivity

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pablo Francisco

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Frank Liotti (Logo, Law and Order SVU), and Dustin Wesley performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups whose birthdays are on or near today—Rob Cantrell, Justy Dodge, Sergio Chicon, Alexis Guerreros, Gabriel Pacheco, and Venessa Peruda—performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Neruda Williams: The Happy Happy Birthday Show

[TOP PICK]10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Terrible Babysitters, Adam Hamilton, and Adam Cole performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy and/or improv from friends Matt B. Weir and Matt J. Weir who, by total coincidence, have the same last names at The Magnet theatre: We’re Matt Weir

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Michael Kosta (Conan O’Brien), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of The Dream Show), and Mike Lane (sketch group BOAT) performing stand-up, plus music from Lynette Williams, at UCB East hosted by Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of School Night): Something Cool Stand-Up

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 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 Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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.

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