NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/11/14

April 11, 2014

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Enormous congratulations to one of the smartest, quickest,
most talented, and most compassionate comics in the biz,
Stephen Colbert, for a move up he thoroughly deserves;
and to David Letterman for a genius career.
(If you ever hear anyone griping about TV,
let ’em know we’re living in its golden age…)

Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress performs at every show at Comedy Cellar

Saturday Night Live's Darrell Hammond

…and SNL legend Darrell Hammond headlines at Carolines

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 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 kicks off with an exceptionally great lineup of Hannibal Buress, Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Carmen Lynch at the 7:00 show; and continues with terrific lineups including Hannibal Buress, Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; Hannibal Buress, Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:45 show; Hannibal Buress, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, James Smith, Lenny Marcus, and Dan Soder at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Hannibal Buress, James Smith, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, and Dan Soder at the 12:15 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] 7:00 pm doors ($5): A new show that encourages its audience to network and socialize, facilitated by selfies, $3 PBRs, and stand-up crowd work, featuring comedy from Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Paul Spratt, Mathew Newberger, and Jeremy Pinsly performing at Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Dana Ross: Meet Drink Laugh

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Harris Stanton, Dave Smith, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($7): Long form improv that takes the suggestion of a genre and then improvises an entire show in that genre at The Magnet theatre: Genus

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Tami Sagher (TV writer for Broad City and How I Met Your Mother, half of improv duo Sagher & Gethard), Josh Sharp (co-star of Gump, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit, improv group Namaste), Brandon Gulya (top sketch group Stone Cold Fox, improv group Grammer), Katie Hartman (sketch groups Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting and Gypsy Danger), Matt Starr (superb sketch group Legs for Days), and Natasha Vaynblat (sketch group Absolutely, improv group Namaste) performing character bits at UCB Chelsea hosted by Justin Tyler and/or Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history, and whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range; and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), and Christi Chiello celebrating the One Year Anniversary of this monthly stand-up show at the One and One Bar (12 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Jeff Cerulli and the delightful Chelsea White (MTV, VH1, TLC, co-host of Call Us Crazy): What Else? Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): Peter Michael Marino performs a multimedia solo show about his flop London musical based on Desperately Seeking Susan at The PIT downstairs lounge: Desperately Screening Susan

8:00 pm ($10): An energetic 9-member sketch group that focuses on “character-driven, movement, and theatricality” at The PIT upstairs lounge: Nerds on Fire

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A stand-up show that also “parodies everything you love and hate about sports” with NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Cody, Joel Walkowski, and/or Sam Evans: Bush League

[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 writer and regular panelist on Chelsea Lately and After Lately, and author of New York Times Bestseller Life As I Blow It, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers Gregg Rogell and Marina Franklin): Sarah Colonna

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Subhah Agarwal, Kaytlin Bailey, Matt Pavich, 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

9:30 pm ($10): Solo character comedy from David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet), The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; new album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), Tanisha Long, and Cara Kilduff, plus Adam Hamway, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Bartels judging, and Jenn Dodd hosting this parody of a talent contest at The PIT downstairs lounge: Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout

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

[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): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Kate Riley (MTV), Matt Singer, and Gary Richardson 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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Improvisors aim for “the comedy, drama, and vocal juiciness of a Mozart masterpiece made up on the spot; come hear beautiful arias appear out of nowhere as someone’s beloved is ravaged by a cheese monster, Gary Busey, or anything else the audience suggests” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Opera

11:00 pm ($10): A sketch-based play aimed to make you howl at The PIT downstairs lounge from group Forever Dog

11:30 pm ($5): A sketch/interview show that asks you to “come watch Rebecca’s 95-year-old grandma make tamales, cheer on dancing animals, and watch a live blind date take place before your very eyes” at The Magnet theatre: The Rebecca Robles Show

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): This monthly stand-up, storytelling, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, with storytelling from host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Aaron Wolfe, stand-up from Charla Lauriston (MTV, host of School Night and Free Cable) and Sam Evans, burlesque by Fern Appeal, and sword swallowing from Kryssy Kocktail, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Pot stand-up from “highly talented comics who have been highly recommended from people who are thought highly of in the business. Oh, and they’ll be high” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Clayton English & Noah Gardenswartz: High Five

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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady Jam

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.