NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/16/14

April 16, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Judy Gold,
and more perform for a medical fundraiser at the Eastville
Comedy Club; nab tickets for only $10 (half off) by clicking here

Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan is interviewed by Hannibal Buress at the 92nd Street Y

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 ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for brilliant improvisors Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, Connor Ratliff, Christina Gausas, and/or more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): A one-woman show by Lyssa Mandel who “wrote a lot of stuff when she was 14: the purplest prose, the greatest expectations, the highest stakes, the desire to run screaming from suburbia. Sixteen years older, possibly wiser, certainly more shameless, she shares the genuine article. And nothing’s as genuine as adolescent desires” at The PIT downstairs lounge: A View From the Bitch Seat

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five 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

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 Hotspur and Apollo: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($34-$44): Tracy Morgan is interviewed by Hannibal Buress. What else do you need to know? As I write this, there are still a few tickets left at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall (1395 Lexington Avenue, between 91st and 92nd Streets): Tracy Morgan Interviewed by Hannibal Buress

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Keith Robinson at the 8:00 show; Hannibal Buress, Kevin Meaney, Ali Wong, Ralph Harris, and Phil Hanley at the 9:45 show; and Paul Mecurio, Kurt Metzger, James Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sherrod Small at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, TruTV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, Joe List, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “It’s the show where you represent your single friends onstage in a live dating game! Singles can cringe and remain as anonymous as they want in the crowd. Once a friend-proxy chooses someone for their match, the newly-matched singles get to go enjoy a free drink at the back bar. The New York Post calls it ‘part roast, part game show, part social experiment.’ Arrive early to register you and a friend. Open to all orientations. Out of 100 couples matched, 4 have become actual long-term relationships” at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Jo Firestone (rising star; Punderdome 3000, host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase): Friends of Single People

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 other 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: 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), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Justin Tyler (co-host of Gentrify and Comic Book Club), and more 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: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Myka Fox, Seth Cockfield, and Ryan Bennett performing at this monthly show that “puts comics inside of a video game that plays itself” and offers prizes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Steven DeSiena & Stephen Whalen: You and the Screen

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Stephanie Holmes, Marcia Belsky, Jesse West, JoAnna Ross, and Katherine Williams performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) hosted by Latice: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Andy Sandford (Adult Swim), Marc Theobald (Comedy Central), Dan Levy, Alison Leiby, Jim Search, and Kase Raso 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?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show written by Livia, Carol Hartsell, Sean Crespo, Matt Hunziker, Lexie Kahanovitz, and Chris Wescott, and that stars Livia, Nick Vatterott, Katina Corrao, and more performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

9:30 pm ($8): A one-woman show by Jenn Welch about how “after losing her marriage, her grandparents, and custody of her pug over the course of a single year, she suddenly found herself crying. In public. All the time. Tonight she presents a collection of stories about acknowledging and honoring our stupid, stupid emotions” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Crying in Public

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Leslie Meisel & Kate Riley chose UCB comics to write sketches for the opposite sex, then cast and directed the scripts. Tonight’s show is the result of this fun experiment at the UCB East theatre: He Said, She Said: A Sketch Show

[$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Cringe stand-up from Kurt Metzger, James Smith, Mike Bocchetti, Mike Cannon, and Mike Recine performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg: The Creeps of Comedy

[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 Matt Dennie, Nicole Pasquale, Douglas Widick, and Katie Compa; 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

[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

11:00 pm ($3): The debut of an “anything goes” biweekly 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: 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.